Whether you are selecting a channel partner to re-sell your products or services, the stakes couldn’t be higher. Making the right decision has the potential to increase sales volumes, frequency, and average size, and can lead to exciting new opportunities. Make the wrong decision, and you will waste time, money, and expose your company to unnecessary risk. Here are 3 things to consider:
- SET CRITERIA: Whether you are a channel partner re-selling a vendor’s products/services or a vendor looking for channel partners, you have to identify and weigh what’s most important to your company. It is far too easy to be drawn into channel sales arrangements with the first company to knock on your door. The allure of choosing a company that is widely recognized within your industry can be equally hard to resist. But the most effective channel sales programs result when the vendor and channel partner have each established a set of measurable criteria with which to evaluate one another. To establish these selection criteria, you should look at your company to identify clearly and accurately your competitive position in the market, internal strengths and weaknesses, current and planned portfolio of products or services and brand equity. The gaps you identify through this assessment serve as the criteria for identifying potential vendors or channel partners. Score your criteria, and/or place them into broad buckets: “must-haves”, “nice-to-haves” and “must-not-haves”.
- ESTABLISH AN EVALUATION PROCESS: The criteria that you establish are critical to the success of a channel sales program, so you need a way to ensure they are applied consistently throughout the initial stages of any evaluation. That means you should:
- Create an intake process to capture, organize and manage interest expressed by potential vendors and/or channel partners;
- Assign an individual the responsibilities and resources required to effectively manage potential channel partners and vendors;
- Create a cross-functional team that evaluates potential vendors and/or channel partners against the chosen criteria
- TEST THE CHANNEL PARTNER: Strong channel sales programs are not created overnight. Even if all of the criteria and processes are met and followed, true success takes time. Vendors and channel sales partners should start with a well-defined project that serves to “pilot” the program. Ideally, this is a low-risk sales-focused initiative that helps each participant learn about the pros and cons of working together with a shared objective.
PBS have worked with and inside the channels since ever. That’s why we can offer you such a comprehensive set of channel-oriented services:
- Assessment and improvement of channel policies
- Identifying, mapping, recruiting, developing, managing channels
- Business development of solution areas
- Launching initiatives on select channels
- Improvement of channel depth and breadth, channel segmentation and transformation
- Channel enrollment, training, certification, rewards, fidelity programs
Regarding channel mapping, we can deliver to our vendors and distributors a tailored report on the channels of their interest:
- Distributors, VARs, Resellers, System Integrators, other B2B/B2C channels
- Players selected according to agreed criteria (market, focus, portfolio, size, competence, geography, approach, vendor set …), in a predefined and relevant quantity
A sample of the report will be made available upon request. The final report will be produced in an agreed timeframe and it should be discussed in a management meeting, wrapped with actionable advices.
Here below follow more info on this service (click on the image to enlarge it!)