HDS Offers New Spiffs And Other Rewards, Revamps Lead-Gen Program

Solution providers at the company's channel partner summit, held in Napa, Calif., this week, clapped loudly when Charlie Wallace, director of global channel marketing, told them that HDS will offer spiffs ranging from $500 per 9530 array sold to $2,500 per 9580 array sold from Nov. 17 to March 31.

The 9500 V family of arrays is HDS' modular storage family.

In a unique clause to the promotion, HDS will also award an additional 10 percent of the spiff as a bonus to the solution providers' systems engineer who works with his or her sales colleague on making the deal, said Wallace.

Furthermore, if the deal results in the replacement of certain EMC or MTI arrays, HDS will award the sales rep and the systems engineer an additional 30 percent of the spiff, he said.

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Hope Hayes, president of Alliance Technology Group, a Hanover, Md.-based solution provider, said the new spiffs seemed to be a great program. "It's great our [systems engineers] can also get a spiff," she said. "[They] never get bonuses. This rewards them for their extra work."

The full spiff is paid if the solution provider handles the quote and configuration, while only half is paid if the partner brings HDS in to handle these tasks, Wallace said. "We're trying to modify their behavior so they can do the configurations on their own," he said.

HDS is also trying to modify their behavior to start using the company's online configurator, which became available Aug. 1, said Wallace.

Under the new "Sweeten the Deal" program, the first time a solution provider's sales rep uses the online system to develop a quote, a box of chocolates is awarded. Thereafter, a $25 gift check is given every time the system is used by that rep. The sales rep who uses the online configurator most often by March gets a $500 gift certificate from Best Buy, Wallace said.

The online configurator is also being prepared to be offered as an offline tool for sales reps who may not have access to the Web, said Wallace.

Hayes said the configurator allows solution providers to sit and configure HDS products anytime and anywhere. "Sometimes I have an idea of what I want to price for the customer," she said. "Then I price it out, and think, 'Oh my God, what am I doing?' Now I can play with different options."

HDS also reactivated its lead-generation program this month, said Wallace.

The company had a lead-generation program based on responses from direct mailings and advertisements in the past. "But it didn't have a way to qualify the leads," he said. "We will shortly sign on a third-party company to do the initial qualification of the leads and will only pass them to the partners if there's a good chance it can lead to an appointment within 30 days."

HDS is also now modifying its marketing deliverables to make them more suitable for channel providers, Wallace said. For instance, instead of sending out 30-page white papers no sales reps have time to read, HDS is starting to send out what he called "one-page wonders" with the latest marketing information from the company. HDS is also publishing a series of marketing guides, including one for business continuity and one for its 9500 V array family. Furthermore, all marketing information and templates for developing advertisements and marketing materials are being provided to solution providers on a CD-ROM that is updated quarterly, he said.