Channel Maven Blog

My Channel Team

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.

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Three Commitments Channel Leaders Make

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?

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Keeping Customers and Channel Partners In Mind

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.

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How Vendors are Stepping up to Support Channel Partners

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?

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Stop Building Channel Programs in a Bubble, become a Channel Master

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.

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Reseller or Value Added Reseller? Benefits to both.

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.

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Adding a New Vendor to your Arsenal - A Partners Perspective

Last week I wrote a post on recruitment from a vendor's perspective, today I'll look at it from a Partner's perspective. While the vendors are looking to recruit new partners, the partners are analyzing the cost/benefit of taking on a new vendor's product. There are more considerations than one would think.

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The Recruitment Dilema - Vendor's Perspective

When a vendor channel is in the early stages of development, their requirements for channel partners are usually only that they have a pulse. Fast forward 12 to 18 months and the channel is 5% partners who are actively engaged and 95% who sold once on a customer's request and then disengaged.

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Are you Tuned-In to your Channel Partners?

Some partner programs pride themselves on their extensive number of partners. Congratulations, are partners supposed to be excited about that? Welcome to our partner program! You now have more competition for your business then you did before you joined. I'm not saying vendors should have fewer partner, let's be reasonable. But, don't be so out of touch with your partners that you promote your partner list as a benefit to them.

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Happy Earth Day...are we as green as we think we are?

In honor of Earth Day this year I'm looking for vendors and channel partners who do it right. The "Green" thing that is. About 18 months ago (before the entire economy imploded) all we heard about was going green. Some companies did it right like IBM lowering the energy expenditure of their products and finding lower emission options for transport. While other companies such as Dell were using green as a marketing tactic talking about skipping their old piecemeal ways and shipping entire infrastructure solutions to end users in one big box. This sounds like a worthy green initiative, but don't the pieces come to Dell as a bunch of little boxes first? Partners were also up in arms as putting it all together is part of the value they add. In Dell's defense that was over a year ago and they've done some great things since then. The important thing is that Green initiatives are actually doing some good!

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