Tumbleweed Unveils New Partner Program Incentives


Execs say that they wanted the new program model to be based in simplicity, rewarding channel partners throughout every part of the sales cycle, instead of just at its close, with financial incentives. "The design was to make it simple and reward the right behavior all the way through," said Dave Harris, vice president of worldwide channels at Tumbleweed.

Incentives for rewards are implemented in four distinct phases. The first step rewards partners with $50 for each new registered lead, regardless of how many new leads that partners acquire. Tumbleweed's sales team then helps progress the leads to a qualified sales opportunity.

Once the lead becomes a prospect, partners then register the deal with TAP to receive an additional 10 percent order discount. "If it goes from a lead to an opportunity, they don't have to touch it," said Harris. "It automatically becomes registered."

Partners have the ability to earn an additional $500 if the deal closes within 90 days of TAP registration. If a registered opportunity is lost to another Tumbleweed partner, those partners who did not close the deal will get a rebate of 10 percent of the purchase order value. "If someone were to step in and take the deal away, we still want to reward the organization that helped make the sale," said Harris.

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TAP will also provide an additional $500 if partners bring Tumbleweed a committed customer reference for public relations materials and activities.

Harris said that Tumbleweed's package also allows partners to access to free in-house technical support with a fast track phone number for direct connection with the support team.

The channel announcements come as part of a concerted effort over the past year to implement new channel strategies and invigorate partner sales. In addition, Harris said that over the last five months, Tumbleweed has also looked to do highly targeted recruiting for partners with specific technical expertise.

Execs say that many of the recent channel changes, including the addition of the Lead to Deal Lifecycle program, come on the heels of extensive feedback from partners. And so far, partners say that they have seen some benefits from their input.

Gordon Shevlin, executive vice president of Fishnet Security, said that the recent changes in the channel, including the new program features and the implementation of a partner advisory council, have led to better communication and competitive margins.

"It makes it nice from a management standpoint. You don't have conflict in the field," said Shevlin.

Shevlin said that as a result, he has seen his business increase over the course of the past year as Tumbleweed put concerted effort into its channel strategies and grown its midtier segment.

"One of the things that we're seeing is a huge uptick in business on the dollar side. And communications are easy to deal with on the partner side," he said. "We've done quite a bit of business with them in a short period of time. We're going to put some efforts in them."

"They're listening and that always makes it nice," he said.