ORLANDO – Lenovo channel chief Chris Frey has a follow up for last year’s hand-to-hand combat initiative. It’s called an independent channel and it works like this:
Lenovo realizes that they are unable to be with a solution provider every step of the way with a customer. So the company plans on training more solution providers to properly position and sell Lenovo products up the stack. The difference between last year’s hand-to-hand combat strategy and the development of an independent channel is the customer experience. Frey added that as Lenovo grows in the channel that money will be re-invested back into the channel to keep the independent channel evolving.
“This is about winning every day and we are going to be putting new skills in the hands of the channel. We have the tools and we are going to give them to you,” Frey said.
Three years ago when Frey started developing the hand-to-hand combat strategy he outlined stretch targets of attaining 8,000 active solution provider partners and reaching $3 billion in the commercial and SMB market space. Today, Frey has met and exceeded these targets. Lenovo currently sports 10,000 active resellers that do approximately $4 billion in revenue. Lenovo has an 80-20 indirect channel model.
Lenovo announced changes to its main SMB Partner Advantage Program that will include new spiffs for not just the owners of the reseller organization, but the sellers as well. Under this program, sales reps can earn up to $200 per system, running up to $10,000 per quarter. The New Customer Bonus program along with the Volume Delegation program can be stacked on top of margins from distributors.
The Lenovo Financing Program, launched last year, has been enhanced from $250,000 of available credit with 60 day terms to $500,000. There is more than $90 million in Lenovo subsidies in this program, Frey said.