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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

What is a Partner Development Manager?


Partner Development Managers think differently than traditional Channel Account Managers. Definitely look at a new hiring profile for this new role – more business savvy, more sales-oriented and an entrepreneurial spirit.

Topics: Channel Best Practices

Do Distributors have a bright future?


The recent news of Synnex’s acquisition of Westcon-Comstor’s American operations, on the heels of Tech Data’s acquisition of Avnet’s Technology Solutions group, has many industry pundits asking about the future of value added distribution. As I mentioned in the Channel Partners article on the merger, there’s an upside and downside for partners regarding Synnex’s acquisition plans.

Topics: Featured, Channel Best Practices

Enhance services and support program policies.


In this year’s State of Partnering study, we asked partners the six primary elements affecting their experience with vendors. These elements sorted into six pillars, with program policies coming in fifth. Your policies have less effect on partner experience than you may think. As channel enthusiasts and experts, we get very excited about the details of partner programs. While these elements are not unimportant, but they’re mostly transparent to partners. 

Topics: Channel Best Practices

3 Steps to a Partner Lifecycle Approach


In our recent channel chief roundtable the Partner Engagement Lifecycle was one of the many topics we attempted to tackle and wrestle to the ground. Our goal was to collaborate across the 15 channel chiefs in the room – from Google, SAP, IBM, Westcon, Cylance, Avaya, F5 Networks, DocuSign and additional well-recognized companies – to develop some answers or at least establish best practices across several areas.

Topics: Channel Best Practices

Manage multiple channel models.


We've talked about the first three pillars of partner experience, People, Enablement and Infrastructure. Now, using the responses from our annual State of Partnering study, we're closing on the final elements. Coming in fifth place is (drum roll) channel model.

Topics: Channel Best Practices