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Secrets of Success From Our Channel Programs of the Year

July 24, 2013 | By Maria Chien

We selected four channel programs of the year to award at this year's Summit. What did all of these channel programs have in common? Close alignment to business goals and quantifying performance.

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 entries 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):

  • PrimePay’s expansion of channel ecosystems into vertical marketing. PrimePay aligned its recruitment goals to the SiriusDecisions Recruitment Waterfall stages and created a Partner’s Journey, much like our b-to-b buyer’s journey, for brokers. The company tailored its approach to the financial services vertical and brokers’ unique industry requirements, increasing partner recruitment by 49 percent.

  • Progress Software’s effective application of partner sales enablement. Progress created Learn and Earn, a sales enablement program to fill partner skills gaps and drive adoption of its marketing. By combining the learning process with demand creation, the company drove partner engagement and increased adoption of learning programs by 100 percent.

  • SAP’s successful implementation of scalable channel demand creation. SAP took a self-service approach to scale marketing. By using prescriptive services, it was able to increase partner participation and drive partner-led demand. SAP also avoided “build it and they will come” pitfalls by actively promoting its platform to partners and saw an 85 percent increase in partner activity.

  • Adobe’s best-practice example of enabling partner-led demand. By understanding a customer’s propensity to buy, Adobe launched a highly effective program that uses historical data to show partners exactly where opportunities are located and what the opportunities are. The company’s key to success was tailoring demand creation programs for specific partner types. This strategy resulted in higher adoption, with the top 20 percent of direct market resellers driving 85 percent of penetrations.

What did all of these channel programs have in common? Close alignment to business goals and quantifying performance. Each program looked to make a strategic impact on its business, made key investments and set expectations for outcomes. Each program also measured its results and described the ROI it delivered.

We hope to continue recognition of top-performing channel programs. Perhaps next year’s awards will include statuettes, musical numbers, wardrobe changes (not sure our analyst budget includes this) and – most importantly – YOUR channel program.

We look forward to another exciting and innovative year in the channel!

View the press release for more on these best-in-class channel programs.

Maria Chien

Maria Chien is the Service Director of Channel Marketing Strategies at SiriusDecisions. She has 20 years of experience in partner/channel marketing, field marketing and solutions marketing, with hands-on expertise in partner and sales enablement, value proposition and sales tool development, and sales engagement. Follow Maria on Twitter at @mariachien.

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