Big Blue is putting pressure on its channel as it prepares to clamp down on resellers that do not make what it considers satisfactory use of leads generated by the vendor.
Jean-Claude Malraison, general manager of distribution channels for IBM EMEA, attacked resellers that he claimed sold products of rival vendors directly as a result of using leads given to them by IBM.
He also warned that the issue of resellers selling other brands in general needed to be reassessed by IBM. However, it remains unclear what specification the manufacturer might take on any such resellers.
'If leads are taken, you will have to be accountable to us for them.
Business partners that do not follow up on leads will no longer get them,' Malraison said.
He added that IBM would electronically track leads it passes on to the channel and demand feedback from each reseller for a progress report.
However, IBM later conceded that some of the leads it supplied to resellers were not always high-quality ones.
The company has just piloted PartnerLeads, an electronic-based leads generation initiative that is capable of monitoring the progress of leads taken up by resellers.
The manufacturer said it was part of a larger programme which will seek to generate higher quality leads and process them in a more efficient manner.
According to Bill Etherington, general manager of IBM EMEA, processing of the leads was still paper-based.
IBM also intends to sell its machines on the internet in the UK, but insists the Web will be a leads generator only, and that sales will continue to be fulfilled via the channel.
The manufacturer began selling over the internet in the US three years ago.
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