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Enablement in a New Era


New types of partners force new methods of enablement

By Diane Krakora, CEO of PartnerPath

In my 2018 predications webinar with Jay McBain of Forrester and Chris Cleary of Sirius Decisions, we discussed what enablement is needed for the rapidly changing IT partner ecosystems in 2018 and beyond. Since customers buying behaviors are changing (more on-demand and cloud-delivered) and the partners that serve these end-customers are changing (new influencers are emerging), how vendors enable partners also needs to change.

Topics: Channel Best Practices

Will the Transition to Cloud Ever be Finished?


We invited Jay McBain, Principal Analyst for Global Channels at Forrester and Chris Cleary, Practice Director, Channel Sales at Sirius Decisions to join Diane Krakora, CEO of PartnerPath in a 2018 predictions discussion. Our first question was: will we ever stop talking about cloud? After seven years, we’re all getting little tired of this word. When is it going to become the norm, and we're not actually going to call it cloud or on-demand or subscription model?

Topics: Channel Best Practices

Measuring Partner Performance: Metrics That Matter


For the better part of a year now, I’ve been banging the drum about partner experience. Much of that is because of what we’re seeing among partner ranks—an evolution into true “solution providers” as they address customer needs with a more solution-centric rather than vendor-centric approach.

Vendors, meanwhile, now find themselves working doubly hard to remain relevant to this new breed of partner. Where it once didn’t matter as much how easy it was—or not—for channel partners to access sales tools, for example, today vendors are being judged by their partners on this and other seemingly innocuous metrics.  

Topics: Channel Best Practices

Renew Your Focus on Channel Conflict


It’s one thing for partners to not have the ideal experience with a vendor. There’s always room for improvement (hopefully we’ve informed and advised your improvement). But it’s another thing entirely for partners to regret having joined a vendor’s program in the first place.

Topics: Channel Best Practices

Start measuring important performance metrics.


Top athletes know to get the best results you need to regularly measure performance. In this year’s State of Partnering study, we asked partners all about the elements affecting their experience with vendors. Although Performance Metrics ranked lowest of the partner experience pillars, both vendors and solution providers need metrics to gauge improvement. Plus, everyone likes to know whether they’re doing well. 

Topics: Channel Best Practices

Are Your Program Policies Helping or Hurting Your Channel Partner Relationships?


A lot of our discussions in the channel of late have focused on the changing demographics of the channel partner and how vendors must respond to accommodate these changes. Everything from partner program models  to sales enablement motions and even what we call channel partners these days is evolving—and mostly for the better, in my opinion.

Topics: Featured, Channel Best Practices

Align channel roles to the partner lifecycle


Through our many client engagements and vendor interviews on this topic, we believe it has become imperative to establish and refine partner management roles to match and support the phases of the partner development lifecycle. We identify the lifecycle in five steps: Attract, Engage, Enable, Ramp and Manage. Ideally, organizations shouldn’t be dumping Channel Account Managers in lieu of Partner Development Managers. Instead, these two roles should be working in concert for maximum engagement throughout the partner lifecycle.

Topics: Channel Best Practices

Managing Multiple Channel Models


Finding Organization Among the Chaos

Channel partner programs used to be simple: Resellers were VARs and System Integrators were SI. Each had their own programs with lines that were not crossed. But today we have VARs, MSPs, CSPs, SIs, agents, consultants, solution providers and others that can’t be labeled, and few fit neatly into any particular channel partner program.

Topics: Featured, Channel Best Practices

Deal Registration and Co-Marketing Benchmark Data


Data, data, data! Who doesn’t love data?  No doubt you’d enjoy program benchmarking information as you go into 2018 planning, so here are a few highlights from the 104 vendor respondents in our 2017 State of Partnering.  Surprisingly, more vendor respondents offered co-marketing funds than deal registration.

Topics: Featured, Channel Best Practices

Actionable Insights or Disparate Data


Which does your automation system provide?

Lately there has been a lot of talk about automation. Setting up systems to do things without human intervention has become a popular notion in a number of different areas of IT and beyond. But when it comes to managing channel partner relationships  – how is automation best leveraged?

Topics: Channel Best Practices