Zebra’s Bill Cate on Working With Influence Partners

Bill Cate, vice president of marketing and channels at Zebra Technologies, joins Channelnomics’ Changing Channels host Larry Walsh to discuss the role of non-transacting partners in go-to-market strategy.

Partners come in various models and sizes. The common trait is that they sell and support technology products produced by vendors. At least that’s what conventional channel wisdom says. But the channel is replete with non-transacting partners – companies and professionals that influence end customer product consideration and purchasing decisions. Non-transacting partners range from IT resellers that see a sales opportunity but don’t have a relationship with the vendor to technology enthusiasts that recommend products to colleagues. Influencers and their cousins, referrers, are an increasingly important part of the go-to-market equation, as they help guide the customer through their purchasing journeys long before they engage a vendor or reseller. A company that’s plying the emerging influencer channel is Zebra Technologies, which is supporting and enabling non-transactional partners such as independent hardware vendors, consultants, technology partners, and systems integrators through its Alliance Partners track. Zebra recognized that gaining benefit from influencers requires an up-front investment – a risky proposition for a vendor that’s used to offering back-end incentives to motivate partners. In this episode of Changing Channels, Bill Cate, Zebra’s vice president of marketing and channels, talks about the role of customers in bringing influencers to the forefront, using alliance relationships to form and achieve common goals, and how to gauge the results of an influencer strategy.

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