HP Simplifies Partner First Program for Reseller Channel, Expands Marketing Resources

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Yesterday, HP Inc. reported that it had upgraded its Partner First Program for resellers, streamlining the program, and simplifying it, including streamlined membership levels and compensation, and introducing an upgraded HP Co-Marketing Zone that makes it easier to activate marketing campaigns. It also added a new HP Social Media Center designed to help partners demonstrate their expertise via social networks to the program.

Thomas Jensen, vice president and head of worldwide channel sales strategy at HP Inc. commented: “Our channel community is key to HP’s continued growth, and we want to empower them to take on more of our business going forward. We reshaped the Partner First program based on partner feedback and now have a program that provides the insights and tools they need to grow and evolve with the market.”

Streamlined, Enhanced Partner First Program

The revamped HP Partner First program is said to provide more value to HP’s channel partners while “radically simplifying” the way they interacts with HP. It’s also said to play into partners’ selling strengths and broadens the solutions they can offer to their customers.

HP Partner First now features three primary membership tiers: platinum, gold and silver, which the firm says enables it to better focus on the needs of partners at this level. HP says it’s also enabling its distribution partners to increase support offered to current HP Business Partners, ensuring ensures that all partners can draw from contacts who have the knowledge, relationships, and flexibility to match the pace of their businesses.

Within the program, partners across each level have an opportunity to tap into new sales tracks tied to volume selling, global systems integration, and specialized solutions. HP says this new structure will help partners increase sales by selecting and working within the tracks that best tap their areas of expertise and customer needs. The volume track focuses on print supplies, printers, and PCs. There’s also a track dedicated to global systems integrators, and specialization tracks that enable partners to build competencies around select products, services, and contractual solutions. Through specializations, partners are said to gain an expertise in offerings aligned to market trends. New areas of focus – including A3 (11″ x 17″ MFPs), Device as a Service (DaaS), and mobility – are planned to roll out through the first half of 2017.

In order to navigate the HP compensation processes more quickly and efficiently, the updated HP Partner First Program also features a simplified and globally standardized compensation model. The new framework is said to eliminate redundancies, features fewer variables on which partners are measured, and focuses on three key categories: core compensation, specialists, and new business opportunities.

Expanded Marketing Resources

HP also expanded its online marketing resource for partners. The new HP Co-Marketing Zone Plus (CMZ+), is a one-stop portal for creating customized, co-branded marketing materials. Partners using CMZ+ to create campaigns can now upload target customer lists into the system and launch local or global outreach using one of five online modules: co-branded collateral marketing; electronic direct mail (EDM) marketing; microsite marketing; event marketing or search marketing management – directly from the portal. HP says this reduces the time it takes to create campaigns in half. Once campaigns are executed through CMZ+, partners can track their effectiveness, return on investment (ROI), performance, and pipeline-development worldwide.

HP also redesigned its online portal experience, providing partners more direct access to the most-needed content. Partners who offer a specialized solution will be directed to landing pages featuring a simplified search process and details tied to their solution when logging into HP Sales Central. The update is rolling out with a focus on A3 and will extend to other products over the next year.

Social Selling to Develop Business

Siting research that indicates that nearly 75 percent of buyers use social media to learn more about solutions, HP introduced the Social Media Center (SMC) as part of HP Sales Central. SMC positions strategic industry content on a variety of topics and HP news that partners can share with their followers across major social-media channels. Offering various customizable content, SMC is said to help partners positon themselves as subject-matter experts. The Social Media Center will roll out globally through year’s end.

Partner First Volume Tracks include:

PC and Print Tracks: The Volume Track’s Personal Systems (PC) and Imaging and Printing (Print) Tracks have the same core compensation, which is a two-level rebate structure. Partners earn base rebates from the first sale with no gates and no caps. Accelerators are tied to growth and offer incrementally higher rebate rates when partners achieve sales targets.

Supplies Track: The Supplies Track has two core compensation programs. Tiered Growth pays quarterly rebates when sales of eligible Supplies exceed year-over-year volume. Segment Share rewards partners when they maintain or grow their six-month “share” or percentage of Original HP Ink and Original HP Toner compared to total Supplies sales.

Solution Tracks include:

Specialist Partners who distinguish themselves as experts by fielding HP certified professionals and satisfying HP revenue requirements. In return, HP offers financial rewards for these investments. Being an HP Specialist also resellers distinguish their offerings from the competition, build customer value, and increase revenue.

Partner First Networks foster the success of partners focused on mobility solutions, the public-sector market, or are classified as “Diversity” businesses by providing tools, training and other resources.

For more information on HP’s Partner First Program, visit HP here. Visit the HP Partner First Portal here.

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