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The Channel Dilemma
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Why Use Channels

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Why use channels?

It is not enough to have a significant product advantage in today’s marketplace, especially for new technology companies. Too many customers have been burned by adopting technology too quickly. End users have learned to seek the council of trusted VARs, especially those who’ve provided accurate consultative advice in the past. Whether dealing with security threats, application integration, compliance, or other IT issues, local channel partners play a critical role in influencing technology and purchasing decisions.

Tapping into channels is critical to the success of any high tech company. Those who succeed often become the dominant player in their market segment. Those who fail struggle to survive. Successful channel programs can lead to a faster sales ramp, cost control, and stronger brand preference. A faster sales ramp is achieved by gaining access to the trusted influencers within your target customers and increasing the reach to your customers through a large and geographically dispersed virtual sales force. Well executed channel programs control costs by focusing internal sales resources on coaching and establishing frontline support programs through channel partners. Brand preference is strengthened by the collective end-user recommendation from leading VARs in your market segment. Once you become a key part of your channel’s success, your competitive entry barriers increase and analysts receive positive feedback from your partners. A look at any market segment leader will reveal the evidence of success through the channel.

The goal of any channel initiative is to ultimately grow more sales than you possibly could have done through your own resources, while controlling costs. This may sound easy, but we all know better. Why do most channel initiatives fail?

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