Jabra Launches Headset-Centric Channel Program

The Jabra Partner Program, which centers around the headsets made by the Nashua, N.H.-based vendor, will focus on three key elements: proactive partnering, success planning and offering industry-enabled solutions, said Phyllis McCullagh, president of GN Netcom.

"We needed a stronger program with more value proposition," McCullagh said, adding that the goal is to give the three-tiered program more structure for its gold, silver and bronze partner-base. "We were kind of all over the board."

In its previous life, Jabra's partner program lacked lead generation and deal registration. To reverse that, the vendor has reorganized its field sales department and is putting a strong focus on training partners for the headset market and how to sell into it.

Currently, Jabra is undertaking a massive reseller recruitment effort, while also capitalizing on the unified communications boom and enabling partners to offer headsets that fit into that equation.

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Matt Baker, Jabra's vice president of marketing, said the program follows a typical structure with partners receiving discounts based on their tier level. Backend incentives are also available for partners that grow and add value and for those that become headset specialists.

"The headset market gives margin in addition to what they're already selling," Baker said. "Headsets are becoming less of an accessory and becoming an integral part of the overall solution."

McCullagh said GN Netcom and Jabra are launching the program, in part, to give solution providers an edge with Microsoft OCS and other unified communications implementations, where headsets can be a competitive add on and grow margin. Along with unified communications deployments, VoIP solution providers can up sell their clients with headsets to accompany desk phones, as well.

She added that the Jabra Partner Program is a fundamental change in the way GN Netcom engages its partners, revamping pricing and partner alignment and restructuring field sales to create a go-to-market strategy and framework to help Jabra partners succeed.

Through proactive partnering, GN Netcom hopes to support and facilitate partner success by pairing account managers with partners and their customers; providing pre- and post-sales technical support, delivering enhanced marketing and lead generation; and extending access to demo, training and sales programs.

The program also looks to create business opportunities for partners by offering joint sales planning, partner-designed sales and marketing roadmaps and shared commitments, risks and rewards as part of its success planning initiative.

Additionally, the program seeks to help partners offer industry-enabled solutions, meaning Jabra gear is developed and tested to ensure it integrates with leading industry platforms to create more partner opportunities by working with solutions from Polycom, Cisco Systems, Avaya and Microsoft. That includes pre-qualified, pre-tested solutions that are vertically engineered to provide business process improvements and turn-key, repeatable solutions that are profit-ready.