How Tech Data Built a Best-in-Class Recurring Service Revenue Practice for Its Channel Partners

Dana ReinaBy Dana Reina

As one of the world’s largest distributors of IT products and services, Tech Data drove a 32 percent increase in service renewal conversions since launching its recurring service revenue practice just by taking a closer look at its data. Sales gains were only the beginning as Tech Data’s dedicated Cisco team put a powerful new initiative in place to help reseller partners grow revenue and profits, while building stronger relationships with their customers.

In 2013, Tech Data started the process of rebuilding our service revenue practice by alleviating the data issues that we faced across our North American service renewal program. Throughout the process, Tech Data worked closely with MaintenanceNet, a service revenue generation company, to evaluate and cleanse relevant data from a variety of existing sources, such as our SAP system and CRM platform. With a focus on providing quality data, we ensured that the service renewal quotes produced under the new initiative were not only accurate, but also effectively shared with the right channel partners at the right time in the product or service life cycle to maximize business results.

MaintenanceNet helped Tech Data set the stage, enabling us to scale at an incredible rate by giving us the ability to generate automated quotes and send out branded, automated emails with built-in quotes that allow purchases to be made in an instant with just a few simple clicks. There is a button embedded within the email that prompts the partner to purchase a renewal online — without picking up the phone. Using automation, we transformed tedious, manual processes and we were able to generate thousands of service quotes each month for our partners in record time.

Power of the Portal

As part of the initiative, Tech Data introduced the SMARTattach Opportunity Portal, powered by MaintenanceNet, in April 2014. Designed to help reseller partners maximize recurring revenue and new attachment opportunities on service contract renewals of Cisco products, the SMARTattach Opportunity Portal allows Tech Data to now offer service quotes to customers proactively and in a much more “actionable” format. Resellers can also access their information via Tech Data’s website to view an inventory of contracts, review service quotes, email their end users and manage their service renewal pipeline. With added efficiency and automation, this process makes business generation simple for our reseller partners.

The SMARTattach Opportunity portal gives resellers visibility into their service contract purchases and aligns relevant data with the products and customers they support. In addition, the portal enables our reseller partners to use customer-specific pricing and branding, while giving them the ability to send service quotes directly to their customers. Additionally, the portal provides self-help tools and allows resellers to create quotes on demand.

Everyone Wins

Our partners have benefited in a big way from this new initiative, but what they seem to appreciate most is the way we’ve been able to deliver on-time service quoting and renewals, reduced quote creation time, and the elimination of sales administration tasks and manual quote processes. All of this has improved the overall operational efficiencies across our partner sales organizations immensely. We can now enable our resellers to deliver quotes quickly, while building and preserving customer relationships. With the SMARTattach Opportunity Portal, resellers can also gain insight into new service sales opportunities by identifying products sold without services (unattached assets), and then take immediate action by generating a quote.

With more than 7,000 quotes delivered per month, we’re estimating that Tech Data has saved itself over 500 hours through automation and has saved its partners over 1,500 hours. That’s a huge time savings and proof positive that our service revenue efforts are paying off in more ways than one.

Dana Reina, Cisco Services Marketing Manager for Tech Data, leads a team of 16 Cisco Services Specialists. She is responsible for more than $200 million in Cisco Service sales annually for the U.S. Her team drives Cisco Services sales growth and profitability, partner enablement, business development and operational efficiency. Reina has been with Tech Data for more than 20 years, including 15 years in sales and marketing management.

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