Posted by: Heather Clancy
Heather Clancy, IT channel products and services, Symantec channel
Most technology vendors talk the talk about why partner-to-partner collaboration is so important for their channel. Symantec continues to encourage it through its referral program, which has now been in place for about a year.
Randy Cochran, Symantec’s vice president of channel sales for the Americas, says the idea is worked through the security and data protection company’s opportunity registration program. Basically, the referral program encourages the idea that a partner would get “part of something, rather than all of nothing” when faced with an account opportunity that doesn’t match its skill set. By turning that lead over to Symantec, which will place it with a partner who CAN deliver, the partner can still get some back-end margin when it closes.
It’s a win-win for both the IT solution provider and for Symantec, which stands a better chance of NOT losing a sale to a competitive vendor if it can produce a partner qualified to handle the solution. “The best think we can do is to put an opportunity with a qualified partner,” Cochran says.
Realistically, the referral program isn’t called upon that often, he says. But partner to partner deals continue to happen more often, as IT solution providers try to specialize yet remain valuable to new and prospective clients. But remember the rules of etiquette. Cochran has this advice for any IT solution provider who is pulled into a potential deal: “You need to act like an invited guest.”