What two qualities do channel partners value the most in a technology vendor? Afton Lucente, Director of Field and Channel Marketing at Carousel Industries, looks for vendors that keep the lines of communication and evoke trust. Here are excerpts from her responses to a brief Q&A on the importance of these qualities to the business:
Q: What causes the most friction in vendor-partner relationships?
“It’s hard enough to stay on the same page with people in your own organization, let alone with multiple vendors. As a systems integrator, we represent many vendors with multiple solutions that often compete. This can sometimes cause complications.
That’s why from a marketing perspective, it’s important to constantly build relationships with the sales and marketing teams within the vendor organization to ensure all are marching towards the same goal and communicating along the way. I always make it a point to keep my channel counterparts informed of progress, even if it doesn’t directly involve them.”
Q: What do you think is needed to improve a partner vendor relationship?
A: Trust in the people you work with.
“An important thing to remember is that we are all human and mistakes are going to happen. Problems will eventually present themselves — whether an unsatisfactory implementation or dropping the ball on a marketing tactic; how the teams handle it is the important thing. You want to be able to trust the people you work with, believe you are on the same team and keep an open mind knowing that mistakes are going to happen.
At Carousel, we always put our client first, so if it’s something that isn’t going to benefit them or makes the partner vendor relationship seem disjointed, we won’t do it.”