It can get rather over complicated in the channel. If you are a channel manager or chief, you may know what I mean. In many ways, it’s about making choices. Which regions to invest? Which partners to invest in? Do I recruit more channel partners? Do I focus on the partners I currently have? How do I get the budget? How far can I stretch my human resources? And, these are just a few of the issues to consider!
When things get overly complicated, it helps to get back to the basics. Fundamental success in the channel requires that you put the “horse in front of the cart”. With this being the common sense approach, here are 10 things that you may want to consider to better leverage your channel.
- If you do not really know your channel partners, then you will only be guessing, based on your experience. Start by listening more to your channel partners. Do whatever you can to truly build deeper relationships with them. They will always sell what is in demand by their customers, but they may favor you because they know and like you. This sort of channel credit is priceless.
- You need to know the facts. When did the partner sign up? What they sold? What deals they are working? How is their growth? What did you invest so far in each partner? What were the results? With some basic numbers, you will get a better sense of the actions you should take with each partner. Yes, it is more work to personalize your efforts with each partner, but it will yield more net results than doing something generic with all partners.
- Ease up on the heavy sales pitch to your channel partners. They are not the end-consumer of your product so they can really only buy what they can sell. Focus your efforts on supporting the partner to prospect their end-user community as much as you can.
- Do your channel partners really know how to market, sell, present and deliver your products? This is one of those horse-before-the-cart situations. You just got to ensure that they are up to speed. Something as basic as a poor sales presentation is enough to kill your growth.
- How well does your channel partner manage their business? If they are not doing a good enough job, then you may want to think twice about investing resources. How can you know? One way is to simply encourage them to take a business assessment test. They can take a FREE test at bestmanageditcompanies.com. A well-run business is a business that you want to invest in!