Every single day we speak with Vendors about infrastructure to help them better engage and enable their Channels. Luckily, we’ve never built our own and refuse to take referral fees so, we remain unbiased when working with Vendors to discover what’s best for them. Putting together a robust infrastructure is typically a huge undertaking but it doesn’t have to be. It’s possible to take baby steps or take on some elements and not others.
Channel Maven Blog
You know as well as I do – today’s Partners work with multiple Vendors. They're highly focused on their company’s growth (not yours), wear tons of hats and have very little time, especially when it comes to communications they deem unimportant. Understandable, yes. But for Vendors, this can be frustrating considering the time and effort you've invested in increasing Partner engagement and motivating them to sell your solutions.
Today’s Channel Partners are more often than not born in the cloud, driving recurring revenue models, and they don’t typically refer to themselves as your “Partner.” In their minds, they are just one of many technology companies leveraging (your) IT solutions to drive success for their customers. It's all part of the shifting Channel.
Today’s Partners finally realize the impact content marketing has on driving demand to generate leads. However, working with anywhere from 5-25 Vendors day-to-day, makes it very challenging to turn their focus away from their customer’s needs. Between stretched resources and competing priorities, the work involved for Partners to curate or create relevant and engaging content, ends up taking a back seat or falling by the wayside all together.
Finding the right candidate for a position is hard enough. Add to that the requirement of having channel experience and anyone who has done it is currently groaning, rolling their eyes, nodding their head “yes!” or all of the above.
Those of us in the channel know that finding a person with channel experience can be frustrating. Those of us who have looked for channel roles with a company that truly “gets” the channel can be equally as frustrating.
I can’t count how many times each of us is asked if we know of channel specific talent or roles or channel support to be outsourced. What we like to call Channel as a Service™. Enter: My Channel Team. Whether you are looking for a position or a channel organization trying to fill a role, My Channel Team has you covered. Best part? Currently it’s a 100% free service.
The most successful organizations all have two things in common; they have great leadership and clear communication. In today's organizations, however, leadership has been hard to come by. As Jon Wortmann, leadership coach and author, states in his eBook The Best Leader In the World "The faster the world moves, the more disasters happen everywhere, the more we put our heads down to just keep our organizations functioning. We’ve gotten really good at tasks." Really good at tasks? So we have. Over and over again I hear about planning for the short term; this quarter, this month, this project. But when are we talking about our long term strategy? When do we innovate, when do we revolutionize, when do we lead?
A few months ago, I ate my words when Dell announced an enhanced partner program. While I thought they’d never understand how to do this, they proved me wrong by launching quite the partner program based on a solid year of research they did with their partners before going live. Back at their launch, I applauded Dell for bringing more profitability to partners who showed investment in their offerings by designing a tiered program. I also was excited that Dell was thinking about their end customer’s needs when building the partner program.
I always say I’m a “recovering channel professional”. If you’re in the channel, you know what I mean; not getting the support you need from corporate, always trying to please different types of partners, and not having the resources to make that happen. Things seem to be changing. I’ve had multiple conversations with vendors over the past 6-12 months who are providing their partners with what they need to be successful and grow their business. So, how are these Vendors stepping up to Support their Channel Partners?
If lately you’ve felt like your channel programs have stagnated and are in need of a burst of new thinking to get things moving again, you’re not the only one. Things are constantly evolving in the channel and channel professionals need to shake things up to be more successful.
Somehow in the last few years the term "Reseller" has become an insult. It's not enough anymore to just sell a product, now to be a true Value Added Reseller (VAR) partners must provide services. None of this is news but many partners are promoting themselves as a VAR when they may still be just a, dare I say it, Reseller.