January 06, 2017
Vendor Relations Made MSPeasy: How to Nurture the Relationship
Vendor relationships, just like any other, evolve over time. As an IT provider, you have the ability to shape that change to your benefit. It is common for partner programs to have a requirement and/or reward-based type of structure. Every vendor’s partner program is different, but many require partners to participate in training opportunities and reach certain performance benchmarks over time to earn privileges.
Steve Weeks of Netcetera, a Vancouver-based Datto partner, said that getting close to their vendors has been instrumental to the success of his business. “Most of our leads come from word of mouth or directly from the vendor,” Weeks said. “And the more leads you close for the vendor, the stronger the relationship gets, because there’s trust. They are more willing to pass leads on to us because they know we’ll close the deal and provide great service.”
Kyle Etter of Computer Integration Technologies, a Minneapolis-based Datto partner, has benefited from this approach as well. “We strive to reach a level of sales volume and expertise on the products,” Etter said. “That translates into leads, discounts, etc., which help differentiate ourselves and gain competitive advantage. It benefits the vendors as well, because we have the expertise to solve a lot of problems without needing to escalate issues to their tech support.”
Communicating specific needs to the vendors with whom you partner is another way to build and strengthen the relationship over time. “A vendor’s willingness to listen to partners and translate that into the product is huge,” said Etter
“Users should drive updates to the product, not the vendor. Vendors need to get continuous feedback and work in an agile world.” Weeks agreed, saying that it’s important to hold vendors accountable for the performance of new products and updates. “When vendors rush to bring out a new product that isn’t ready, that can really kill you,” Weeks said. “You’ve got to make sure the stuff works before putting it into production.”
This is just a bit of what we have to offer in our eBook: Vendor Relations Made MSPeasy. If you're looking for more information on technology evaluation, contract negotiable, key features of a best-in-class partner program and more, download the eBook today!