Software house SAP has launched a new lead referral programme designed to drum up more business in the SME market.
The programme will allow current partners and non-partners alike to offer SAP
opportunities to sell into the SME market. If the deal is then closed, the
company which made the referral will receive five per cent of the deal's net
Pat Hume, senior vice president for SAP's global channel said: "The programme was designed with a couple of things in mind. We need to build broader awareness about SAP and incentivising partners gives us an opportunity to build awareness that can translate to demand and opportunity."
"The programme also means there is potential for new partners to join the SAP programme. We can expand the ecosystem and this whole thing will benefit everybody that touches the process."
Hume indicated that the scheme had been piloted last year and SAP had taken feedback from existing partners. "SMEs typically buy from trusted, local advisors. They buy from people that they have done business with for many years. So the programme is really suitable to the SME market," said Hume.
She also claimed that SAP hoped to work with 2000 companies in the first year of the programme. "We think that is a good, aggressive number," she said. "In the early days we are going to see more SAP partners in the programme, but, over time, I think we will start to see an influx of non-partners. Time will tell what the mixture will look like."
Hume revealed that there is a cap of $50,000 on the reward for successful referrals. "Let me be candid: wouldn't we all like to have millions of dollars? But our partners appreciate the reasons for the cap," she said. Hume also claimed SAP took care to minimise any potential conflict between its channel partners and its direct sales arm.
She said: "One of the things that I found at SAP is we work very hard on the rules of engagement. We intend to avoid channel conflict. It happens once in a while, but I really applaud SAP for its commitment to really driving the appropriate behaviour in the channel."
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