All IT service providers are in the game to make the most profit on all purchases for obvious reasons—to keep the lights on and cash flowing. There are three ways a partner can leverage savings when ordering IT products: distribution, partner programs, and vendor incentives.
MSP Tip # 1: Distribution
When it comes to working with distribution, typically a VAR/MSP/Service Provider/CSP/etc. can get better pricing than buying direct. Have you asked if your distributor works with all the vendors you do? While this may seem like an obvious question, consider the smaller cloud vendors you are doing business with today. Carbonite, RingCentral, Intermedia, and Amazon Web Services may not seem like traditional vendors for a distributor to partner with, but more and more of these types of vendors are starting to partner with distribution. I encourage you to check and ask again every six months.
Second, ask your sales rep or vendor specialist if there are any incentives or promotions running currently, or if any are coming in the near future. There may be contests running for a chance to win credit memos, trips, or awesome prizes; better yet, there may be a point of sale discount. Your company may be eligible, so be sure to ask.
Finally, consider distribution’s credit and financing offers. You may not have to purchase everything on a credit card! Getting an account with terms may help you with larger deals. The more you spend, the more your company may be eligible for volume pricing. Your loyalty matters to distribution! And remember to consider the industry groups you belong to, like ASCii or IAMCP, who may have group discounts and other advantages available to members.
MSP Tip # 2: Vendor Partner Programs
Almost all vendors in the channel have partner programs. Some are free to join while others require annual dues and/or certification requirements. One common element in a vendor partner program is better pricing—partners may be eligible for deal registration, special end-user pricing, or quantity-tiered pricing levels. Each program varies by vendor, so be sure to check them out.
In addition to pricing discounts, you may have other perks—like free technical support, a dedicated field rep, discounted event fees (that you would pay to attend anyway) or special incentives at the close of a quarter or year. Ask your dedicated vendor specialist at your distributor for the benefits of joining and any requirements needed. For some vendors, it costs nothing to join and you could save 10% off of every order you place. This is free money
MSP Tip #3: Vendor incentives
While often only those in the partner programs are eligible for certain incentives, that’s not always the case. Check for quarter-long programs (which may require additional claiming), partner subsidies, promotional SKUs, etc. Ask your distribution partner for current incentives each month. In addition to distribution, get involved with the dedicated vendor rep to your territory (again, varies by vendor). They want to close the deal, too, and may have some funds to help beat a competitive solution. This can help partners be competitive when needed, earn more profit, or pass savings onto the customer.
While this post may “state the obvious,” these three vehicles are underutilized every single day. There are free vendor partner programs that are ignored because the sales rep, purchaser, or business owner doesn’t have the time. Not making the time to fill out a simple form could be costing you money. Ever wonder how you got beat on pricing from a competitor? Perhaps they are enrolled in the partner program.
There are quite a few tips in here to make the most out of your partnerships, particularly through distribution. Tech Data has vendor specialists whose jobs are to know all of this information and help you leverage it to your advantage. Here are three easy action items to get you started:
- Ask your distribution sales team for all current incentives for your top vendors.
- If you don’t know who the vendor specialists are for your top two or three vendors are, ask for an introduction from your sales team. Once you know who they are, ask if there is a partner program and the benefits of joining. Also confirm any requirements to become a partner.
- Ask the vendor specialist team if there are any incentives running that you are eligible for that may be exclusive to Tech Data.
About the Author
Laura Vanassche is currently a Marketing Strategist for Tech Data, where she helps cloud and software partners in the IT channel access vendor and distribution resources. For more information about Tech Data, visit www.TechData.com Connect with Laura here: @lvanassc | www.linkedin.com/in/lvanassche