Most IT and business executives don’t have much patience for sales pitches, so for channel partners to succeed, they need to have salespeople who can put themselves in the shoes of the customer. Salespeople need to not only understand the capabilities of the product, but also know how the solution being offered improves the economic equation for a business by either reducing their costs or creating a better experience for the end customer.
The challenge most solution providers face is that there’s no sales academy they can send salespeople to in order to improve their skills. To help fill some of this void, Samsung Electronics America has created a sales certification program spanning mobile devices, displays and solid-state drives within the Samsung Team of Empowered Partners (STEP) channel program.
Carrie Maslen, vice president of sales operations for Samsung, said the idea is to provide Samsung partners with a structured approach to training salespeople to identify use cases that will drive new opportunities for partners. By using the training and certification tests available via an online Samsung portal, partners can achieve Sales Specialist, Expert and Master designations.
As part of that initiative, Samsung is tying reseller authorization for Samsung Knox security software for its mobile devices to achieving at least a sales specialist certification. Partners will also be accredited with third-party industry educational and trade associations, including InfoComm.
In return for all that effort, Samsung is expanding its Marketing Concierge support—previously available only to Gold and Silver partners—to all partners. The Marketing Concierge provides access to co-branded campaigns, reports, and tools to drive online and social media marketing campaigns. Over the past year, Samsung claims that the Marketing Hub has doubled email sends and tripled the number of social media posts made by partners.
Developing Next-Generation Mobility Solutions
Finally, Samsung also launched a Mobility Solution Provider Program that’s focused on recruiting partners capable of developing next-generation mobility solutions around the company’s devices. Via this program, partners that meet set goal will receive additional benefits, including sales and marketing resources, leads, volume incentive rebates and a listing in Samsung.com. To drive this initiative, Samsung is doubling the size of the channel team that’s specifically focused on mobile computing solutions.
Vendors, have been trying to get the channel motivated to sell mobile computing solutions for some time. Solution providers realize that mobile devices and applications are proliferating across the enterprise, but the only way solution providers really make money on a mobile computing solution is to focus on integration and services. The margins on the mobile computing devices themselves are razor thin.
To provide some additional meat on the mobile computing bone Samsung just launched the Samsung Note8 and the Samsung S8 smartphones, both of which are configured with Samsung Knox security software and deployed in conjunction with a Samsung DEX docking station to access Web and traditional enterprise applications.
Maslen said that Samsung now needs partners that can speak to both the desires of business executives and the management concerns of IT leaders across a range of vertical industries.