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Channel Highlights From SiriusDecisions Summit 2016

July 19, 2016 | By Kathy Freeman Contreras

  • SiriusDecisions Summit 2016 featured eight great channel presentations in one exciting week
  • Topics included ABM, CX, Incentives, Channel Program Model, Channel Programs of the Year and more
  • Another great year for the channel at SD Summit 2016 – new models, frameworks and tools designed for channel success

Having settled back into a normal routine after an exciting week at Summit 2016 in May, I thought it might be worth sharing channel highlights from this year’s event. While Summit is always an amazing event, this year was especially fantastic for channel leaders. For those of you who could not attend Summit  – or attended but could not make it to all of the channel sessions –  here are the key takeaways from each of the eight sessions for channel leaders:

  1. Back to basics. In the SiriusFoundations™ Channel Marketing and Management session, Stephanie Sissler and I discussed common challenges of engaging channel partners and reviewed the key channel models and frameworks required to establish a strong foundation for channel success – including the SiriusDecisions Channel Program Model, the SiriusDecisions Fast-Tracking Demand Creation in B-to-B Channels, and the SiriusDecisions Partner Experience Maturity Model. These models and frameworks give channel leaders key processes to drive program development, provide methodologies to accelerate more effective demand creation execution, and offer a roadmap to lead suppliers along the path to partner experience excellence. 
  2. Programmatic assessment for channel success. In the SiriusLabs Channel Marketing: Building for Success session, Jack Androvich and Monica Dozier provided a deep dive into the SiriusDecisions Channel Program Model and demonstrated the newly available SiriusDecisions Channel Program Model Audit Tool. The tool illustrates how better preparation equals a better chance of positive impact for suppliers and partners and provides a framework to quantify and prioritize improvements to channel programs based on key channel marketing processes. 
  3. Leveraging the power of partners with ABM. In the Account-Based Marketing in the Channel session, Maria Chien and Matt Senatore introduced the Channel Account-Based Marketing Framework, which explains the key processes, activities and measures for each account-based marketing (ABM) type. This framework gives channel and ABM leaders a structured, repeatable approach for applying different account-based models to their partner ecosystems. 
  4. A new look at incentive programs. In the Evolution of Channel Incentive Programs session, Laz Gonzalez and Angela Leech shared key insights into the current state of incentives within b-to-b channel programs, shared best practices and fresh ways to foster desired partner behavior, and profiled the SiriusDecisions Channel Incentive Selection Model. This new model provides channel marketing leaders with a tool to assist in the planning and selection of high-performing incentives for partners. 
  5. A blueprint for building and optimizing b-to-b channel efforts. In the Channel Program, One Year Later session, Stephanie Sissler presented the expanded SiriusDecisions Channel Program Model and highlighted best practices from clients that have utilized the model for channel success. This enhanced model provides both a blueprint, by function, of the key processes and activities required to build, manage and grow a successful indirect business, as well as a diagnostic tool for channel evaluation, improvement and organizational alignment. 
  6. Removing the blind spot in customer experience. While a greater number of b-to-b leaders have recognized the importance of customer experience and are resourcing it accordingly, they often ignore the role of channel partners. As a result, suppliers often lack visibility into customer needs, and partners lack the ability and resources to forge better customer experience. In the Customer Experience in the Channel session, Megan Heuer and I revealed a framework for designing best-in-class customer experiences through the channel and profiled two best-in-class examples of companies that have enabled their partners around customer experience. This new framework and the supporting worksheets offer companies a process for delivering customer experience support and operationalizing success through partners. 
  7. Spotlighting b-to-b channel program excellence. In the Channel Programs of the Year session, Maria Chien and Laz Gonzalez introduced this year’s four SiriusDecisions Channel Programs of the Year award winners for channel programs that have exceeded expectations in the areas of recruitment, partner enablement, demand creation and technology/infrastructure. These winners highlighted key areas of success, leveraging process, technology and enablement programs to engage and automate partnering activities while establishing leading and lagging indicators that gauged program success. 
  8. Examples of successful launch execution. In the Product Launch for Direct and Indirect Channels: Client Vignettes session, Pat McAnally moderated a series of case study presentations from clients that have applied SiriusDecisions’ frameworks for launching new offerings into both direct and indirect channels.

For channel leaders, Summit 2016 provided a well-rounded overview of new ideas to consider and practical implementation tips across channel sales, channel marketing and channel operations. It was wonderful to see many of you at the event! We hope everyone can join us at next year’s Summit in Las Vegas.

Kathy Freeman Contreras

Kathy is a passionate marketing and channel professional with nearly 20 years of global experience in defining market and channel strategy and deploying related programs. Her expertise is in devising partner marketing strategy, assessing channel/operational readiness, building global channel programs and driving channel success in accelerated timeframes across strategic alliances, system integrators, solution/service providers, distribution, original equipment manufacturers, independent software vendors and developer partners.

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