We all want more business opportunities. That's why IBM is committed to helping business partners build a healthy pipeline of new opportunities, both through marketing-assisted demand generation (joint marketing, co-marketing) and through passed opportunities from IBM.
In fact, IBM Software has committed to pass the majority of midmarket and small deal-size leads to IBM Business Partners. So, how do you qualify to receive these passed opportunities? The first step is to get enabled on Global Partner Portal (GPP)
to receive leads. GPP offers language-specific and role-based training
to help you quickly become familiar with the tasks you need to perform in your role.
Once you are enabled on GPP, you should also familiarize yourself with the factors that influence your likelihood of receiving passed opportunities. IBM Software's lead passing process is influenced by a number of factors, including:
- Business Partner Pipeline Metrics (Win Revenue, Win Percentage, Cycle Time as reported by Global Partner Portal)
- Geographic Location
- Fulfillment Revenue (Brand Revenue, Year-to-Year Brand Revenue Growth, SVI Revenue, VAP Revenue)
- Skills and Certifications
- Other factors such as PartnerWorld membership level, Software Value Plus Industry and Capability Authorizations, and IBM Global Finance status
When you consider these factors, it's fairly easy to see how some IBM Business Partners may actually be hindering their chances of receiving passed opportunities, simply by not reporting status changes on any of the above -- for example, new office locations or earned certifications. In addition, by not taking advantage of assistance in closing any current passed opportunities, business partners may be limiting the number of new opportunities they receive in the future. The good news is, it's fairly easy to avoid these types of roadblocks. Here are my three tips on how to increase your chances of receiving passed opportunities from IBM:
- Keep Your PartnerWorld Profile Updated. Your profile is determined by a tool called the Partner Profiling System (PPS). It is your responsibility as an IBM Business Partner to make sure that your profile is maintained with the most current information. In particular, you'll want to periodically check that all of your branch office locations and contact names are current; that way you'll be qualified to receive passed leads in all of the geographies in which you operate. In addition, when you earn new certifications, you'll want to make sure that you enter those, too, in order to qualify for leads that correspond to those certifications. For more information on how to use PPS, see the IBM Software Quick Start video on Updating Your PartnerWorld Profile.
- Log and Progress All Opportunities in the Global Partner Portal. Business Partners who demonstrate that they work hard to progress and close passed leads are more likely to receive additional passed leads in the future. Sounds logical, right? So how then, does IBM know when you've closed on a lead? We use GPP to determine which partners are actively working to manage passed opportunities from IBM. Therefore, it's imperative that you log your current opportunities and progress them in GPP in order to improve your likelihood to qualify for future passed leads. You'll also want to make sure that your Business Partner Opportunity Focal is kept current so that passed leads are routed to the right contact.
- Team with Your VAD. IBM recently announced that all passed small deals leads (leads valued at less than 50 or 100K, depending on your geography) for Software Value Plus-authorized products will now be shared with the authorized Value Added Distributor. These VADs can provide assistance in progressing and closing opportunities, offering services such as account strategy, product enablement, deal clinics, technical support, etc., as required. If an Inside Sales Representative (iSR) is also involved, that iSR will team with the VAD to provide assistance to you. Contact your VAD to confirm the specifics how they plan to work with you to progress and close deals. Increasing your win revenue percentage will help you qualify for more leads in the future.