Compared to traditional channel model, a referral system provides greater flexibility to partners and offers protection to customers
The developers of the SmartHR human resources management system recently announced the launch of the SmartHR Referral Partner Programme.
Brendon Gass, SmartHR CEO, says the company chose a referral system over the traditional channel model because it provides greater flexibility to partners and offers protection to their customers.
“We found that the classic channel approach enforces a sales-first attitude,” reports Gass. “That means partners are under constant pressure to promote a given product or brand to meet their sales targets or maintain their ranking. So customers are often presented with a product that satisfies the vendor’s obligations rather than a fitting solution to their problem. That’s not what we want for our clients.”
Innovative and flexible solutions
According to Gass, a referral programme is much better suited to the company’s strategy. “SmartHR is an incredibly flexible, modular system. We want to win market share by providing innovative solutions to Digital Age people management problems. It’s important to us that our partners think the same way.”
Gass says that the SmartHR Referral Partner Programme eliminates the pressure on partners to sell in volume. “There are no restrictions against using other products or brands in conjunction with SmartHR. There are also no sales targets or status maintenance requirements. If a partner introduces SmartHR as part of their solution, they’ll be rewarded against the programme’s payment scale.”
Vendors are also spared the cost of purchasing and distribution found in many reseller programmes. The company believes the programme will foster its solutions-first philosophy among partners and hopes to unlock the level of innovation required to help its customers realise their goals.
In a real-world case, a talent management consultant uses the SmartHR Talent Management module to provide succession planning by analysing leadership potential in a company consisting of over 250 payrolls. “This is a prime example of SmartHR’s flexibility,” says Gass. “Even though the company already has an HR system in place, SmartHR was used to provide an ingenious business-critical solution. That’s the innovative freedom we want for our partners. A typical channel programme might restrict this type of thinking in favour of selling licenses for something the client may not even need.”
Support tools in place
According to Gass, partners in the referral programme will receive close support from the SmartHR team to assist them in understanding the range of the product’s capabilities. Further, they’ll discover how it can be used as a modular system or an integrated component in people-centric solutions.
Support includes marketing materials, online training and telephonic assistance. Partners can also expect a collaborative experience. The SmartHR team will work hand-in-hand with them to present and communicate the system’s advantages and benefits, and offers seamless technical support to them or their clients.
Because SmartHR’s IP is owned by its developers, the company is able to provide highly customised solutions. “We have the source code and the development skills,” says Gass. “So we’re able to work closely with partners to make sure their proposed solution is always viable, no matter how unique.”
The SmartHR team invites interested parties to find out more about the SmartHR Referral Partner Programme by visiting www.smarthr.co.za.