ChannelVision Playbook Volume 8

Channel partners are integral modules in a company’s go-to-market (GTM) machine, with 36 percent of companies surveyed by CSO Insights reporting that their top-tier partners generate more than 70 percent of all channel revenues. The best partners are true assets — adding complementary solutions and strengthening sales capacity to enrich business value — but when they’re not the right fit, they can throw a wrench into the system. Before investing time, energy and trust into a channel partner network, companies should take time to qualify what a potential partner brings to the table. Channel partners are only effective if they truly understand an organization’s solution and its value to the market — and are willing to fully embrace it. To cultivate the most strategic channel, companies can ask these crucial ques- tions throughout their partner selection process. What is success and does the partner have a business plan with clear objectives and supporting go-to-market activities to build sufficient demand to achieve it? It is very important to understand how a part- ner defines success. They may express success using totally different metrics than the vendor, which ultimately measures success in customer acquisition and/or the number of wins/orders. Vendors should work with their partners to build a revenue plan projecting wins during the next 18 to 24 months and ensure the GTM plan delivers enough impressions to drive adequate pipeline to support the projected revenue. The vendor should be able to use industry standard conversion metrics to ensure there are sufficient impressions to drive the number of wins By Wayne Monk Stacking Your Channel B ehind most every successful enterprise technology company is an equally successful channel — comprising a network of part- ners dedicated to extending an organization’s reach and enhancing its sales performance. Three questions to qualify partners 6 THE CHANNEL MANAGER’S PLAYBOOK