Most IT vendors have a well-developed network of channel partners, some have hundreds of partners; others have thousands. They have invested time in finding, enabling and motivating these partners to perform as an extension to the sales function however it’s not uncommon to see the majority of channel revenue coming from a select number of ‘top’ partners.
When you consider that the majority of a vendor’s revenue can flow through indirect channels, it’s worth asking yourself a simple question from time to time…. ‘Do we have the right partners to drive the revenue we’d like?’
Are your partner’s committed to your product or solution offering? A partner who is truly committed to a vendor is enrolled in their partner program, they have a marketing strategy that is aligned to the vendors and they are actively promoting and selling the complete solution set. They have a value proposition that is aligned to yours and most importantly they are hitting their quarterly sales target.
Do your partners have the capability to take your products or solutions to market? To act as an extension of a vendors sales force a partner needs to have an established telesales function, with access to the right end user markets and they need to hold the necessary sales and technical qualifications so that you know they have the skills to market and sell your products effectively.
Do your partners have the capacity to accommodate you as a vendor? Most partners work with a number of vendors so you want to know they have the sales resource to generate and follow up leads for you and that they have the capacity to dedicate adequate ‘air time’ in their marketing strategy. You want to ensure you are getting the required amount of focus for your product or solution set in their quarterly marketing plans and that your message is not getting lost amongst other vendor ‘noise’.
What other vendors do your partners work with? As a vendor it’s important to understand what share of wallet you have with each partner so you don’t waste resource on those who are heavily committed to your competition. By having a clear picture of who else they work with and how closely they are aligned with those vendors will help you prioritise who you should focus on to give you the best ROI.