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Panasonic is making a number of updates to its Authorized Reseller Program, which it relaunched last Deccember.
The program focuses on helping the company’s network of channel partners enhance profitability from the sale of its growing family of Toughbook mobile computers, 2-in-1s, tablets and handhelds. Panasonic has more than 200 resellers nationally, and of that, about 34, which only sell Panasonic products and equipment, are in its Prime Partner Program.
Dominick Passanante, Panasonic’s senior director of channel sales, tells Channel Partners that in his company’s ongoing effort to continually improve the program and make sure its resellers have everything to be successful, “we now felt it was important to improve that program for the Prime partners.”
“One of the things we consistently heard was it was sometimes difficult to understand the additional pricing discount they get as a result of being a Prime partner,” he said. “It’s dependent on the product that they sell and a specific opportunity. We wanted to take that vagueness out of the plan, so what we did was a fixed discount based on everything they sell. So now it’s very easy for them to understand the pricing they get from Panasonic and then also the discount they get for being part of the Prime program.”
Panasonic also has increased the amount of marketing development funds (MDF) available for Prime members, Passanante said.
“In additional to the MDF they get for being part of the overall program, they now get an incremental amount of money toward their MDF to help reinvest in the business,” he said. “And that money can go toward marketing campaigns, attending trade shows and conferences, different types of advertising they participate in, to purchase demo units, basically anything that is going to help them grow the business and be more competitive.”
Panasonic also is revamping its company website and is going to list Prime partners there so it’s easier for customers to connect directly with resellers if they have questions or a specific need, Passanante said.
“Panasonic, at least in the mobility group, we don’t sell direct, 99 percent of our activity gets fulfilled through the channel,” he said. “We’re not a fulfillment organization, so we felt comfortable forwarding those leads to Prime partners because they only sell Panasonic. And they’re always looking for leads. We get thousands of hits on our website every month and Prime partners will get immediate correspondence from people who are looking for information. That’s something that would come up when we would ask how can we do better to help you grow your business.”
Panasonic also is offering a demo discount program available to all resellers, but the allotment is double for Prime partners, Passanante said.
“So now they would have the ability to get twice as many demo units out in the field in the hands of customers, and we have typically a very high win rate if we get product in the hands of …