Sony Vaio is stepping up its corporate channel onslaught by adding a range of finance, lead-generation and training tools for resellers.
The consumer notebook specialist issued a challenge to established corporate brands such as HP, Dell and Lenovo last summer as it unveiled its first ever business partner programme.
Forty UK resellers have already become accredited, but David Spratt, SME channel sales manager at Sony UK, said the vendor aims to make further headway by drawing more heavily on Sony’s financial and marketing muscle.
Three new partner benefits will be introduced on 1 April to mark the start of Sony’s financial year.
To help free up end-user budgets, Business-accredited partners will
be granted access to leasing and financial packages from Sony’s professional finance arm, Sony Financial Services. This will include deferred payment and interest-free credit offers.
The vendor is also adding a lead-handling system to its Sony1 partner portal, after completing a pilot with resellers XMA and European Electronique at this year’s Bett Show.
“Sony spends a lot on direct marketing and events, but it does not always make the most of that investment,” said Spratt. “I want to ensure that any leads are allocated to resellers and that they determine the outcome of the opportunity.”
Finally, accredited resellers will be given access to a range of online training tools so they can educate themselves at their own pace.
Spratt stressed that Sony would exploit any potential uncertainty in rivals’ channels by maintaining its channel marketing spend.
“We have seen opportunities with resellers this quarter where competitors have cut their channel marketing budget,” he said.
Andrew Henderson, commercial director at Sony Business partner Lanway, said: “Sony has a world-class brand, but it might need to broaden its business range. HP might have 100 notebook SKUs for business and Sony might have only 10.”
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