Tag Archives: Channel Marketing

Three Game-Changing Events That Could Destroy Your Channel Business

Years of benchmarks and inquiries with clients have uncovered a number of common issues involving channel partners. Many b-to-b suppliers lack knowledge of effective investment strategies to fuel channel growth. Therefore, we’re issuing a warning about three game-changing events lurking in the near future for most organizations. Preparation will allow organizations to properly reassess their channel efforts and benefit from these events. Organizations that hope to simply tweak tactics and programs after these events will fail miserably.

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Secrets of Success From Our Channel Programs of the Year

At this year’s annual SiriusDecisions Summit, held in May, I had the privilege of co-presenting awards to four standout channel programs that we selected from the nearly 100 entires we reviewed over the past year. While this presentation did not include glamorous dresses and fashionable tuxedos (although there was a dapper pocket square), it had an air of celebration and accomplishment. We often find ourselves attacking channel issues or addressing challenges, but during the awards ceremony we highlighted success and innovation in the four winning programs, which we believe exceed industry standards. One of our most frequent requests from clients is to provide examples of industry best practices and mention the company name. Here, we were able to deliver! The four channel programs of the year were (drumroll, please)...

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For Channel Partners, Beauty Is in the Eye of the Beholder

At first glance, a channel partner often seems to be a perfect match for a supplier’s channel program, but time and experience with the partner reveals its issues (e.g. limited resources and bandwidth to resell new products). Suppliers are looking beyond the initial impression to assess partners more rigorously and more often. SiriusDecisions has developed the SiriusDecisions Partner Assessment Model to help suppliers evaluate partners in the following ways.

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The Three C’s of Supplier/Partner Relationships

The concept of natural selection is a cornerstone of modern biology. Simply put, creatures that survive are not necessarily the BEST, but those that can best ADAPT to their environment. For the past 10 years, while managing partner ecosystems, I’ve experienced natural selection at work again and again. I am not implying that the best partners don’t rise to the top, but that the secret to a partner’s success is its ability to incorporate best practices that enable it to adapt to an individual supplier’s ever-changing environment.

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B-to-B Sales and Marketing Haikus: Channel Management

Here’s another installment of haikus dedicated to b-to-b sales and marketing. This edition addresses channel management and partner productivity.

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The Road to Repeatability in the Channel

Each year, channel sales and marketing leaders are assigned a revenue goal. The goal may require that they increase last year’s channel revenue by 20 percent or even 30 percent, leaving them to wonder where that growth will come from? Obviously, it will come from partners, but which partners? The ones they already have, or will they need to recruit new partners to reach their goal? For many suppliers, the right answer is not to add more partners into their program just to drive short-term sales; instead, they’re learning that revenue goals must be reached through continuous, repeatable performance, not by just counting on one deal per partner. They are redoubling their efforts to enable partners as one way of getting them to upsell to existing customers and close net new customers.

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Changes in the Channel

B-to-b channel ecosystems are changing – not because icebergs are melting somewhere in the North Atlantic, but, most recently, because changes in supplier solutions are altering the role of the channel partner and how it helps take these solutions to market. One notable change is the expansion of partner types. B-to-b companies are continually asking themselves: “Do we have the right partners to drive success?” New cloud solutions, for example, are forcing channel programs to recruit new types of partners, some of which are native to the cloud.

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Partner Portals: Are We There Yet?

As the summer winds down, some of us are reminded of those long family drives to a vacation destination when someone inevitably asked, “Are we there yet?” Depending on how long the journey or how many times the question had already been asked, the answer could either confirm our hopes and expectations, or be met with a stern rebuff. Why haven’t channel programs stopped asking themselves this question as it pertains to the buildout of their partner portals?

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Mileposts on the Fast Track to Channel Demand Creation

There are six stages that act as mile markers on the road to fast-tracking demand in the channel. However, realize that this is a continuous process; each stage must precede the next in order to effectively engage partners in marketing activities they can use to drive pipeline revenue.

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Marketing Certification: The Missing Ingredient in Partner Enablement

Suppliers commonly provide channel partners with sales and product training, but often miss essential marketing training. Partners frequently lack the expertise to develop and execute demand programs that align to target markets and address specific buyer needs, so they need a recipe to follow to skillfully market supplier solutions. That recipe is marketing certification.

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