GE Access wants to pump VARs up

In an effort to pump up VAR sales, GE Access has beefed up its reseller program, which provides end user account intelligence.

Dubbed Prospector, the contact-to-contract (C2C) demand generation program is all about the GE Access marketing team doing campaigns that produce end user opportunities,

says John Hines, director of corporate marketing and communications at GE Access.

“”We spend less energy and resources in marketing to our reseller or solution provider base and instead spend our resources on enabling them to market themselves further – and not getting in the way of their sales, but bringing them opportunities.””

Where the enhancements come into play, Hines says, is in the level of qualification that GE provides.

Instead of just turning over leads to resellers, which are often times cold, fragmented and hard to follow up on, Hines says, GE is “”taking the load off of the resellers shoulders and providing a certain level of qualification.””

When the VAR gets a rated lead from GE, they know the decision-maker has been identified, as well as the budget, he says. “”They know there’s been expressed interest and have a time-frame that’s short enough for the resellers to act upon. So there’s a trust level that is developing with our resellers.””

Hines says resellers typically have a list of targeted accounts they would like to go after in every patch, but often times don’t have the resources available. “”In these times what do they do to determine their propensity to buy, to penetrate the account – there’s an immense amount of account intelligence that’s needed.””

So what do resellers get? “”Resellers can provide us with 15 (accounts) and we will do the profiling as well as qualification. It’s an intense level of profiling – not just the perfunctory search on the Web and pulling things off of their site. We’re going into the business model: who are the current contacts, what has this company been doing and what are their biggest business challenges today.””

He says GE uses an extensive library of marketing resources, along with elbow grease from outsourced companies, to do in-depth research in a bid to provide profiles back to the reseller. “”We don’t do the sale for them, but it gives them the tools they need to turn this into dollars.””

In Canada resellers want help with the decision-making process, says Mark Shaffer, GE Access’ manager of database marketing and demand generation. “”Is the decision making made on a local level or from a headquarter (HQ) level? Is the HQ outside Canada and in the U.S.? And how much influence does HQ have? That’s some of the intelligence that we’re able to provide under this approach.””

Shaffer says the opportunities in Canada in the enterprise space. “”Where we’re focusing in Canada are those types of accounts that are net-new business in both Sun, GE Access and our other existing vendors whether they be Hitachi or a StorageTek, for example.””

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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