At Zabbix, our emphasis on high performance, functionality, and reliability has led to the creation of one of the most popular monitoring solutions on the market. It’s so popular, in fact, that we get near-constant requests for Zabbix professional consulting, advice, support, and training from almost every corner of the world.
That’s why we created the Zabbix Partner Program. Our partner program was designed with one goal in mind – to get our services to the widest possible audience of qualified buyers by allowing customers to purchase them through a network of verified Zabbix partners as well as from Zabbix directly.
Our partners create high value for thousands of customers who would not otherwise enjoy access to Zabbix services by providing complete localization in terms of linguistic and cultural compatibility, availability across time zones, in-person access, and flexibility around currencies and payments.
To do that as effectively as possible, we’ve divided our partners into 3 categories:
Resellers. These are companies that promote and resell Zabbix services. Their job is to locate leads, present and promote Zabbix products and services, consult the leads regarding their ideal solutions, and arrange the contracts. At that point, Zabbix steps in and provides the services. Resellers are a great resource for customers who are limited by local regulations when it comes to buying Zabbix services in their local currency or from companies registered in their own country.
Certified Partners. Certified partners can also promote and resell Zabbix services, but they’re also officially authorized to deliver selected Zabbix services and solutions in their local languages. The ease of access and a common language allows certified partners to stay in close contact with customers. They can also sell their own value-adding services alongside Zabbix services.
Premium Partners. A premium partner has the same authorization as certified partners, but premium partner status is reserved for partners with the highest expertise and experience. Premium partners can participate in highly sophisticated Zabbix implementation, integration, and support projects.
Building a winning partner program has taught us a few things about the process, so without further ado, we’d like to share 6 best practices that we adhere to when it comes to cultivating and expanding our network of partners.
Table of Contents
Set realistic goals
Years of running a partner program have taught us that success is impossible without clearly defined goals and success metrics. Setting firm, realistic goals for a program is the only way to measure its effectiveness and ROI. After a few quarters, it should be possible to compare performance to goals and see whether changes need to be made.
Accordingly, we make sure that Zabbix executives, sales teams, and partners are aware that getting a new program up and running (or making changes to an existing program) takes time. Expecting instant results is not realistic – we’ve learned that a ramp-up period of a few months is usually reasonable.
Make expectations clear
Nothing kills momentum faster than confusion. That’s why it’s important to make sure that partners have a solid understanding of everything that’s being asked of them. We’ve learned to give partners concise goals and objectives so that everyone is on the same page. We also create annual business plans for all three partnership programs, review them quarterly, and reward success.
Having the same KPIs as partners is also important. When different metrics for success exist, we run the risk of our partners being less enthusiastic about taking actions that will increase the success of Zabbix but may do less for them. In our experience, it’s better to build partnerships around a joint success target so that when partners win, we win.
Support your partners
At Zabbix, supporting our partners means providing outstanding sales, marketing, and technical support, all of which shows that we’re invested in their success as much as our own. Our partnership team helps partners with all presales-related questions, organizes demo calls, manages the deal registration to protect partner deals, patriciates in joint calls with customers, and helps with all possible legal questions and certifications.
Apart from day-to-day pre-sales support, we organize and participate in joint Zabbix marketing events of different formats together with our partners. These meetups, meetings, conferences, and external events organized by other vendors around the globe are designed to spread the word about Zabbix solutions and services while helping our partners generate new leads. During these events, our partners demonstrate their recent use-cases and serve as experts for the rest of the partner network and the wider Zabbix community.
Trust is the foundation of all partnerships, and we find that our partners trust us because we deliver the support and tools they need to be successful. It’s why we work hard to keep our partners updated with product developments and industry trends, and we continuously educate them on how to sell and overcome roadblocks.
We even allow some of our partners to conduct official Zabbix trainings, provided they have a certified trainer available. When an existing partner wants to become a training partner, we discuss their needs and plan their training certification together.
Measure and monitor
Whether launching a new program or scaling up an existing one, measuring the right key performance indicators (KPIs) can mean the difference between growth and chaos. If a business doesn’t know what to measure and optimize for their partner program, they won’t know what to improve if growth stalls out, and you’ll struggle to explain how partnerships contribute value.
It’s impossible to get far on the road to success without measuring progress along the way. That’s why we review goals and metrics with our partners every quarter, assess what’s working well and what’s missing the mark, and adapt and adjust if needed. We’ve learned not to change things up too often, but we’re always open to making tweaks that will amplify success.
One of the most important ingredients of any successful partner program is communication. It’s essential to keep partners informed about new products, promotions, and other important updates. That involves knowing the audience and understanding what each partner type and their respective employees are interested in and when.
A cornerstone of the Zabbix Partner Program is our ability to actively listen to our partners’ feedback. Our experience is that getting ahead of issues and concerns strengthens relationships, maintains trust, and guarantees that our partners feel supported and valued.
Becoming a Zabbix Partner is an ideal way to get recognized by potential customers and increase the visibility of your business, while also getting a leg up on your competitors by using technical support according to a professional service-level agreement.
In addition, you can count on discounts on all Zabbix services, the ability to access pre-sale consulting services, and participation in joint marketing events.
To find out more about our partner program and sign up, visit the Zabbix Partners page.