Resellers and distributors in the channel want a better relationship with the vendors they are partnered with, new research from Kaspersky has revealed. An independent survey has highlighted that 65% of UK resellers and distributors wished their relationships with vendors was stronger, while 69% said they would like more personal contact with their dedicated account manager – demonstrating that the ‘human touch’ is somewhat missing in the channel.
The importance of strong relationships between vendors and the partners who sell their technology products cannot be understated – as new research from Kaspersky has shown that 77% of resellers and distributors agree having a personal relationship with vendors is important to them. However, more than seven-in-10 (71%) feel the onus is on them to establish such relationships, rather than on the vendors themselves.
The need for more of a ‘human touch’ is particularly key right now, given that the evolution of technology in the working environment has led to fewer phone calls, and a growing reliance on email communications, as well as other digital forms of communication. And, though the survey was undertaken before the coronavirus-related lockdown measures were enforced, the research results are now even more relevant. The need to foster better relationships is even more vital in the face of the global pandemic for companies, where business as usual means working from home and communicating digitally with a more human touch, more than ever before.
In light of the new-world norm, indications from the research show that change is needed within our industry to stay connected. Further findings from the survey indicate that 56% of resellers and distributors feel isolated if they hear nothing from their vendors, while 65% admit they are finding it increasingly difficult to build relationships with vendors.
Andy Bogdan, head of UK SMB channel at Kaspersky, said: “The survey results speak for themselves – the human touch within the channel has somewhat been lost, but it should not stay that way. In business, relationships are key. Building trust and having good, honest communication between all parties is imperative. Vendors must place a far greater emphasis on putting the customer first, and adopt a genuine, customer-centric approach.”
Nearly half (47%) of the resellers and distributors surveyed agreed that customer service is the most important consideration when deciding which vendor to work with. This includes the company demonstrating a strong understanding of the industry that resellers and distributors are operating in, an ease of doing business with them, excellent customer support, and the opportunity to establish strong relationships with the vendor’s key contacts.
Acquiring access to these contacts is particularly important to channel partners, with 72% of respondents saying that being able to reach the top executives and figureheads is important to them.
As well as better communication, improved customer service and lessened feelings of isolation, it is agreed that closer relationships between vendors and their partners will have a direct effect on sales too. Of those surveyed, 65% said they feel they could seal more business opportunities if they had closer relationships with vendors.
Bogdan added: “One thing is clear above all else – the channel lacks a human touch right now. Here at Kaspersky, we’re leading the way in channel relationships; we’re acutely aware of what industry wants, and we’re working hard to consistently improve our relationships with resellers/distributors. It’s not too late for other vendors to take action and ensure personal relationships don’t disappear from the channel altogether – and they must do so now. More direct contact is becoming especially important, given that after the pandemic, remote working could be here to stay for many businesses across the UK.”
To find out more about Kaspersky in the channel, and what it can provide for its partners, visit kaspersky.co.uk/partners.
Interviews were conducted in the UK with Arlington Research, using an online methodology amongst a sample of 150 UK resellers and distributors within the channel.
Kaspersky is a global cybersecurity company founded in 1997. Kaspersky’s deep threat intelligence and security expertise is constantly transforming into innovative security solutions and services to protect businesses, critical infrastructure, governments and consumers around the globe. The company’s comprehensive security portfolio includes leading endpoint protection and a number of specialised security solutions and services to fight sophisticated and evolving digital threats. It has also been named Canalys’ vendor ‘Champions’ of channel management in EMEA. Over 400 million users are protected by Kaspersky technologies and we help 270,000 corporate clients protect what matters most to them. Learn more at www.kaspersky.com.