Resellers come in all shapes and sizes – and their program benefits should, too

Feb 2, 2021

Eaton® recognizes that when it comes to appealing to resellers through partner program benefits, there’s different strokes for different folks. While most everyone welcomes an attractive price point, we understand that resellers’ individual needs can vary dramatically depending on company size, setup and the vertical being sold into, among other factors. We want you to know that we have heard your concerns and are currently considering ways to better align the PowerAdvantage® program to meet the unique needs of distinct resellers, while continuing to take the pulse of the industry and best practices.

Our PowerAdvantage Partner Portal provides valuable benefits such as Deal Registration, MDF and a rewards component. It primarily appeals to larger reseller organizations who have the bandwidth and buying power to get the most out of these advantages.

PowerAdvantage: evolving with partners’ needs

As a large vendor with a complex GTM, Eaton engages many types of partners to sell our broad product portfolio. Resellers are one component of this strategy and, like any large organization, we sometimes underestimate the differences in requirements and buying behaviors of this vast community. While we currently offer our partners a single program, PowerAdvantage, we are exploring ways to further segment our offering.

Although our partner program was designed with valuable benefits such as Deal Registration, MDF and a rewards component, it has typically appealed to larger reseller organizations who have the bandwidth and buying power to get the most out of these advantages. In contemplating possible changes, Eaton is considering the specific needs of smaller resellers, managed service providers and other types of partners.

One size may not fit all

For example, resellers who predominantly serve small and medium businesses may rarely detect an opportunity large enough to meet the bar set for Deal Registration. Meanwhile, managed service providers and other organizations focused on aspects beyond the buy/resell model may wonder what’s in it for them. Although these companies interact with end users every day, their goal is to maintain an installed base and generate revenue selling consultancy services, not to purchase new equipment. Still others may be strictly seeking the best price available. In cases where fulfillment is the only value-add, our program may be too generous and inadvertently foster price erosion.

Beyond program entitlements, Eaton is also considering aligning certain product features or product lines to specific end user needs. Rather than always presenting our broad portfolio of solutions, we are looking at whether we should better qualify customer needs and propose a solution that is especially relevant to them. For instance, enterprise customers are generally focused on total cost of ownership and desire features such as cybersecurity and remote management capabilities. Over the past few years, Eaton has invested significantly in these two areas – from our Gigabit network card that is UL-listed and IEC-certified for cybersecurity, to our acquisition of OPI to provide a complete data center and edge infrastructure management solution.

Targeted improvements

But smaller customers and more frugal vertical markets such as education and local government do not have the same needs; because of limited budgets, they tend to care more about a solution’s upfront cost. And because these applications typically lack IT personnel on staff, they are less interested in detailed remote management and instead often favor a simple cloud-based solution that could be remotely managed by their reseller – adding another source of recurring revenue to a partner’s business model. In these and other instances, developing specific product lines or realigning existing ones based on customer needs makes a lot of sense.

The bottom line is that Eaton is constantly striving to optimally meet our partners’ needs, and we recognize that these requirements and desires are not one-size-fits-all. Be on the lookout for changes soon, as our commitment to continuously improve our partner program – while helping remove complexity and cost – is at the core of everything we do.

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