A Special Note from Igneous' new VP of Channel Sales
As I begin a new adventure at Igneous, I need to first say how excited I am to have this opportunity to lead and enhance our channel program. I've been fortunate to have worked with some world-class channel organizations, great people and incredible channel leaders. This provides a new and different opportunity—to craft a program with our partners’ best interests in mind. Being a channel-driven company is about building a culture and philosophy across the entire organization that’s committed to the success of our customers and partners alike.
When I first came onboard a few months ago, I was asked how I plan to build a successful channel program. A fair and predictable question. However, my response was not that I would build a new and exciting tiering program, or create this compelling MDF incentive or launch an enhanced rebate program. Of course, all of that is important, but isn't that what every vendor does?
My response was that I plan to build a program that ensures the success of our channel partners. A subtle yet very important nuance, which shifts the focus to them (our partners). To do that, you need to think like a partner, understand their business models, how they get compensated, what verticals and core strengths they have, and how your products and programs help them grow their business. If you do this correctly, the rest will take care of itself .
So of course we need to have a strong value proposition, compelling technology that is simple to deploy and solves critical business problems better than anyone else. Doesn't everyone say that? We actually do it! We even offer a free Test Drive that shows our customers what they have in their environments.
Let's talk about the economic benefits that Igneous provides for our partners, which I’ve put a lot of thought around. It should come as no surprise that after we discuss how Igneous helps our customers, one of the first things I get asked by new partners is, "What kind of financial benefits does your program have for us?" Our program is very transparent and has multiple ways for our partners to protect their interests and be rewarded when they engage with us.
Here are the key benefits:
- Guaranteed Margin Model - Igneous has implemented a two-tiered guaranteed margin model that protects our partners on every deal, with higher rewards for registered (partner sourced) opportunities.
- Deal Reg and Meeting SPIFFs - Our current Triple Mountain SPIFF pays out generous incentives to the partner Reps and SEs for a First Meeting and/or Deal Registrations in target accounts.
- Closed Deal Incentives - Partners can earn 10-30x more for closing a partner sourced opportunity, independent of our other SPIFFs! It’s the most channel-partner-friendly and lucrative program I’ve seen in the industry.
- Partners Sell Hardware Platforms - Igneous is not in the business of selling hardware, so our partners buy and sell the hardware solutions and make additional margin on these components. This takes us out of the hardware margin equation, giving all of it to the partners.
- Professional Services - Igneous trains and supports our partners both in selling and supporting our as-a-Service solution.
- Cloud Offerings - Partners can make money in re-selling offerings from public cloud providers when they use Igneous technology to move customer data to public cloud. We are actively working with our cloud partners to incorporate our channel partners into their business models in order to streamline this process.
The second question I normally get asked is about leads--specifically, how many to expect from Igneous. In my past roles, this was sometimes an awkward question, since most vendors expect partners to bring them leads. Isn’t that what the channel is supposed to do: be a lead generation engine and bring us deals? A lot of companies that I’ve worked for in my career are very protective of their (good) leads, and only send the channel the ones they’ve disqualified out. Well, who wants those leads?
Igneous has a different philosophy, and has flipped this around in our program. We provide high quality leads to our partners, ones that have been vetted through our program. These are leads that have relevant data on the customer’s environment, where we’ve identified real problems with our DataDiscover product. Partners can have a very impactful conversation around the customer’s business problems based on qualitative customer data. This encourages our partners to generate leads in return, and truly exemplifies the “give to get” mantra.
When added all up, our partners are well positioned to enjoy great economic benefits and expand their business when partnering with Igneous. Our philosophy is to help our partners be successful, and we’re excited to expand our partner community with new partners that want to help us be successful. After all, we're all sales professionals trying to provide the best solutions to our customers, and make a little money along the way.