IBM intros lead-generation initiative

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"We're looking for ways for you to grow, so we can grow." So said Steve Mills, senior VP and group executive, software and systems, at IBM.

Mills was speaking at the recent IBM PartnerWorld Leadership Conference, in Las Vegas, on the importance of the channel to IBM.

As well as established initiatives such as software value incentives, enhanced business partner profitability and competitive incentives for hardware and software, Mills spoke about the recently launched incentives for lead passing. The initiative was introduced earlier this year.

"It's focused on leads that are being passed, leads that we want to get closed. We're very intensely working on our lead-generation processes, our lead-validation processes and obviously trying to drive an ever greater yield for our marketing dollars that we spend across IBM generating the leads we create around the world," he says.

He believes the lead-generation process will yield greater profit with the help of IBM's channel.

"We think we can do a better job working with you. Part of this exercise here is for you to engage with us on leads, on verification of leads, we want to improve our validation processes. We want to join in with you on lead validation; we want to join in with you to work on lead generation. And so this is, from my perspective, the first step forward for getting a tighter linkage on leads, lead passing and lead execution."

He said the company is spending hundreds of millions of dollars within IBM to generate leads, as well as on co-marketing. "We want to continue to improve our joint processes," he said.

At the event, IBM launched an analytics initiative to its channel. IBM is offering business partners one year's free access to cloud-based IBM Digital Analytics technology. This will allow businesses to use big data to identify patterns in customer behaviour to improve marketing and personalise communications based on individual customer needs.

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