The new TalkSwitch & You partner program has three different levels of partners, whereas the company’s past partner program only had one level. The new level uses the traditional levels of Authorized, Gold and Platinum. As with the previous program, TalkSwitch’s channel partners are offered a 30 per cent discount off the MSRP, but while in the past, that was the be-all and end-all of partner benefits, TalkSwitch is now offering additional benefits to all three of the new tiers.
“We sold through resellers, and they’re very happy with the margins and very happy with the support they get from our account managers, but they didn’t have a program that really added value for them,” said Tim Welch, vice president of sales at TalkSwitch.
TalkSwitch spent the last year talking to partners and trying out different benefits with individual partners to see what partners were most interested in and what would work best for everyone involved, he said. As part of the new program, TalkSwitch will continue to offer its resellers the standard discount, although partners at the Gold and Platinum tiers will have even higher discounts and product incentives.
“What you’re seeing in the new channel program is a year of research and looking at what our channel partners are looking for,” Welch said.
TalkSwitch is also offering extra incentives to partners who make multi-site sales, which is an area in which the company is really focusing, he said. That applies for any area that TalkSwitch wants to focus on. For instance, if a partner makes a deal in a particular vertical that the company is trying to hit, TalkSwitch will support that partner with things like a written case study on the deal, help in marketing the partner on the Web, help in building collateral and giving the partner marketing assistance in finding more business in that vertical, Welch said.
“What we’ve found over the course of the last year is when we did that, the return for us was quite often multiple-fold, sometimes even ten-fold,” Welch said.
One other important element of the TalkSwitch & You program is the new partner Web site. The site had limited content before, but now TalkSwitch is filling it up with PowerPoint presentations, customizable ads, customizable case studies, a volume of pictures and recorded Webinars, Welch said.
“We’re also willing to customize some of our marketing messages for them,” he said.