A channel partner provides services or sells products on behalf of a software, hardware, networking or cloud services vendor. As such, partners within the channel include value-added distributors, systems integrators, consultants, managed service providers and independent software vendors.
Today, channel partners share one main challenge: how to grow their sales and sales pipeline. The question of the day is this: how do channel partners successfully grow their sales and thrive in a challenging business climate?
Given the disruption that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused to businesses globally, the channel partners that emerge successfully post-pandemic will be those who align best with distributors and vendors around their go-to-market (GTM) offerings, and those who focus on professional sales processes.
It’s important to have professional sales teams, as well as excellent systems to support them. Training and skills development is tremendously important in growing channel sales, and I believe we need to get the basics right first, as there are very few real professional sales people left in the channel.
Given the competitive nature of the channel business, channel partners need to distinguish themselves and their organisations in order to grow sales in the current business climate. Therefore they need to align the company skills of their partners to the products they are selling, and be able to clarify the products’ unique selling points and what makes them superior.
Knowledge is key for channel partners when developing and building their sales pipeline. Align your entire GTM process by making sure of the following:
In turn, vendors and distributors have their own role to play in helping their channel partners to grow their channel sales.
Firstly, they need to align themselves to committed and managed partners. Thereafter, it is necessary to provide a GTM tool kit which outlines the unique value proposition for customers, and how using their products will help them to achieve a competitive advantage.
Additionally, the brand should provide a joint market development fund (MDF) so that it makes funds available to help its channel partners create local awareness around an international brand and thereby sell its products.
This all works towards creating an organised sales pipeline which allows for the tracking of potential customers as they progress through different stages in the purchasing process.
At Networks Unlimited, our business best practices are based on three distinguishing pillars for competitive advantage: delivering products and solutions that are affordable; outshining the competition; and providing faster service delivery.
We pride ourselves on offering a partner-centric ethos which operates on the principle that we are stronger together.
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