Identifying New Channel Partners
We help our clients to identify and select the best channel partners in any territory or business segment. We help clients to develop an “Ideal Partner Profile” based on selected criteria which are tailored to each client and industry. We use the profile to assess the viability of potential new partners and to determine those which will be the most successful and profitable in the long-term. We offer consulting services to work alongside clients to build a network of channel partners in new markets.
We train our clients to become self-sufficient in this area; we undertake detailed knowledge transfer sessions so that the ongoing management of the channel can be handled effectively by the internal channel team. We teach this same methodology in our “Building Successful Channels” course and in our webinar series on channels. These programs are designed specifically for channel account managers who are responsible to identifying and selecting new partners in their territory.
Recruiting Channel Partners
Having identified the best partners in a given sector, the challenge is now to recruit these partners in a way that will be mutually beneficial and will lead to a productive and profitable long-term partnership.
The wrong partners – We see too many companies who have built a channel organization based on hope rather than process. As Larry Page says in his book “Hope is Not a Strategy” it is no use just hoping for the best. Adding unproductive partners to your network is expensive, time-consuming and potentially damaging to your brand and your company reputation in the market.
The right partners – Successful channel partners are those that are recruited in such a way as to ensure a real win-win. Partnership planning for channel VAR's, SI's, Alliance partners. These relationships are mutually beneficial from the outset and they have a long-term view of continued success, not opportunistic partnerships based on just one great deal.
We apply our “Partnership Planning” methodology to help channel account managers to manage the recruitment process. Partnership Planning is based on win-win. It requires that both sides of the partnership start the partnership with a mutually agreed-upon plan for how the partnership will work and what each partner can expect to get from the partnership. Using the Partnership Plan as a key recruitment tool means that new partners are brought onboard with a clear focus on what it takes to succeed.
Developing Channel Partners
The real work in channel sales happens after the partners have been recruited. Developing and managing a complex channel organization is a specialist job. We provide consulting services to help clients define the tools, processes and operating procedures. We can advise on ‘Rules of Engagement’ and how to avoid channel conflict. We have experience in channel marketing programs and incentives. We offer a web-based partner training and loyalty platform that can be tailored to you exact requirements.
The core of our channel solutions is our “Partnership Planning” methodology. It is the foundation of a successful partnership and our tools and processes which underpin this methodology can be tailored to different clients and different markets. We have developed special versions of the Partnership Plans for:
- Alliance partners
The Partnership Planning process itself can enable a vendor to differentiate itself from other vendors – critical in a multi-vendor channel environment. It is an integrated approach to channel development and channel management which improves channel productivity, maximizes channel trust … and loyalty. As a result your Channel Account Managers become a key differentiator and corporate weapon.
Partnership Planning helps you to achieve greater mind-share and heart-share with the partners that you want to keep. It also helps you to eliminate bad partners. It provides a process through which to listen to partner’s needs and to effectively communicate the value of your partnership. As a result you are able to maximize partner and customer satisfaction and look forward to increased sales revenue.
The “Partnership Plan” that is created with each partner becomes the key enabling tool to help channel account managers to:
- develop effective long-term relationships
- focus on the partner business issues
- maximize revenue for the partner and your company
- conduct positive quarterly business reviews
- monitor progress and plan appropriate changes
- select the best partners most likely to produce most revenue
- identify partners who are unlikely to be successful
- maximize the effective use of internal resources