Points mean prizes for ‘HP friendly’ partners

HP has whipped the covers off a channel promotion designed to encourage its Middle East channel partners to run ‘HP friendly’ sales initiatives. The new points-based HP Rewards programme was launched in the region at the beginning of July.

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By  Stuart Wilson Published  July 5, 2004

HP has whipped the covers off a channel promotion designed to encourage its Middle East channel partners to run ‘HP friendly’ sales initiatives and become more active. Some 40 prizes will be on offer including an international holiday. The new HP Rewards programme was launched in the region at the beginning of July with partners able to accrue points from the beginning of August. Run as a bi-annual promotion for all HP sales partners, members of sales teams will be awarded points or miles for initiatives that promote HP product. These points can then be converted into attractive incentives. Rania Hannoush, partner planning and reward manager at HP Middle East, explained: “In smaller countries, the total sales achieved may not match that of larger markets, but we recognise that the efforts made are the same, if not more intense. Usually, we simply divide the total sales achieved by the number of sales representatives in order to benchmark performance and to reward the team as a whole. We realise though that while each of our sales partners should be recognised, the ones that are the most diligent should also be rewarded.” “In the Rewards program, our sales partners are awarded incentives for the smallest initiatives they take, that make a difference to us — be it being proactive by attending trainings and events, for reading the newsletters and sharing success stories, or simply, for being active alongside us,” she added. While partner promotions are a great way to swell interest in a particular vendor’s products, it is important that they are simple for the channel to participate in and do not confuse resellers. At face value, this scheme looks strikingly simple to run but its success still depends on buy-in from regional partners. Such schemes are designed to promote channel loyalty and pull reseller and vendor into an ever-tighter relationship. Financing reward schemes means incurring a cost for the vendor involved. The decision-making process on whether to pump this money into the channel as a back-end prize or rebate or deliver it as a front-end margin boost often distinguishes one vendor’s channel strategy from another.

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