Keeping in touch with a partner network of more than 110,000 resellers was the goal of Samsung Electronics America's Digital Information Technology Division as it launched its partner relationship management initiative.
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Keeping in touch with a partner network of more than 110,000 resellers can be daunting. That was the situation facing Samsung Electronics America's Digital Information Technology Division (DITD) before launching its partner relationship management (PRM) initiative.
Samsung DITD wanted to more closely manage its relationships with resellers and distributors, so in 2000 decided a partner portal was the best way to do so, says Helman Lukito, marketing manager of Samsung Electronics America DITD.
"PRM as a concept was just coming up at the time, and we thought the technology offered by Allegis (now part of Click Commerce) was the best," Lukito says. "The management really believed in our vision for a PRM strategy and helped us follow through. Just knowing who your partners are is half the battle, and the Click Commerce portal allows us to not only identify our partners, but also to create a more personalized relationship with each of them."
Since its launch the portal has enabled the Samsung DITD to efficiently reorganize its sales team, create incentive programs for partners that yield the best sales and profitability, and develop elite marketing programs. Today, the Click Commerce--based portal provides catalog information and tools regarding promotions, campaigns, and special pricing to more than 13,000 indirect resellers, distributors, and field sales representatives.
"During the economic downturn when everyone was turning to direct sales, we stuck with our partner model. By using Click Commerce's portal technology, we are able to provide our partners with the information, tools, and resources that they need to sell our products effectively," Lukito says. He adds that the portal has also been invaluable in allowing Samsung DITD to better identify and segment its reseller base.
"All resellers are unique, but we are able to find subsets and send targeted marketing messages to the right resellers at the right time," Lukito says.
Overall, Samsung DITD has seen a 30 percent uptick in commercial sales. In addition, marketing spending has dropped 25 percent. "Since the portal allows us to better segment our resellers and deal with them directly, we were able to scale back on some of the advertising we were running, which can get very expensive," Lukito says.
One unexpected benefit of the portal is that resellers can access the portal at any time, Lukito says. "We have noticed that portal traffic is surprisingly high on Sundays and in the evening," he says. "This means that our resellers can better budget their time, using traditional business hours to sell their products, rather then spending time dealing with us."
Samsung DITD's partner portal has produced
a 30 percent annual growth rate in commercial sales;
a marketing spending decrease of 25 percent;
improvement in overall partner satisfaction.