Tumbleweed Unveils Leads-to-Deals Program

By Sharon Linsenbach  |  Print this article Print


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Tumbleweed's Leads-to-Deals program rewards VARs at every stage of the sales cycle.

Tumbleweed has created a new program, Leads-to-Deals Lifecycle, to spur further growth of its Tumbleweed Alliance Program partner program and to help the company reach its goal of selling 100 percent through the channel by the end of the year.

Tumbleweed relaunched its Alliance partner program in July 2007, and it currently boasts about 110 partners worldwide. 

"Traditionally we've been a direct-sales model company, but we saw clearly that we were not going to have success without the channel," said David Harris, vice president of worldwide channels at Tumbleweed. The first step, Harris said, was to formalize and relaunch a reseller program based on feedback from partners.

"Administratively, we were a mess. We had resellers, but they'd typically been brought in from other companies we'd acquired," he said, which resulted in Tumbleweed partners being spread out over as many as 12 different channel programs. The decision was made to streamline the channel program to reduce the complexity for partners, Harris said. 

Tumbleweed's TAP relaunch also marked a shift in its business model toward attracting more SMB (small and midsize business) customers, said Harris.

 Tumbleweed's Secure Messenger, MailGate and Secure Transfer managed e-mail security products offer partners opportunities both for resale and for creating recurring revenue by providing managed e-mail and e-mail security services, Harris said. The Leads-to-Deals program rewards Tumbleweed partners at every stage of the sales cycle, regardless of whether the partner actually closes a deal, he said.

Partners are paid $50 for simply referring a customer lead to Tumbleweed. They receive a 10 percent total order discount for registering that lead as a deal and receive $500 if that lead turns into a closed deal within 90 days of registering the lead, Harris said. Even if a partner loses the deal, it is reimbursed 10 percent of the total purchase order amount if another Tumbleweed partner closes that deal.

Partners can also earn an additional $500 for persuading customers to provide Tumbleweed with testimonials that can be used for marketing and advertising purposes, he said.

Harris said Tumbleweed is continuing to recruit new reseller partners and is "driving hard" to reach its goal of selling 100 percent through the channel by the end of the year.  In the fourth quarter of 2008, he said revenue through the channel made up 48 percent of Tumbleweed's total revenue, and that percentage continues to grow.

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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