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No one likes hearing from telemarketers during dinner and hearing from them at work isn’t any better, especially when the call’s from someone who should know better, VARs told Ingram Micro on March 14 during a regional chapter meeting at the distributor’s VTN conference in Nashville.

“I don’t like getting calls from the ‘special promotions department’ at the distributor pushing some product on me for a vendor I don’t even sell,” one VAR staffer told an Ingram sales representative during the session, which amounted to a sound-off for the group. “It’s one thing if it’s something I sell, but not a random call.” Ingram is not the only distributor doing this, resellers said.

A list of who to call wouldn’t hurt either, said another participant. “You would think they’d know to call product procurement and not the president,” he said.

John Fago, director of sales for Ingram’s VAR South division, agreed, saying the company’s strides in data collection and use of better intelligence are helping the distributor call on VARs less often and more efficiently.

“We don’t want to be ambulance chasers calling you to get you selling this or that like we did in the old days,” he told the group.

The goal now is to have the relationship be more consultative, so that Ingram representatives are better armed with data on the resellers and their business plans and can call them personally when Ingram sees opportunities the VAR may have missed.

The company unveiled a business planning tool two weeks ago to augment the Technology Assessment Plans of old, which will align the data that account executives and field representatives have on VARs with partners’ business goals for the year.

VARs will begin seeing the forms in the next one-on-one meetings with their Ingram counterparts.

Another Ingram executive said Ingram is also streamlining dozens of different data silos within the company to deliver better results and analytics such as “Is VTN worthwhile for us?”