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The Transaction is Overrated – Focus on Influence

04.30.19

Your biggest influencers are your partners. Do you track them?

By Diane Krakora, CEO

I realize it’s silly to declare a sales process overrated or worse, irrelevant. But the acquisition of the purchase order (which ignites the operational processes to ship product and book a sale) is meaningless. In days when revenues are paramount, the act of transacting business with customers seems to be the most relevant action within the sales cycle. However, I assert the sale actually happened long before the quote was created or the contract signed.

Topics: Industry Perspective

Channel Partners Expo – 3 Last Day Learnings

04.14.19

Final Takeaways from Partner Discussions

This week CEO Diane Krakora attended Channel Partners Conference & Expo in Las Vegas. On the last day of the conference, the crowd thinned a bit and but there were still plenty of channel conversations to be had. Diane recorded this video highlighting three topics from these discussions. Spoiler, the three things are (1) specializations, (2) customer success and (3) next generation programs. What is their significance? Take a look.

Channel-Partners-2019-day-3

Topics: Industry Perspective

Channel Partners Expo – Channel Transformation with Jay McBain

04.11.19

3 Top Trends from Jay McBain of Forrester

This week CEO Diane Krakora is attending Channel Partners Conference & Expo in Las Vegas. Jay McBain, principal analyst, global channels at Forrester Research, gave the keynote on April 10. He shared ten trends in channel transformation that are disrupting business. Diane shares three of those trends and what they mean for your business (in less than three minutes!).

Topics: Industry Perspective

Channel Partners Expo – 5 Takeaways in 5 Minutes

04.10.19

Behind Closed Doors in a Partner Advisory Board

This week CEO Diane Krakora is attending Channel Partners Conference & Expo in Las Vegas where she sat in on a vendor’s partner advisory board with master agents and agents. Their primary topics of conversation revolved around how they see their businesses morphing and evolving and what vendors can do to help support those changes. Watch Diane's 5-minute video running down the 5 biggest takeaways from the dialogue.

Topics: Industry Perspective

Stage 5: Keep Your Eye on Growth

03.05.19

If a vendor makes it to the Growth stage (partners drop vendors and vendors drop partners – both at an average of 10% per year) it’s time for the partner to evaluate the relationship for future potential. At this point in the Partner Journey, they want to determine whether they’re getting the technology, experience, success and growth expected from their investment in a vendor. The hope is, as the partnership matures and mutual success is achieved, solid growth will start the partner journey over again at the Awareness stage.

Topics: Partnering Tips, Channel Best Practices

Stage 4: Don't Underestimate the Experience

02.19.19

At this stage of the Partner Journey, Experience, the partner is now engaging in a relationship with the vendor. The on-boarding begins with initial communications, training and introductions to field sales teams. But the experience doesn’t stop after the first 30-, 60- or 90-day steps. It encompasses all the interactions a solution provider has with a vendor, including people, communications, infrastructure systems, program elements and business planning and review meetings.

Topics: Partnering Tips, Channel Best Practices

Stage 3: The Decision Awaits

02.05.19

In the the third stage of the partner journey, Decision, solution providers have narrowed down their options in products, technologies and/or vendors. Now it’s time to decide. How can you make them decide to pick you? Start by taking a closer look at the components of the decision.

Topics: Partnering Tips, Channel Best Practices

Stage 2: Careful Consideration

01.21.19

In the second stage of the Partner Journey, Consideration, solution providers evaluate the products, technologies, brands and/or companies to meet their needs. The solution providers report they are considering 2.3 vendors (on average) against each other. That doesn’t seem like a lot! But remember, they’ve already reduced the number in consideration during the Awareness stage.

Topics: Partnering Tips, Channel Best Practices

Stage 1: Make Them Aware of You

01.09.19

This isn't just a step in the dating process – it's the first stage in the Partner Journey. In this Awareness stage, solution providers are exploring new products, technologies or vendors. How do vendors wanting to recruit and engage new solution providers let them know their company, products and services exist and are relevant? The first step is to find a receptive audience. Don’t waste efforts on people who aren’t interested.

Topics: Partnering Tips, Channel Best Practices

What is the "Partner Journey?"

10.23.18

When we industry folks talk about the customer journey, you all know what we're talking about. It's a very popular topic. In fact, a quick google search returns 460,000,000 results including a definition from Forrester: "The customer journey spans a variety of touchpoints by which the customer moves from awareness to engagement and purchase. Successful brands focus on developing a seamless experience that ensures each touchpoint interconnects and contributes to the overall journey." But customers aren't your only customers. Partners who sell your products and services through the indirect channel are also your customers. They need to be approached with similar regard and on a similar journey.

Topics: Partnering Tips, Channel Best Practices