Veeam Software, headquartered in Baar, Switzerland, is a backup, recovery, and data management solutions company that serves organizations of all sizes, from small and medium-sized (SMB) businesses to enterprises. The privately held, global company has more than 4,000 employees and more than $1 billion (USD) in annual revenue.
Veeam was struggling with limited partner engagement, low adoption of channel marketing programs and tools, and low lead generation from many of its partners.
The company prioritized improving partners’ experience and effectiveness. Initiatives included developing new content formats to enhance partner’s digital marketing efforts and launching an in-house channel marketing concierge service team.
Veeam achieved channel growth in the SMB market and increased through-channel revenue. It has also improved its partners’ experience and boosted adoption of channel demand programs.
Veeam provides a single platform for cloud, virtual, physical, software-as-a-service, and Kubernetes environments. The company has a robust demand generation team that is charged with helping its partners go to market and drive demand for Veeam offerings. This is achieved through the creation of through-partner campaigns, channel marketing automation platforms, and continued channel demand program development.
Ensuring Partner Engagement
At Veeam, all products and solutions are sold through the channel. As a fully indirect business, ensuring partner engagement is critical to Veeam’s success. Approximately 70% of Veeam transacting partners are classified as low touch, which means they receive limited support for conducting Veeam marketing (e.g., Veeam marketing personnel support, market development funds, and custom content). However, in many regions, these unmanaged partners collectively drive a significant portion of Veeam’s SMB business.
Veeam was struggling with limited partner engagement, low adoption of channel marketing programs and tools, and low lead generation from low-touch partners across all of its regions. The goal was to have all partners, especially the large percentage that are low-touch, be supported via programs, processes, and systems to allow for the scalability required in the channel. Partner engagement and adoption are critical across the entire spectrum of partners for channel marketing success. Some of the problems that Veeam was working to solve included:
- Insufficient low-touch partner-led demand and lead generation. Due to disparate systems, data could not be tracked back to opportunities.
- Low-touch partners had little to no engagement with marketing tools.
- Declining usage of some key partner marketing tools. For example, partners sent nearly 250,000 fewer emails in 2019 compared to 2018. This was a notable decrease year over year and a significant reduction in partner-led marketing activity
The challenges Veeam faced were further complicated by the channel marketing team’s limited budget and resource constraints. Veeam wanted to drive its less engaged channel partners to increase transactions and maintain growth in the SMB market, which would allow the company to shift some direct end-user marketing efforts to focus on enterprise and upper-commercial market segments.
Four Areas Of Improvement
Veeam completely restructured and revitalized its through channel demand strategy and supporting programs, updated the Veeam Marketing Center, and launched the in-house Veeam Marketing Concierge Program. These newly launched initiatives addressed four key areas for improvement:
- The company invested in channel demand program and internal efficiency improvements. Rather than trying to make a through-channel marketing automation platform and tools work for all partner levels and types, Veeam focused on a key segment of the low-touch partners that could benefit the most. In doing this, Veeam was able to completely restructure and revitalize its channel demand programs without increasing the budget.
- The company prioritized partner-facing initiatives. Veeam developed new and engaging content formats to enhance partner’s digital marketing efforts (i.e., video syndication, activity trackers). This included cross-promotion of campaigns via partner product and use case enablement. This ensured that partners had the content and resources to enable them on their digital marketing transformation journey.
- The company delivered a unified partner experience. With the relaunch of the partner’s Veeam Marketing Center user experience, Veeam established a partner experience with improved ease of use and customization according to partner type. The company also enabled partners to access the Veeam Marketing Center via single sign-on through the partner portal.
- The company launched its own in-house channel marketing concierge service team. The Veeam Marketing Concierge Program, which included four marketing concierge team members that support seven languages, was created and dedicated to helping Veeam partners of all types and levels in their demand efforts.
Measuring The Results
The new Veeam Marketing Center and Veeam Marketing Concierge Service allowed the company to achieve channel growth in the SMB market and increase through-channel revenue. It ensured success across the channel marketing priorities of channel demand, partner enablement, and partner engagement and resulted in significant growth for Veeam’s low-touch channel partners. Not only have the early results been impressive, but also, for the first time, Veeam can track and measure the results of its through-partner marketing investments.
The following year-over-year results showcase the impact the program has achieved in its first year that are reflective of the overall channel demand program:
- 294% increase in the number of leads generated by partners in the Veeam Marketing Center
- 300% increase in the number of partner companies generating leads
- 101% growth in active partners
- 134% growth in total marketing activities executed by partners
- 1,385 partners and 3,906 cases supported by the new concierge service
- 60% of active partners used the concierge service
How Forrester Helped
Veeam partnered with Forrester to achieve these gains with minor shifts in the channel marketing budget and a relatively small team of four channel marketing concierge service providers and two channel marketing program team members. These achievements have proven that it doesn’t take massive teams and budgets to achieve channel marketing excellence.
Disclaimer: The above is an excerpt of a published Forrester case study. Forrester does not endorse Veeam or its offerings.