We resellers have a hard slog. If it isn’t the customer wanting more than first agreed upon, then it’s certain vendors and distributors quick to change the game when your back is turned.
A well-known vendor in particular has a long history of bouncing between direct and channel strategies, and they change channel managers like the rest of us change socks.
One minute the global chief stands on stage spouting the virtues of the channel, the next I receive a call from a customer informing me that a deal I put through their registration program won’t go through because the vendor called them and offered a better price.
So I call my channel manager and ask; “Are you guys committed to the channel or not?” The expected response comes in full; “Oh yes, we’re fully committed but I had no idea that happened, let me fix that for you”.
Unsurprisingly, I never got that deal back.
The human instinct in me would love to have told the vendor where to go, but the customer is requesting their technology specifically meaning I’m forced to deal with an organisation that says one thing, yet does another. Classic multinationals, right?
The market is filled with word that one of the large networking vendors – renowned for their marketing, pre-sales and sales capabilities – is struggling when it comes to technical support, leaving partners in the lurch when the rubber hits the road.
As always, they promise the world but by the time they’re finished passing the internal buck, the customer loses interest and the reseller loses the deal.
Generally speaking, large vendors have problems with their own internal communications, but it’s often even worse when dealing with those “disruptive” new vendors, who talk a big game but don’t deliver when it matters.
My main concern is around the relationship I build with my customers. The trust we develop as a partner is the real point of difference, and removes any need to fight out price points or this technology versus that technology.
Of course I’m always on the lookout for the next big thing, but for the new vendors entering the Australian market, they come in with a strategy based on a global directive, not locally knowledge. They’re motivated by quarters and numbers, not always by what is best for the customer.
I encountered one such vendor repeatedly trying to push a deal through in June, despite the customer not being ready for implementation until July, which makes the whole sales process uncomfortable.
And the deal registration with these types of vendors is also a bit hit and miss. They are dictated by their own targets which is understandable, but they go around flipping deal reigstrations and trying to engineer a situation to get a deal across the line.
The customer then doesn’t want to deal with them or in the worst case, they no longer want to deal with my business.
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This article originally appeared in the August issue of ARN magazine - to subscribe, please click here