SAP Expands Referral Rewards Program

By Sharon Linsenbach  |  Print this article Print


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SAP makes its customer referral rewards program available worldwide to attract more SMB referrals.

SAP has expanded its referral program worldwide in an effort to entice more VARs and ISVs to refer small and midsize business customers and cash in on the program's rewards.

The sales referral program has been available in the United States since late 2006, according to an SAP spokesperson. Since then, the program has attracted around 250 members and registered about 350 opportunities in the SMB market.

Referral members don't have to be current SAP channel partners, technology partners or business consultants to register for the program, and the closing reward is generally 5 percent of the revenue generated from the deal, the spokesperson said.

While some referral members might register just a few referrals, SAP said if it noticed a high number of referrals coming from one source and that source isn't yet an SAP channel partner or ISV, SAP would look to develop a deeper relationship with that member.

Steve Torres, vice president of business development for Axon Global, said his firm uses the referral program in two distinct ways. The first is to identify and turn over customer opportunities to SAP, which are then handled by SAP's sales team. The second is to act as the integrator on a deal.

Torres added that, as the referral member, Axon retained right of first refusal to act as system integrator for that deal, and said if an opportunity arose that was attractive to Axon from a budget standpoint or that was a good fit with Axon's core competency, then Axon would work with the software vendor to provide integration services.

Axon's relationship with SAP has proven mutually beneficial, Torres said, since uncovering and referring software license sales opportunities helps both Axon and SAP. "It's a refreshing change to come to the table not with our hands out, but bringing something that helps SAP sell software and help its footprint grow, which is all the better for us!" Torres said. "We are actively working the streets for opportunity; we help in all aspects of the sales cycle, from due diligence to site surveys; we're right beside SAP."

Roughly two-thirds of Axon's business pipeline is created through the relationship with SAP, and Torres said his firm is on track to deliver $70 million in closed deals to SAP in 2008. In the United States in 2007, he said, Axon made $160 million in services revenue.

The sales referral program is free and requires a one-time registration at the program's member portal. Using the Web portal, members can register opportunities, check program information and get status updates on referred leads, SAP said. The portal also offers sales collateral and e-learning sessions.
Sharon Linsenbach Sharon Linsenbach is a staff writer for eWEEK and eWEEK Channel Insider. Prior to joining Ziff Davis, Sharon was Assistant Managing Editor for CRN, a weekly magazine for PC and technology resellers. Before joining CRN, Sharon was an Acquisitions Editor for The Coriolis Group and later, Editorial Director with Paraglyph Press, both in Scottsdale, AZ. She holds a BA in English from Drew University and lives in the Philadelphia suburbs with her significant other and two neurotic cats. When she's not reading or writing about technology, Sharon enjoys yoga, knitting, traveling and live music. Sharon can be reached at Sharon.Linsenbach@ziffdavisenterprise.com.

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