System Integrator Sales: How to Partner with an SI to Grow Your Business

Business growth is essential to make sure that even the smallest business can deliver a consistently superlative customer experience, and partnering with a system integrator is one of the most effective ways to accomplish that goal. To understand why, we must first identify exactly what a system integrator is, and why SIs are so valuable.   […]

Business growth is essential to make sure that even the smallest business can deliver a consistently superlative customer experience, and partnering with a system integrator is one of the most effective ways to accomplish that goal. To understand why, we must first identify exactly what a system integrator is, and why SIs are so valuable.  

Definition of a System Integrator

A system integrator is a company that specializes in bringing together software and hardware components. In layman’s terms, systems integrators are companies who complete the hard work of fusing both the hardware (think all of the tech) and software (applications, programs, etc.), whether that means finding the best fit for small-scale IT systems, or weeding out the non-contenders from all hardware and software options. To effectively integrate hardware and software, systems integrators offer customized technology solutions and services, each of them tailored to the company in question. 

Systems integrators are key partners for software vendors, as they help deliver the best possible value to potential customers. A business model that brings systems integrators into the fold to offer better value to customers is one that may more effectively make use of partnership programs and experience an increased degree of growth. 

Importance of System Integrator Sales in Today’s Business Landscape

Importance of System Integrator Sales in Today's Business Landscape

The increasing complexity of both technology and business processes makes system integrator sales absolutely vital. Whether those services are offered as part of a partnership with a tech company, or are being enlisted by a tech company, making sure that all of your systems are properly integrated and functioning cohesively is essential to making sure that your business is operating at its best. Whether you are offering a specific application to potential customers or you are selling hardware, partnering with a system integrator will ensure that all products are delivered and integrated seamlessly, bolstering customer confidence. 

The competitive advantage of having an integrated system cannot be underestimated. When all systems are working together as a unit–and doing so effectively–workflow can go uninterrupted longer, original programming can flow seamlessly, and business plans can be carried out flawlessly. Companies who do not integrate systems will not be nearly as efficient or consistent as those who have devoted time and attention to making sure all of their hardware and software components are working in tandem. 

The Benefits of Partnering with a System Integrator for Software Vendors

Partnering with a system integrator is invaluable for software vendors, because it provides immense program benefits that other partnerships cannot. Rather than simply offering demo equipment to demonstrate the value of a particular offering, these types of partnerships can actually show exactly how software can integrate with a company’s existing systems to increase revenue, efficiency, and more. 

By partnering with systems integrators and developing an integrator program, both parties gain access to new markets and customers, while collaborating on product development and improvement. Fusing systems can be a real challenge, and by partnering with a system integrator, you can streamline your sales and marketing efforts, and provide a truly valuable partnership for prospective clients and customers. 

Key Services Offered by System Integrators

Key Services Offered by System Integrators

To make sure that the partner team is actually providing the best possible value to themselves and their customers, it is vital to understand the many different services offered by system integrators. As business partners and partner managers, they are able to offer all of the following: 

Integration of Software and Hardware Components

The most significant way that these possible agency partners can contribute to the lives of both the customer and the channel partner is through designing and implementing complex technology systems. As technology grows increasingly embedded in virtually all aspects of business, more complex systems are needed to make user interfaces user-friendly and functional. Systems integrators take up these tasks with aplomb. 

Systems integrators also ensure the compatibility and functionality of all integrated components. There are few experiences as frustrating as bringing a new piece of hardware, or a new program on board, only to discover that it does not work properly with existing products or systems. Systems integrators do the leg work to ensure that does not happen. 

SIs can also simplify technology management initiatives for customers. This is another incredibly valuable offering for customers, as it provides peace of mind that new systems or products will not be difficult to bring into the fold. 

Customization and Implementation of Software Applications

Customer testimonials often highlight how effectively SIs can adapt software products to meet specific customer needs. This is a key area of focus because SIs are able to develop customer features and capabilities that highlight the exact needs of a company or brand. They can also deploy and configure software within customer environments to ensure that they are meeting company needs.  

Security and Maintenance of Integrated Systems

Systems integrators can also implement or develop security measures for integrated systems to make sure that all company hardware and software is as secure as possible. This is accomplished partly through ensuring seamless integration, but is also achieved by employing the best practices currently on the market and providing ongoing system monitoring and maintenance. 

SIs may also ensure system compliance with the current industry standards and regulations, taking yet another complicated or overwhelming task off of the shoulders of a single company.  

The Value of System Integrators for Enterprise Customers

The value of system integrators for enterprise customers can also not be understated, as an SI can provide boundless expertise in solving complex technology challenges that can elude these customers. Systems integrators are essentially consultative services, which means they have access to a wide range of software and hardware solutions, and can cherry pick from different places and technologies to find the solutions that will be best for you and your business. A systems integrator can also provide streamlined technology management and support to answer to customers’ requests with greater acuity and speed. 

Identifying Potential System Integrator Partners

Identifying Potential System Integrator Partners

Enlisting a partner’s professional services is not always cut and dry. Instead, it often involves a great deal of research and investigation to find the partner that will best work with you and your company. There are several important factors to look into and ascertain prior to officially inviting a systems integrator to join your hardware or software product family. These include:

Evaluating the Expertise and Experience of System Integrators

Product alignment is important when developing partnerships, but equally as important is the company’s values and practices. Evaluate a potential partner’s expertise and experience by reviewing case studies relating to their interventions, as well as going over their project portfolios. From there, analyze any industry certifications or industry credentials they may have to their name. Finally, seek out customer testimonials and references; these can give you a clear idea of the product competencies and whether or not their services align with the type of product you are selling, and whether or not they will mesh well with your audience.

Assessing the Compatibility of System Integrator Offerings with Your Products

Not every network system integrator will mesh well with all products, so make sure you identify complementary software and hardware components that can be used as examples of systems integration. Additionally, both parties should make sure there is potential for joint innovation and product development; after all, these partnerships can be 1-year deals, 5-year deals, or even 10-year deals, and if both parties are not able to innovate, the partnership may feel stagnant and limiting. Compatibility also requires keeping an eye on market presence and customer base, because different marketing activities and marketing plans may or may not function well alongside your own.  

Certification and Partner Program Requirements

There are some prerequisites to partnership, some of which are required from various governing entities, and others that are put in place by companies. Before seeking out a partnership to target clients in tandem, evaluate the existing requirements for partnership. Make sure they align with your company’s specific goals and capabilities and that there are actual strong benefits of partnership, including a reasonably high ROI.  

Researching Potential Partners Through Industry Networks and Referrals

When researching, you do not have to start from scratch. Leveraging professional networks and industry associations can be a great way to find prospective partners, and can be a great way to get a feel for active clients and past campaigns. By seeking recommendations from existing partners and customers, you can more effectively identify categories of companies that are likely to fit your needs, your growth targets, and the goals you are working toward. Industry conferences and events can also be a great way to identify prospective companies with a similar market strategy or business strategy.  

Establishing a Successful Partnership with a System Integrator

Identifying Potential System Integrator Partners

To make sure both parties are successful in their partnership efforts, there are several key components to establish prior to and during the course of the relationship. These include: 

Defining the Scope of the Partnership

Before embarking upon a business relationship of this type, you must first identify key products and services used in the collaboration. This also means establishing clear expectations and deliverables, defining performance metrics and success criteria, and identifying the geographic regions and industry sectors used for partnership. Additionally, you must establish your joint go-to market strategy and align all of your sales and marketing efforts to target customers. After all, if you are not creating joint marketing efforts, your campaign will not reach your audiences, and one of the most significant benefits of the partnership will be lost.  

Products and Services to be Offered

Partnerships do not involve the entirety of a company’s offerings, or even an endless run of two joined products or services. Instead, the advantage of sales partnerships is identifying two products or services that need pushing forward within a specific time frame, and pairing them in a mutually beneficial campaign. 

Target Markets and Customers

To successfully manage a channel sales strategy, you must make sure you identify your target markets and customers. Doing so will ensure that you properly tailor your campaign’s content, duration, and frequency, and make the most of the partnership. 

Aligning Processes and Resources for Seamless Collaboration

A partnership is just that: a partnership. While analytical sales is certainly one part of developing a campaign, it is vital to develop joint marketing materials and run those campaigns together. Successful partnerships align sales processes and strategies, share customer leads and market intelligence, and identify the best opportunities for collaboration. By leveraging each other’s strengths and resources while ensuring clear communication during project management efforts, both parties can enjoy a fruitful, useful partnership.  

Optimizing Communication and Project Management

To reach partnership relationship goals, it is vital to establish a clear communication plan and communication channels. By utilizing project management tools and methodologies, you can make sure that all communication is delivered in one place and properly distributed across all channels. In the same way, both companies can ensure regular updates, progress reports, and actual salary figures, and even training for technical skills and other tools to increase value. 

Establishing a Revenue-Sharing Model and Other Partnership Terms

Partnerships require trust, and in order to trust, there must be a fair and transparent revenue-sharing structure. At the onset of the partnership, both parties must establish guidelines for all intellectual property and ownership and develop a clear and concise partnership agreement, including any additional benefits that may need to be outlined. 

Maximizing the Benefits of a System Integrator Partnership

Maximizing the Benefits of a System Integrator Partnership

Reaping all of the benefits of this career step requires some forethought and intention. To maximize those benefits, be sure to complete the following steps: 

Leverage the System Integrator’s Expertise for Product Improvement

The value of a system integrator’s additional skills and technical skills cannot be understated. Be sure to solicit feedback from the integrator on product performance, and ask which areas are in need of improvement and innovation. Collaborate on product roadmaps and development plans, and gain insights into any emerging customer requirements and preferences. By staying informed of industry trends and making sure you are a part of the competitive landscape, you can adapt products and strategies to stay ahead of the market and make your partnership a truly formidable foe on the business field. 

Gaining Insights on Product Features and Enhancements

Insights are invaluable within a business landscape, and all of the additional skills in the world cannot outpace the value of insight. Make sure to devote time and attention to learning more about audience needs and wants. 

Utilizing the System Integrator’s Knowledge of Customer Needs and Industry Trends

Paired with insights into product needs, system integrators often have additional knowledge of industry trends and general customer needs. These can be used to further enlighten and modify campaigns. 

Expanding Your Customer Base Through the System Integrator’s Network

Partnerships are so lucrative, in part, because you can expand your customer base through your partner’s. The same is true of the system integrator’s network. With the integrator, you can identify opportunities for joint sales efforts and customer engagement to expand your own market reach and brand recognition. This can be accomplished by co-hosting webinars, trade shows, and industry events, as well as by collaborating on content marketing and thought leadership initiatives. Companies can also leverage shared marketing resources and expertise.  

Targeting Enterprise Customers and New Markets

By targeting enterprise customers and new markets, you can leverage the novelty and innovation of your joint products to increase your ROI. In reaching your partnership relationship goals, you may find that your ROI is more easily reached. 

Engaging in Joint Marketing Efforts and Events

By engaging in joint marketing efforts and events, you not only demonstrate the value proposition of your partnership, but you also share the cost and effort of those marketing materials. 

Accelerating the Sales Cycle and Closing Deals

To more rapidly see a return on your investment, it is ideal to accelerate the sales cycle and close deals rapidly. Leveraging the system integrator’s sales expertise and customer relationships is one way to go about this, as is streamlining the sales process through collaboration and sharing resources. By increasing deal velocity and closing rates, business partners can enjoy a more secure ROI for their partnership and experience the growth of partners. By accelerating the sales cycle, you can also ensure smooth handoffs between the sales teams and implementation teams, collaborate on customer training and support resources, and provide ongoing customer success management and support.  

Utilizing the System Integrator’s Direct Sales Team and Resources

Using the integrator’s direct sales team and resources is one simple way to spur the growth of partners, as it increases efficiency and reach in one fell swoop. By attending to other matters, partners can collaborate further, develop new products and services, or chase innovation. 

Facilitating Seamless Customer Onboarding and Support

Facilitating seamless customer onboarding and support is but one of the partner solutions most often looked forward to by collaborators. By again delegating, partner managers can maintain customer service while maintaining a strong focus on the products and services to be delivered and further develop their partnership and offerings. 


Successful partnerships lead to customer success stories, and customer success stories often lead to consistent, loyal customers. While much of the value of partnerships is often focused on simple returns, the value of maintaining customers and providing consistent solutions to customer needs often goes unacknowledged. Integration services can help bridge the gap between simple monetary gains and customer gains, and enlisting advisory services as partners and ongoing collaborators is one of the greatest ways to foster success in partnership.