IT vendors out of synch with resellers, survey finds


17 Jun 2008

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Technology vendors are failing to maximise the opportunities provided by their reseller and channel partners, a new survey has found.

A survey of over 500 resellers and distributors across the technology spectrum showed that less than 7pc of resellers say vendors are their most valuable source of leads, and less than a quarter say leads provided by vendors are ‘highly actionable’.
Other findings of the survey are that 70pc of resellers said vendor marketing campaigns were ineffective or only somewhat effective in driving their business, and that almost half (46pc) say vendor field representatives never or infrequently team with them in cooperative selling.
It also found that nearly 80pc of resellers experienced at least some conflict or competition with vendor sales organisations.
The survey was conducted by the CMO Council, a 3,000-member global network of chief marketing officers who together control more than €45bn of annual marketing spend. It is operated worldwide by GlobalFluency, of which communications and marketing company Comit is the sole Irish partner.
"The message for the Irish technology channel is that, despite a very large spend on lead-generation and branding campaigns, a significant portion of this spend is not improving channel performance or product sales," said Allan Chapman, managing director, Comit.
"In some cases, marketing and sales activities may well be alienating the channel, reducing trust, confusing the customer and reducing overall productivity and effectiveness. With as much as 80pc of business leads languishing, lost or ineffectually handled, there is a big top-line revenue benefit for vendors seeking to increase yield, productivity and accountability throughout the channel.
"All too often, vendors overlook the value of input from their Irish channel partners on product development, messaging and marketing campaign design. Vendors need to cooperate more with their Irish resellers on marketing, selling, product development and problem solving."
The survey traversed six technology industry sectors: IT; physical security and surveillance; telecommunications; consumer electronics; office products; and professional audio/visual equipment.
On a positive note, the survey showed that despite the economic downturn, almost 60pc of the channel partners expect substantial increases in business this year. The combined revenue for these business partners is expected to exceed €3trn by 2010.
By Niall Byrne