May 29, 2019
An oft overlooked truth of partner/channel management is that you are dealing with people. People do things for their reasons, not your reasons. Channel partners are in business for their reasons, not your reasons. They don't lie awake at night, excited, thinking about selling your product. Perhaps they should, but what you NOT doing that makes them see you as a commodity, an interruption?
In a very lively debate with #OlivierChoron the best practices and mistakes being made by vendors looking to scale their channel we explore the impact of good and bad use of PRM (Partner Relationship Management), niching, targeted channel marketing, expectation management, segmentation and differentiation.
Olivier says that "Channel sales is a sales role with a massive coordination hat on." And he's right. We discuss the qualities and competencies needed to be an ultra successful channel manager and channel chief. These roles are closer to a general manager and a chief executive than they are to a sales manager or VP of sales.
We discuss the dangers of using partner personas - one size fits all - to categorise partners into sales, technical, marketing. We investigate the danger of these assumptions and how it damages your relationships and the performance of your partners
We explore what it takes to create good conditions for genuine partner engagement - Where do you start to establish a true partnership? How do you maximise your return on investment in every partnership, in every individual within every partner? How are you adapting as your partner evolves? How do you help them sell, implement and scale your partners?
A crucial mistake many vendors make is their failure to communicate in a meaningful, personalised and targeted manner. The cost in a large vendor can be prohibitive but this offers scale ups in the £3-50 million turnover range an opportunity to differentiate and build their special forces unit of partners.
Communicating effectively as your channel grows beyond a manageable level is tough. It's easy to fall into the comfort trap of communicating using the wrong media, the wrong language, delivering generic messages to make your life easy and keep your costs down, missing the mark for the majority of their partners. And this is a key weakness in the strength of larger vendors you could be exploiting
Failing to understand how to prioritise high versus low touch partners also means that you have fallen into the one size fits all camp. Don't make this mistake and your most productive partners will engage, feel valued and understood and produce hyper-profits helping you to scale fast without losing control
Large vendors have a hangover because of where sales and business leadership traditionally comes from. The smartest scale up vendors are going to have their channel chief on their board along with their VP of Customer Success/ Customer Experience because both these roles will drive growth and profitability
If you want to get hold of Olivier you can connect on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/olivierchoron/
If you want a copy of "Making Channel Sales Work", you can buy it on Kindle on Amazon https://www.amazon.co.uk/MAKING-CHANNEL-SALES-WORK-World-Class-ebook/dp/B07FDHMRH2/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=making+channel+sales&qid=1559125877&s=gateway&sr=8-1
For a paperback copy email email@example.com with "MCSW" in the subject line. Please provide your postal address and company details so we can invoice you correctly
To be a guest on my podcast, email firstname.lastname@example.org with "Inquisitor Guest" and we can discuss the possible subject matter of our conversation
To be a beta tester for my two new channel sales management training programmes email email@example.com with "Channel beta tester" in the subject line and tell me your programme preference
1. Making Channel Sales Work for new and experienced channel managers who want to build their Special Forces Unit of partners
2. Channel Sales Excellence if you have partner who show potential and you want to move your relationship into hyper-profits and hyper-growth without losing control