Channel Activation – Part 3 – Partner Challenges

In Part 3 we examine the subject of partner challenges. Here we ask the question, what impact will a new partnership have on a partners current levels of business? 

At Junction we have developed an approach called Channel Activation. Channel Activation is designed to build long-term business relationships between a vendor and a technology partner (reseller). Executed well, it delivers planned, measured and successful commercial partnerships.

In a series of blogs I will examine and explain our ‘10 Step process for Channel Partner Success’ (CPS). This process helps to build success in the activation of channels for both new and established vendors seeking to attract new partners to new and existing segments of their portfolio.

Let’s discuss the answers to my question in four steps:

  1. Which are the existing vendors, ranked by importance? Firstly we need to understand the size of the prospective partners business. Is their business large enough to cope with the introduction of another vendor? How many vendors do they currently represent and actively sell to their customer base? Will the introduction of another vendor affect their current business revenues? Will their current vendors have an objection to this new partnership? In order of importance where will your brand and solutions rank in their level of importance?
  1. What is the % of business by vendor by $ vendor target? The only way a vendor can know the true and honest picture of the partners business is to ask the hard questions. Many vendors just hover above the surface when researching their prospective new partners and that is an error. A partnership needs honesty from the very start and the ability to ask the hard questions when they need to be asked and addressed. By asking this ranking question I believe that both the vendor and partner will find it a very useful exercise, maybe the partner has never ranked their suppliers / partners previously to understand the importance of their other business relationships.
  1. What will this new partnership deliver as % of business and $ vendor target? A new partnership should start with a joint plan and objective. A sales target is usually the best place to start and agree the path forward. As with point two, it is important for the vendor to review the past revenue performance of the partner to understand the reality of what can actually be achieved within the first 12 months, based on previous business performance. It would be a pointless exercise to sign up a new partner without going through these steps to discover 6 months down the track that your partnership only has the potential to generate 5% of something insignificant.
  1. How many people in the vendor business are dedicated to the success of this new partnership? If new partners are a focus for both partner and vendor then a dedicated team need to be put in place to make it happen quickly, smoothly and to plan. Partner recruitment and onboarding should be done methodically. Dedicated resources are needed to ensure new resellers are bought into the channel model successfully.

In summary, the lure for a vendor to recruit as many new partners as possible needs to be accompanied by a measured and planned approach.  Follow the four steps above to ensure that as a vendor, you have taken the correct steps in the process for Channel Partner Success.

Andy Grant

Andy Grant

Managing Partner, Junction @channelman

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