Tag Archives: Channel Sales

Reflections From Sonoma: Sales Leadership Exchange 2014 (The Days of Wine and Closers)

On February 26 and 27, more than 85 senior sales leaders gathered at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa for SiriusDecisions’ inaugural Sales Leadership Exchange (SLE). While the weather was a little wet on the first night (we’ve been asked to run the event throughout the Southwest to help with the drought), it didn’t dampen the energy and enthusiasm of our attendees. We designed the SLE to foster networking and conversation by limiting the number of guests and holding it in a venue that allowed folks to unplug for a few hours. Mission accomplished – according to feedback from attendees and sponsors. Our theme was productivity – which was fitting for our locale. Sonoma is famous for vineyards that produce some of the best wines in the world – and one thing we learned during the wine tasting is that to grow great wine grapes, you have to “stress” the plants. The idea is not to provide the best soil or plenty of water, but to provide just enough nutrients, and just enough water, so that the plants create fruit with concentrated flavor. So instead of yielding lots of mediocre grapes, you end up with fewer grapes of higher quality, which yields better wine. This is analogous to the challenges our sales leaders face – how to improve yield in markets that are “stressed” by improving their sales organizations’ productivity to ensure growth.

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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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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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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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For Channel Success, Focus on Total Partner Experience

“Before you put yourself in someone else’s shoes, you first have to take off your own.” In other words, before trying to examine a situation from someone else’s perspective, an observer must try to abandon all biases and preconceptions. A case in point in the b-to-b world is the concept of total partner experience (TPE), used by leading organizations to review their channel programs from a partner’s perspective.

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B2B Channel Strategy: Getting a Seat at the Product Marketing Table

As B2B organizations rush new products to market, failing to carefully plan a channel strategy is a common mistake. Often the biggest challenge with a new offering is forging a ...

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Always a Bridesmaid, Never a Bride: B2B Channel Engagement

If someone is always a bridesmaid, never a bride, they never quite get the commitment they’re striving for. Our research reveals that most partner reps manage one or two key ...

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