One of the biggest points of contention between partners and vendors is who actually owns the relationship with the customer. It’s a topic that comes up frequently whenever partners talk about their relationships with vendors. Partners often complain that some of their vendors seem to want to disintermediate them from their customers, thus setting up a bit of a tug of war, with the unfortunate customer caught in the middle. For example, some vendors take the approach that if a customer is using their products, then they have primary responsibility for supporting the customer, regardless of whether or not a partner is involved in the sale. This can take the form of not enabling partners to bill the customer, not enabling partners to provide support, and/or not enabling partners to co-brand the product. While it’s understandable that the vendors want to ensure the best possible experience for the end user, many of them seem to forget the critical role that partners play in the process of selling and supporting the customers. These conflicts will likely only continue to increase as adoption of cloud-based apps continues to rise, since customers are now running software may be hosted by the vendors.
So, which vendors “get it”? One of our favorites is attachedapps. They have built a suite of contact and customer management apps that are designed to easily “attach” to Office 365 or Exchange, and they are taking a strict partner-first approach to selling to SMBs. For instance, they just enabled partners to have a tile in their customers’ dashboards where partners can display their logo, contact information, sales messages, or anything else they want their customers to see every time they access the apps. We haven’t seen that from any vendor! Plus, attachedapps enables partners to bill customers, provide support, and they have a very generous revenue sharing model. They have even designed their apps so that partners can easily add their own services like remote admin, migration and customization. No more tugging!
You should check them out: www.attachedapps.com/partners.