Within the technology sector, channel marketing partners perform a significant role in connecting customers to ever changing products and services. According to Accenture Consulting, “For most technology companies, the indirect channel has been and remains a vital part of their business. Some companies drive about one-third of their sales through the indirect channel while others, generate upwards of 80 or more of their revenue through channel partners.”
A successful channel marketing partnership continues to prove instrumental in the effort to maximize sales, reduce costs and reach more customers. So much so in fact, that in a recent 2013 study by Accenture and CSO Insights2, 43 percent of sales executives surveyed cited revising their channel strategy as one of their top sales initiatives for the year.
The proliferation of cloud services, the increase in LOB buyers and the expansion of the mid-market have significantly altered the landscape in which technology companies and channel partners operate. Ultimately, the ways in which companies respond to these changes and reshape their strategies vis-à-vis channel partners will dictate whether the relationship remains beneficial. Revising such a strategy is therefore a foregone conclusion.
“With cloud, the economics change, the culture changes, the people, skills, compensation for the sales people changes. What vendor is going to be the best to help their partners make the transition to the cloud?”
The growth in cloud services has not only altered the way in which services are delivered but has also made previous incentives geared toward channel partners less effective. The introduction of new delivery methods has meant a re-examination of the partner fee structure – gone are the days of the big upfront payment to partners as cloud services are subscription fee based, most commonly a monthly fees.
Companies and channel partners that fail to understand the core business functions of their clients will have little luck in courting LOB buyers. LOB buyers are less interested in the features and functions of particular products, rather what they are increasingly demanding are technological solutions that address specific business problems.
Radically reduced upfront costs associated with cloud driven products and services have enabled mid-market companies to consume technology faster and more cheaply than ever before.
Reviewing your strategy
Within the context of the changes described above there exists a very real and very unique opportunity to craft a channel program that is more focused, responsive and ultimately more profitable by re-examining incentives, recruiting cloud-savvy partners and creating program specialization.
Total Product Marketing can guide you through the process of developing a channel strategy. Benefit from continuous and active support as we lead you through the process of defining market opportunities and identifying capable partners. We will be with you every step of the way.