Tag Archives: Value Added Reseller Programs

Paragon Software Is Awarded Five Stars in CRN 2012 Partner Program Guide

Paragon Software: CRN 5 Start Channel Program5-Star Award Follows on the Heels of Daniel Eickhoff’s Acknowledgement in CRN’s 2012 Channel Chief

Paragon Software is excited to share the news that the Paragon Channel Partner Program was awarded the highest rating in Computer Reseller News’ (CRN’s) 2012 Partner Program Guide. Spotlighted on CRN’s Web site, “The 5-Star Partner Program rating recognizes the elite subset of Partner Program Guide vendors that give solution providers the best partnering elements in their channel programs. The 5-Star Partner Program Guide is assembled by UBM Channel Research using a methodology it developed for assessing information provided in vendors’ PPG applications.” Specifically, CRN editors evaluated submissions based on objective data such as “vendor investments in program offerings, partner profitability, partner training, education and support, marketing programs and resources, sales support and communication.”

The guide provides useful information that IT service companies need to evaluate current and prospective IT vendors. Participating vendors were required to submit detailed information about all aspects of their partner programs. According to Rick Whiting’s 2012 Partner Programs Guide: Star Turn report, “UBM Channel Research crunched the numbers and designated some programs as 5-Star Partner Programs.

The 5-Star Partner Program rating recognizes the elite subset of Partner Program Guide vendors that give solution providers the best partnering elements in their channel programs. The 5-Star rating is bestowed on programs whose overall rating is among the elite segmented by company size: enterprise (annual revenue of more than $1 billion), midsize (revenue between $100 million and $1 billion), small (revenue less than $100 million) and emerging companies (founded in 2006 or later).”

“Paragon has always embraced the indirect sales model,” explains Daniel Eickhoff, Director of Channel Sales for Paragon Software. “From the founding of the company, our sales, marketing and support organizations have been focused exclusively on satisfying the needs of the channel.”

In 2011 strong revenue and profit growth allowed Paragon to make significant investments in strategic demand and lead generation initiatives to fuel the channel, while at the same time expanding its team of first-class channel managers to service Paragon’s growing partner-base. “As a result, our existing partners were able to increase their Paragon revenue by an average of 25 percent, with many of our top partners growing by more than 50 percent,” said Eickhoff.

To learn more about CRN’s evaluation of Paragon’s Channel Partner Program visit Paragon’s listing in CRN. To see CRN’s evaluation of Daniel Eickhoff’s contribution to Paragon’s channel program, visit CRN’s 2012 Channel Chief Listing.

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Ensuring Value Is Promoted by VARs during the Sales Cycle

Unfortunately, when you put your product in the hands of a reseller, you pretty much lose all of your control over the sales cycle. Do your VARs know what the “V” represents in “Value Added Reseller”?   Too often, value added resellers have the technological expertise but lack the business knowledge necessary to close a sale or shorten the sales cycle.  Often overlooked is the importance in ensuring that they stress the value of your technology solution.

The Value of Your Technology Solution’s Product

I mean “product” here as in “result.”  What does your technology produce, and why is it valuable to the end-user.  If your product is data backup and restoration, what differentiates your product?  Your resellers should learn more than the technical aspects of data protection and recovery.  Make sure they understand the costs of data loss.

The value to the end-user is not data protection.  The value is the security of relationships with customers, operational stability, prevention of fraud, and a host of other benefits.  We should not sell recovery points and recovery times without translating those into operational benefits.

Salespeople have understood this for years.  Products are sold by convincing customers to buy, but consider what customers are actually buying.  Consumers tend to buy what they believe a product will make them feel.  It is not the soda; it’s the happy refreshing smile.  It’s not the car; it’s the freedom of the open road.  Your product’s features are not what your buyers want.  They want the value represented by your product, and in this case, the value is operational in nature.

The Value of Your Technology Solution’s Process

This aspect is often dismissed with complex technology.  While the “product” of your solution is what the solution produces, the “process” is how it accomplishes this.  There is value to be sold in effective processes.  For example:

Does your product have an implementation ease that will allow fewer resources to be expended with its use?

Does your process require less training than your competition? (Less training means more money.)

Returning to the data protection product, let’s assume two products both protect and restore data effectively.  How does a customer choose one over the other?  The “product” value is the same.  Your channel needs to learn to push the process value.  They need to understand how to point out the efficiencies of use in your product and how those efficiencies translate into savings of IT time and resources.  When products are designed for low-tech end-users, this is a regular theme in sales.  Somehow, when the products are sold to technology departments, we tend to overlook the issue altogether.

Make sure your channel is working at its best for you.  Focus them on the value of your solution rather than the features.  Sell based on the operational impact on the companies who use your solutions and your sales are sure to stick.