by Dede Haas & The ASCII Group

Getting the take – and maybe a little advice – from members of The ASCII Group on what solution providers are thinking and doing on a range of important channel topics.

 

Partner Onboarding: Do Vendors Pass Or Fail?

Source: Channel Executive Magazine

By Dede Haas, CA-AM, Channel Sales Strategist, DLH Services, LLC

Channel sales strategist and coach Dede Haas is founder of DLH Services, which helps technology vendors and partners create innovative, successful channel sales solutions and programs. Here, Haas discusses partner onboarding with two members of The ASCII Group, a 1,300-member organization of North American VARs, solutions providers, and MSPs offering services to help its members grow their businesses. Check out Haas’s “Channel Knowledge Nuggets” newsletter at dlhservices.com for tips and stories from the trenches.

AL LEFEBVRE is cofounder and Chief
Operating Officer of Great White North
Technology Consulting Inc (https://www.greatwhitenorth.com), a managed
IT services provider located in Timmins, Ontario. Although the company is based in Northern Ontario, it serves small and medium-sized businesses across Canada, including the Arctic Circle.
IGOR PINCHEVSKIY is CEO and founder of IP Technologies Inc. (https://iptechnologies.us/), and a 20-year IT veteran specializing in data protection and availability, as well as a security adviser to business leaders.

QUESTION 1: Do vendors do a good job onboarding new channel partners? Why, or why not?

LEFEBVRE: I see quite a few that do it very well and some that do it very poorly. We do prefer self-paced onboarding. So, when they have a very enhanced knowledge set, like a knowledge base or an internal university with training courses available, we very much take advantage of those, and we find that we have a better time getting onboarded there. The vendors who don’t do it well will just send you an e-mail saying, “Here’s your credentials. Go figure it out.”

PINCHEVSKIY: I have not yet met a vendor that facilitated the onboarding process as well as I’d hoped they would. We’re dealing with a lot of complicated systems and setups, and usually, there’s not a lot of accountability or enough training from the vendor side to make that a successful onboarding.



QUESTION 2: What, specifically, can they do better during the onboarding stage?

LEFEBVRE: Making sure that we know what step of the process that we’re in, because a lot of times when we purchase something, we’ll hit, “OK” to the quote, and then we don’t know exactly what the next steps are. So, vendors who do that onboarding well will say, “Hey, first step will be approving the quote. Second step will be scheduling the onboarding call. Third step will be implementing,” and then maybe a follow-up call afterwards to make sure everything is good. The better that they can communicate how that process will work will really help on the onboarding side.

PINCHEVSKIY: As I mentioned earlier, accountability would definitely help. We partner with [a cloud distributor]. The onboarding was great. My account manager was amazing. We started working on transitioning some of my clients from a different distributor to [them], and all of a sudden they went silent. A couple weeks later, it turns out my account manager left the company. I was not notified of that, and we lost a couple weeks of migrating the licenses over. So, we practically got double-billed from [them] and the current vendor and all because of a simple miscommunication that they did not relate to me saying, “Hey, this person is no longer with the company. Here’s your new account manager.” So, it started out great. We hit a hiccup. And now, we’re trying to address those issues.

This article originally appeared in the November/December 2019 issue of Channel Executive Magazine.