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.”
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.
As we continue to move into a digital age in which individuals are comfortable researching and buying online, a transition accelerated by the Coronavirus pandemic, the buying journey has become non-linear. A potential customer may read a review, ask a friend, then browse the web before ultimately purchasing online (without consulting any sales professionals or entering a store).
In December 2021, PartnerPath CEO Diane Krakora hosted our annual year-end webinar with Jay McBain, Principal Analyst - Channels, Partnerships & Ecosystems at Forrester. They broke down what vendors should keep an eye out for in 2022. To hear the full dialogue, including examples, explanations and what you should do to adapt, be sure to watch the webinar. Below are a few highlights on each trend.
How are the people who design, recommend, resell, integrate, support and manage technology solutions doing in the global pandemic? We conducted a survey of solution providers at the end of 2020 and asked how their business had been impacted by the pandemic with options of 'increased, decreased or stayed the same.' Their answers provided the basis for our recent report “10 Effects of the Global Pandemic on the Channel.” At a glance, see the effects we identified.
Partner Relationships Need a Personalized Touch, Even When You’re Not In-Person
In our recent channel chief virtual roundtable, we asked leading technology channel executives what was keeping them up at night. Surprisingly, it wasn’t partner sales, additional enablement, driving customer adoption or even the plethora of small solution providers teetering on the edge of a pandemic-fueled extinction. What they were most worried about is the damage social distancing has done to their ability to nurture relationships with their partners. Without a plane flight and dinner meeting with a partner, how do you make sure your relationship remains positive and prosperous?
Partnering is personal and the pandemic has hampered relationships in a myriad of ways. We can’t safely break bread inside our favorite bistro or shake hands to solidify our agreement to invest and grow together. But beyond physical touch, creating a personal relationship with partners means personalizing how you do business.
I attend a lot of events. I’m usually crisscrossing the globe between partner summits, partner advisory boards, sales kick-off meetings and industry conferences. I’m one of the weirdos that actually misses large gatherings. No, I don’t miss the conference chicken or sitting in a freezing cold dark hall. I miss the energy of a packed room, the chitchat with people sitting around you before and after the sessions and catching up with friends and colleagues. The many virtual events I’ve attended in the last six months have left me, and others, wanting – but not all for the same reasons.
Welcome to 2021! Boy am I excited to see the calendar turn over. There’s been so much up and down in the news for the last nine months I can barely keep track. The pandemic that ravaged the world medically and financially also accelerated five of the six buyer trends changing IT channels we predicted back in December 2019:
I talk about recruiting, enabling and managing indirect partners all the time. The goal of 99% of all technology companies is to leverage indirect channels for increased sales reach, market penetration and customer satisfaction. But there has been a shift that greatly affects the traditional channel model and some vendors are feeling the change.