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Three Turns Ahead


Crafting a Plan for Partnering Success

Any good snow skier knows to look three turns ahead to navigate moguls with speed and agility. If your focus is on the current bump, by the time you navigate that turn, you’re tossed back on your heels and in a scramble to set up for the next turn. If you look three turns ahead, you’ve created a visual path and are now executing that plan. Take this analogy into 2023 – a large and potentially long mogul field.

Topics: Industry Perspective

Don't Say the R Word


It’s like in the Harry Potter books, where they refer to the main antagonist as “he-who-must-not-be-named.” As if just saying Voldemort out loud would conjure his presence. No one wants to say the word recession lest they make it a reality. Instead, I’ve heard “economic headwinds” and “a really tough market” with regularity. However, not calling it a recession doesn’t mean we don’t feel the effects of tighter budgets, pressure to produce revenue and a renewed focus on profitability. Rather than pretend it's not happening, or call it by another name, take a few steps to bolster your partnering efforts so you can withstand the storm.

Topics: Industry Perspective

Channel Partnering in Europe


Customize your approach to European partners for better results

“Europe is like North America: the countries are just different states,” a young but enthusiastic new EMEA GM from America once said to me on his first day at his London office. Being a Brit, I smiled and made a comment about the inclement weather and advised that he should buy a brolly (umbrella).

It wasn’t the first (or last) time I heard an opinion or saw behaviour from colleagues in our industry suggesting that two major regions (Europe and North America) were the same. To most of you in our community (I hope), the news that Europe as a region is a different beast to North America – especially in terms of building an ecosystem of channel partners – is old news.

Topics: Partnering Tips

3 Tactics to Overcome a Resistance to Partnering


Be proactive in winning over your sales, services & training teams

If you’re struggling to get your company to adopt a partnering model – you’re not alone. In our recent roundtable with twelve senior channel chiefs, we discussed the challenge of conveying partner relevance across an organization. This group of seasoned executives have led channel efforts at some of the largest and most partner-friendly technology vendors – and even they are struggling to get all teams in their companies on board. Even if you have your CEO and board of directors committed to indirect routes to market, it can still be a challenge to get all the other departments aligned to supporting partners. Don’t feel badly if you find yourself regularly facing this fight. Here are some tactics which can be used across any department. We’ve used the sales, services and training departments to highlight how presenting data, telling partner success stories and asking customers can help you overcome a resistance to partnering.

Topics: Industry Perspective

Is it Partner Profitability, Partner ROI or Partner Economics?


A primer on the differences and why they’re all important

We talk about partner profitability, partner ROI and partner economics ALL the time. (Here’s a plug for our webinar and a research report on these topics.) I often get asked: “Aren’t these the same thing?” To which I answer in classic consultant fashion: “Yes and no.”

Topics: Industry Perspective

Stop Yelling 'Get off my lawn' to Partners


How to Update Your Program for the Next Generation of Partner Leaders

We speak so much about the next generation of partner programs, but what about the next generation of leaders inside the partner organisations? You know who I’m talking about. (Whisper: millennials.) Who are they? What do they need from vendor partner programs? Are they a changing force to be considered alongside customer buying trends and the transformation of partner engagement?

Topics: Partnering Tips

6 Buyer Journey Trends Changing How We Partner


The digital age (furthered by the pandemic) ushered in a new model where a customer defines their own buying journey. This journey is typically non-linear and heavily reliant on digital interactions. Since the internet allows a customer to find information about products, pricing, reviews, and expected costs themselves, the value channel partners provide has shifted. Instead of primarily offering product knowledge, partners are implementing, integrating and operating technology solutions. These shifts in the buyer journey have changed the characteristics of the channel and their activities with customers.

Topics: Featured, Industry Perspective

The Demise of PRM As You Know It


The misunderstood and often overlooked partner portal is (and always has been) the digital face of partner engagement. As decades have passed, technology platforms struggle to BE more and DO more to support partner growth These changes have made PRM (Partner Relationship Management) almost unrecognisable. The death of your parents’ PRM has given birth to a new digital experience to engage, empower and manage the ever-evolving partner ecosystem. Partner automation has become more impactful to vendors and partners, supporting the emergence of ecosystem orchestration.

Topics: Partnering Tips

Changing your partner program for 2022?


For a next generation partner program, consider this first.


Limit the Ch-ch-ch Changes

At the risk of aging myself with a David Bowie reference, I understand you feel the need to change your partner program every year, allowing it to “grow up.” As a partner program professional, that’s your job, right? But before you designate new partner types, create new initiatives and/or alter partner incentives – examine why. Why are you changing the program? Is it to streamline your processes? To enhance the partner experience? To increase partner profitability? To make it easier to engage, empower and manage your partner ecosystem? What will make yours a next generation partner program?

5 Questions to Help You Understand Marketplaces


At the end of 2019, we predicted that marketplaces were going to start taking hold. Boy, were we right. They grew more in the first three months of COVID than they had in the last 10 years combined.

Topics: Industry Perspective