Lexmark Strengthens Partner Support

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Lexmark is to capitalise on the success of its mid-market channel initiative with the strengthening of its 100% Partner Programme. The 100% Partner Programme was launched in September 2002 to help resellers meet the printing needs of businesses. It has been a success with resellers and helped increase Lexmarks share of the lucrative SMB market.

As part of the development of the partner programme Lexmark is offering resellers an end user promotion for their clients. The promotion means that end user customers of the reseller will receive 50% cash back on the X7170. This is equivalent to buying an X7170 at approx 63.80 ex VAT.

This promotion gives customers a good reason to try the X7170 business all in one inkjet while at the same time helping to drive business to resellers. Lexmark has created web banners with links to the registration site for resellers to use, so that they can advertise on their own web sites. This is an example of the tools that Lexmark offers its resellers to assist them in driving, and developing Lexmark business.

The 100% Partner Programme concentrates exclusively on Lexmarks 360 top resellers. There are a number of new and enhanced benefits and margin increasing opportunities that have been put in place to allow resellers to provide even more valueadd to their customers.

The 360 handpicked resellers are separated into two groups. The first 300 are entitled Business Partners and have a dedicated account manager, access to promotions and deal support. The remaining 60 are classed as System Partners and get the same benefits as Business Partners, with the addition of quarterly targeted rebates, exclusive promotions and training.

One of the key areas of change is the increased role of the telesales department in supporting resellers. The Lexmark telesales operation has been increased by 30 percent and is being used as an important first point of personal contact to develop relationships with the reseller and in turn increase sales.

A summary of benefits for Partner Programme resellers include:

Printer Configurator, a training facility enabling resellers to familiarise themselves with the various printer products and their options with usage hints and tips to help resellers add value to their sale
A wide range of SMB targeted products including inkjet products with a three year on-site exchange guarantee, offering business owners further peace of mind
Resellers will also be able to book Lexmarks conference facilities and solutions demonstration rooms in the Manchester, Edinburgh and Marlow offices
A dedicated partner extranet and telephone support line
A members-only web site giving access to updates and exclusive offers
Rebates of up to 5%
Dedicated account managers
Access to web tools such as Print Advisor, which enables resellers to tailor their offerings to meet the specific needs of customers
Regular aggressive promotions providing discounts to resellers for internal use, exhibitions, as well as for their customers

The restructure was created in response to a detailed analysis of the needs of resellers, which indicated that they wanted better margins and ways to differentiate themselves from competitors.

As a result Lexmark has already provided incentives offering Siemens SK65 mobile blackberry enabled phones and iPods, providing resellers to with the opportunity extra incentives to their customers.

"As a Systems Partner Lexmark provide us with a comprehensive support structure, which allows us to move more quickly in order to fulfil our customers printing wants and needs." Mark Bayliss, Integrex.

Giovanni Giusti, UK General Manager, Lexmark International comments: The new improved partner programme offering is giving resellers more of what they want more promotions, more profits and more customer retention. We have worked really hard to listen to what resellers needed from a partner programme and have tailored it as a result. As part of this, the increased telesales operation is key our relationship with them. It cements personal contact and drives sales.

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