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Ingram Micro re-opens its Presidents Club incentive program

Ingram Micro re-opens its Presidents Club incentive program

Executives at Ingram Micro Canada are going to re-establish the distributor’s Presidents Club.

According to Tim Billing, vice-president of vendor management for Ingram Canada, the Presidents Club in its old form “dropped off a bit”. The distributor will be putting more energy into that program for 2010 to maximize the return for the sales incentive program.

The new Presidents Club program will once again be an important incentive plan for sales associates with the channel on a monthly basis. Billing said the program will be updated on how they perform and will be ranked.

“The objective with Presidents Club in the past was not a big priority with the vendor partners, but as we go forward in 2010 it will be a cornerstone program that will motivate sales people,” Billing said.

Ingram hopes vendors will support this new version of the Presidents Club. Billing said Presidents Club will have more value for vendors who participate and it is more than just giving away a trip.

“Instead of making it just a program with a trip component in the end, the vendors have an opportunity to participate from a sales perspective throughout the organization and have its leadership team available and accessible to the partners,” he said.

Currently, the Presidents Club needs more vendor partners. Ingram has just over 10 signed up. However, Billing said that as the program evolves there will be other components created around the new technologies that are emerging in the marketplace.

Vendors today are scrutinizing marketing budgets, Billing said. “There are dollars out there, but those dollars have to deliver a return. Our vendor partners are looking to ensure that those dollars are spent wisely and have an acceptable level of return.”

In the past, those dollars were driven from growth of the channel. Today, the industry is in a different economic environment where money is not to be spent freely and without a business plan. The goals and objectives now are to deliver ROI and companies are figuring out new strategies and programs to deliver top line revenue, Billing said.

By focusing more on channel marketing, Billing believes it will surround the distributor’s ability to enable its reseller partners to be more successful in selling technology. “We see a couple of key elements to enable training and certification and, from Ingram Micro’s perspective, we can ensure that we have that right level of training and support, and provide the vendor partners with access to these types of resellers. It’s important and it’s critical to our success,” he said.

One of the challenges in 2010 will be the already stretched marketing dollar for things such as training and certification. Billing anticipates that those dollars will flow towards specialized areas rather than broad-based marketing campaigns. Doing events around a solution or an emerging technology that target the right resellers with have a practices around virtualization for example will be the way because it will provide them with valuable tools and resources,” he added.