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.
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.
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.
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.
How would you define your partner account managers (PAMs)? Are they reactive, fighting fires and responding to partner issues, or are they proactive, helping partners improve their relationship with your company?
If you answered “reactive,” you’re not alone. For so long, the role of PAMs has been just that, focusing mainly on onboarding new partners and taking care of the needs of current partners. The PAMs of yesterday were designed to be reactive in nature.
It’s no surprise the cloud has impacted every facet of the IT space, from the way technology is built, sold and delivered to the way vendors and partners interact. It’s also no surprise that the number of partners that have the ability to support a cloud-only business model is disappointingly low. That’s why the question, “What is the role of partners in an increasingly cloud-focused world?” is being asked regularly—and often with different answers.
This week, hosts Charlene O'Hanlon, channel industry editor & writer, and Diane Krakora, CEO of PartnerPath, discuss some of the findings from the PartnerPath 2016 State of Partnering report around partner regrets. According to partners, what are the top three reasons they regret joining a vendor's channel program? What are the bottom two? How have these rankings changed over the last several years? Be sure your channel program isn't causing your partners to have regrets. Take a listen and let us know what you think of the results.
Channel partners act as trusted advisors for their customers.
Gone are the days of partners purchasing products from vendors or distributors, warehousing those products, configuring the solution and installing it on the customer’s site. Yes, some products are still delivered in this manner and some solution providers are still making a very good living as resellers. However, as we look to where the industry and channel ecosystem are going – this model doesn’t have long before it is obsolete. Partners are becoming trusted advisors and also taking on more cloud roles.
This week, hosts Charlene O'Hanlon, channel industry editor & writer, and Diane Krakora, CEO of PartnerPath, chat with guest George Dziedzic, Founder and Managing Director at Foster MacCallum, about the change in the vendor/partner power shift. On the heels of Chuck Robbins' comments about the power of partnerships at the Cisco Partner Summit, George notes that customers are becoming less concerned with vendor brands and are focusing more on the quality and deployment of the solution by the partners. Diane and Charlene share thoughts on how vendors can avoid being lost and remain relevant in this shift of power. Are you seeing partners take more ownership of the customer relationship? Tell us what you think.