This time I am going to share the rest set of questions to ask a Vendor before entering into a partnership. Please read the first part of this blog post here.
What support level we will receive during the sales process?
A hands-on vendor willing to go the extra mile for you and your client is worth their weight in gold. Being hands on during the sales process can make all the difference between an enthusiastic “yes” and a resounding “no.”
Ask your vendor what kind, and the level of support they are willing to provide during the sales process. At minimum, will they be available for questions in case they arise during a product demonstration? Or will they go above and beyond and help prepare a live demo tailored to your clients needs? A webcast is another great tool to help in winning over new clients. Will your vendor assist in putting one together to wow the client?
Set expectations early with your vendor and leverage their willingness to help secure clients — it’s win for all parties.
What kind of marketing support will I receive?
Take a close look at your favorite vendors; are they helping you co-market their products successfully? If not, consider making adjustments and working with vendors that value and invest in their partners.
Today’s partner/vendor relationships are a rapidly changing landscape becoming more of a true partnership, overflowing with resources and support. Do your vendors provide financial and resource assistance with targeted marketing events and campaigns? What about case studies, and information specifically related to your clients needs?
Are they passing along leads and allowing you to spend a portion of your sales on marketing initiatives? If not, then maybe it’s time to truly ask yourself what you’re getting from the relationship and reevaluate accordingly.
What’s your philosophy when it comes to vendor/partner relationships?
Today’s business relationships between vendors and partners are rapidly evolving. No longer willing to accept the formal partner management machine approach, partners are seeking a long-term, personal relationship with their vendors. It’s possible to have great products, personal attention, and the support you deserve. Instead of settling for the same tired approach, seek forward thinking vendors willing to mentor and coach your technical and sales team for long-term sustained growth.
Ask potential partners up front how they’re different from other vendors. Will they be available late Friday afternoon when you and your client need them? Ask them. Ask for more. If they aren’t providing what you need from them, walk away. You, and especially your clients deserve more.