Industry talking to customers What's this? Swag & swagger: Lenovo’s new channel partner program Published: May 4th, 2017 By: Glenn Weir Motivation can be a strange and elusive animal. What drives one person to staggering heights of achievement may have no effect whatsoever on the next person. Having said that, in business most people are motivated by the same small group of factors. Selling is not a trade for the faint of heart, and people who sell products need — and deserve — to have a fat, juicy carrot in front of them daily, which helps them to stay motivated to keep shattering goals and setting new ones.Chris Fabes, Lenovo’s Direct of Sales, Channels Canada (East and West), knows exactly what drives channel partners. “We don’t play coy or try to be cute on the point of motivation,” he said. “When we put together our program, we were fully cognizant of the fact that the people who trumpet our brand need to see movement on the financial and reputational front. They may believe deeply in the products they’re selling, and may even love them, but money and rep is what carries them through that daily grind, week in week out, year in year out.”Performance tiersYou do not need a PhD to understand the ins and outs of the Lenovo Data Center Program. The program rests on three simple, straightforward performance tiers based on certifications and revenue thresholds:Silver – for all authorized Lenovo resellersGold – $400,000 in data center revenue and the maintenance of five Lenovo DCG designationsPlatinum – $3 million in data center revenue and the maintenance of eight designationsThe term “Lenovo-certified” carried with it a great deal of weight in an industry where reputation and professionalism can be the demarcation between success and failure. Channel partners who build up their knowledge and “cred” by earning Lenovo certifications enhance their validity and market appeal. Put more directly, they do a great thing for their careers and their prospects of success.“Just as an Olympic athlete who won bronze or silver will be gunning for gold next time around, Silver and Gold Lenovo channel partners will always have Platinum at the back of their mind,” said Fabes. “I like our tiered channel program because it gives our bestselling data center partners the chance to move on from the success they have achieved. This happens not simply because they have hit the next designation level but because individuals at the Gold level, and especially at the Platinum level, qualify for a wider range of benefits that go a long way toward helping drive their sales through the roof.”Swag & swaggerLenovo’s program offers a plethora of exciting benefits, all of which help partners be at their very best:Basic financial incentives such as target incentives, SPIFFS, and backend rebatesMarketing and technical resources to help partners succeed from points “A” to “Z”Access to a world-class Customer Briefing Center and the Lenovo Innovation CenterOpportunities to work with and learn from a dedicated channel account manager and top execs“The real beauty of this program is that it covers partners at the beginning of the sales process, with marketing and pre-sales legwork; to the middle of the process, where customers may need to be brought along by various methods; all the way to the end of the process, to when a deal has been struck,” said Fabes. “However, we’re not offering a package of free gifts. Yes, there are rewards for those who have worked hard, but the ball is in the individual’s court. Lenovo will walk you to the orchard, but we’re not going to pick the fruit for you.”To learn more about Lenovo’s new Data Center program, click here.