San Jose, Calif. – Cloud software vendor NetSuite Inc. is adding tiers to its partner recognition program, and – by creating a new suite of industry-focused ‘best practices’ templates – ensuring its sales channels have the tools they need to reach the top.
Dubbed “Partner Altitude,” the new channel achievement program will go live in early Q3, with partners able to see their channel scores in real time.
The first credentials related to the program will be given out in January.
“Historically we’ve kept partner recognition pretty simple,” NetSuite’s vice president of channel sales, Craig West, tells CDN. “We’ve given rewards based on what you sell, but as we’ve gained a lot of maturity in the marketplace, we felt it was time to get a bit more sophisticated in how we measure and recognize partners, and to give them some credentials they can use in the marketplace.”
The new program will evaluate partners based on their performance in four categories, which West calls “the four Cs”:
- Commerce: Adding new customers, and the rate at which channel partners add new customers;
- Competency: Referring to NetSuite’s certification program, and whether channel partners are embracing certification by hiring only certified consultants;
- Customers: Which evaluates account management, customer success, and customer retention. “Our business is a recurring revenue business, so we need to ensure that customers are happy and ultimately renewing,” West says;
- Collaboration: West admits that of the four, this “C” is the hardest to define, though it’s one he also strongly believes in enforcing: Are the partner’s goals aligned with NetSuite’s? Do they consult the company when reviewing their annual business plan? If NetSuite launches a new initiative, does the partner embrace it?
“It’s a response to why sometimes, when we look at two partners that look the same on paper, one’s a rocket ship and one isn’t,” he says.
Under the program, each of NetSuite’s channel partners will be assigned a score out of 100 in each category, for a potential perfect score of 400 – and depending on what the averages turn out to be, West says, the top 30 per cent could find themselves among NetSuite’s “Elite” or “Premiere” solution providers, and provided with credentials recognizing them as such.
The company currently has 400 solution provider partners worldwide, and West expects the “Elite” category to represent the top 10 per cent or less, and “Premiere” the next 15 – 20 per cent.
“They’re both meant to aspirational,” he says. “We’re really excited about it. Partners are giddy over it, and feedback’s been great.”
To help channel partners along, NetSuite also recently announced a new customer engagement model it’s calling “Suite Success,” which aims to provide new subscribers with a platform tailored not only to their industry, but to their segment of an industry, consulting with experts across a range of fields including software, manufacturing, and wholesale distribution to determine each segment’s best practices.
CDN recently profiled one of the company’s industry offerings, for apparel retailers.
“When you think about ERP, it often was, ‘Hey Mr. Customer, what do you need? Let us show you how we meet those requirements,'” West says. “This is more of a, ‘Hey, you’re a wholesale distributor, we’ve helped thousands of wholesale distributors. We’re going to show you what you need, and we’re going to lead you there from a best-practices standpoint.'”
He calls the process a “win-win-win” situation for all involved.
“If partners can get customers live sooner, the customers are more happy,” West says. “The partners can then do more deals, so they’re happy, and we ultimately get more and happier customers, so we’re happy.”