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The Channel Dilemma
The channel-360 Advantage
Why Use Channels

The Channel Dilemma
Why is it so difficult?

Why do most channel initiatives fail? There are generally three reasons; time, internal expertise, and resources.

The dilemma with time is that new channel initiatives typically won’t drive significant revenue for up to 9-18 months, depending on the product value, market segment, and channels employed. To compensate most companies deploy direct sales efforts during the channel start-up phase. The coexistence of direct and channel sales can cause conflict and mistrust at the wrong time, crippling development of channel momentum. These must be carefully managed to minimize conflict.

Another challenge is finding the expertise to get the program started correctly. Of top importance are the creation of the most compelling channel value proposition for your company, kick-starting of engagement with marquee resellers, and development of effective internal channel processes. There is no substitute for experience – finding a resource with a track record of multiple channel successes is critical. You only get one chance to make the best first impression possible – make it your competitive advantage!

A final challenge is in preparing and organizing your internal departments for channel success. Sales people must be good coaches. Channel marketing, technical support, finance, and training resources must all be prepared. Growing technology companies can’t afford to be sidetracked when processes break down – advanced preparation and a well executed plan are a must.

Common mistakes

How many of the following problems have you witnessed in the marketplace or within your own company?
We can’t get adequate attention from our partners
Our sales reps make more money when they sell direct
Each of our sales reps has different expectations of their partner reps
We can’t trust our partners
Published margins are competitive, but our partners drop prices and complain they aren’t motivational
Our partners don’t understand how to sell our products
We give our partners leads but they don’t follow up on them or they complain about them
Very few of our partners produce adequate sales results
It is easier to place orders direct than through the channel
We can’t afford the time to create channel tools prior to new product introductions
Our partners brush off technical support calls to us and burden our internal staff
Our finance department is overwhelmed by partner invoice issues and complaints

These are warning signals. With the right expertise they can all be fixed. Left unchecked they produce diminished channel momentum and loss of sales, which generally benefit your competition. Learn about the channel-360 advantage.

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