Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Stackify Blog, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: CRM, Microservices Expo

CRM: Article

Six Tips on How to Implement a Successful Channel Strategy

Creating a symbiotic relationship between the vendor and reseller is crucial

The goal for any company is to create value for their customers. Selling through the channel can be an important sales strategy for any vendor if harnessed and prioritized correctly. While this approach can drive additional revenue and open up new sales opportunities, working in the channel can pose unique challenges as well.

Creating a symbiotic relationship between the vendor and reseller is crucial. In order to put a solid channel strategy in place, there needs to be tight integration between each of the channel partners, VARs, systems integrators, distributors, and vendors. To move that forward, here are six tips that vendors should adhere to in order to develop a fruitful union:

1. Build the right foundation
Vendor and channel partners alike must bring something new and different to the table. For instance, the vendor may have the rapport and technology the customer is looking for, while the reseller can offer the expertise and deep industry knowledge to execute on the delivery of services. Each party must bring a value to the table that the other does not.

2. Define channel benefits
When developing a channel strategy, define what the end goal is for each partner. Companies decide to partner when they feel there is an opportunity to gain additional lines of revenue. However, the responsibility lies with the vendor to institute a clearly defined model that empowers the channel partner to generate profits from the relationship and is well positioned to grow; otherwise, the partner will have no incentive to succeed.

3. Reinforce that brand reputation is at stake
Growing your channel program means you are growing your brand. As such, any channel partner walking into a customer site is representing you. They need to not only be knowledgeable and competent, but they must also have a respect for the brand. As these partners are essentially "wearing your shirt," they need to feel like they have a stake in your product and understand the benefit/value of what is being sold. You want to ensure that any channel partner you choose is committed to the relationship and to the brand image.

4. Do your homework
Quite simply - pick the right partners at the onset. Companies make the mistake of choosing several worldwide partners because of their geographic location. And these resellers are eager to sign on whether they have the expertise or not. In many cases, resellers are trying to sell so many vendor solutions that they become the "jack of all trades, master of none" - and in two years, both groups realize there has been little movement in the relationship. In order to avoid this pitfall, ensure that any partner you choose not only understands your business, but that you are getting appropriate mindshare and attention. As part of this process, vendors should consider creating a standard set of criteria that can be used each time they review potential partners. This not only helps in determining which partners to use, but it also provides a unified way to measure how each one is performing.

Each partner needs to be hungry for your business, and you need to understand what percentage of their business will be dedicated to you. If the partner has all their resources invested in another major vendor, then you may have to consider how committed they'll be to your business.

5. Ensure there is a cultural fit
Companies and sales philosophies must gel. Ask yourself these questions to decide if there is a fit: How do you treat customers? How do you handle disgruntled customers? How do you work with your end users? If your company and your reseller partner have similar answers, then the relationship has the ability to flourish. If the channel partner has a fundamentally different philosophy around how they handle customers or negotiations, no amount of effort is going to make the relationship work over time.

6. Outline rules and responsibilities of engagement
The definition of channel conflict is when channel partners have to compete against one another or the vendor's internal sales department. To avoid this, the vendor's needs should clearly outline the specific rules and responsibilities for each party in the upfront agreement. It's also important to be clear about how the relationship will be supported, such as implementing ongoing meetings and training sessions for both internal direct sales teams and the channel partners to ensure the communication lines are open. For instance, if 10 tasks have to be completed, make sure that they are divvied up and completed separately so there is no overlap in duties. Overlap creates conflict. In order to be successful, there can be a lot of input, but only one agreed upon output. If you get multiple outputs, then the process breaks down and channel conflict ensues. By taking the time to establish the rules and responsibilities at the start, you will know whether the partner has the same mindset as you and is similarly invested in the relationship.

Selling through the channel can be extremely lucrative and, if done correctly, can benefit all parties involved. Instead of rushing to establish partnerships based on immediate need or convenience, you need to plan ahead and manage the process strategically. By taking the time to know who you're partnering with, you can successfully navigate the channel and set both parties up for long-term success.

More Stories By Beth Barach

Beth Barach has spent the last two years as channel marketing manager at Crossbeam where she has helped expand the company's global partner program; developed it's online channel portal, which is a one-stop shop for resellers to get any information they need; and launched a new Deal Registration tool for partners to utilize when working with Crossbeam. With more than ten years of channel experience, Beth has also held leadership positions at Connected Corporation (acquired by Iron Mountain) and PC Connection.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@MicroservicesExpo Stories
DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real r...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CollabNet, a global leader in enterprise software development, release automation and DevOps solutions, will be a Bronze Sponsor of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, taking place from June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CollabNet offers a broad range of solutions with the mission of helping modern organizations deliver quality software at speed. The company’s latest innovation, the DevOps Lifecycle Manager (DLM), supports Value S...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Peak 10, Inc., a national IT infrastructure and cloud services provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Peak 10 provides reliable, tailored data center and network services, cloud and managed services. Its solutions are designed to scale and adapt to customers’ changing business needs, enabling them to lower costs, improve performance and focus intern...
There are two main reasons for infrastructure automation. First, system administrators, IT professionals and DevOps engineers need to automate as many routine tasks as possible. That’s why we build tools at Stackify to help developers automate processes like application performance management, error monitoring, and log management; automation means you have more time for mission-critical tasks. Second, automation makes the management of complex, diverse environments possible and allows rapid scal...
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm. In his Day 3 Keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Brown, a Solutions Marketing Manager at Nutanix, will explore t...
This talk centers around how to automate best practices in a multi-/hybrid-cloud world based on our work with customers like GE, Discovery Communications and Fannie Mae. Today’s enterprises are reaping the benefits of cloud computing, but also discovering many risks and challenges. In the age of DevOps and the decentralization of IT, it’s easy to over-provision resources, forget that instances are running, or unintentionally expose vulnerabilities.
Regardless of what business you’re in, it’s increasingly a software-driven business. Consumers’ rising expectations for connected digital and physical experiences are driving what some are calling the "Customer Experience Challenge.” In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Marco Morales, Director of Global Solutions at CollabNet, will discuss how organizations are increasingly adopting a discipline of Value Stream Mapping to ensure that the software they are producing is poised to ...
You know you need the cloud, but you’re hesitant to simply dump everything at Amazon since you know that not all workloads are suitable for cloud. You know that you want the kind of ease of use and scalability that you get with public cloud, but your applications are architected in a way that makes the public cloud a non-starter. You’re looking at private cloud solutions based on hyperconverged infrastructure, but you’re concerned with the limits inherent in those technologies.
It has never been a better time to be a developer! Thanks to cloud computing, deploying our applications is much easier than it used to be. How we deploy our apps continues to evolve thanks to cloud hosting, Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), and now Function-as-a-Service. FaaS is the concept of serverless computing via serverless architectures. Software developers can leverage this to deploy an individual "function", action, or piece of business logic. They are expected to start within milliseconds...
One of the biggest challenges with adopting a DevOps mentality is: new applications are easily adapted to cloud-native, microservice-based, or containerized architectures - they can be built for them - but old applications need complex refactoring. On the other hand, these new technologies can require relearning or adapting new, oftentimes more complex, methodologies and tools to be ready for production. In his general session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Brown, Solutions Marketi...
Most DevOps journeys involve several phases of maturity. Research shows that the inflection point where organizations begin to see maximum value is when they implement tight integration deploying their code to their infrastructure. Success at this level is the last barrier to at-will deployment. Storage, for instance, is more capable than where we read and write data. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Josh Atwell, a Developer Advocate for NetApp, will discuss the role and value...
Cloud promises the agility required by today’s digital businesses. As organizations adopt cloud based infrastructures and services, their IT resources become increasingly dynamic and hybrid in nature. Managing these require modern IT operations and tools. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Raj Sundaram, Senior Principal Product Manager at CA Technologies, will discuss how to modernize your IT operations in order to proactively manage your hybrid cloud and IT environments. He will be sharing bes...
We all know that end users experience the internet primarily with mobile devices. From an app development perspective, we know that successfully responding to the needs of mobile customers depends on rapid DevOps – failing fast, in short, until the right solution evolves in your customers' relationship to your business. Whether you’re decomposing an SOA monolith, or developing a new application cloud natively, it’s not a question of using microservices - not doing so will be a path to eventual ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Linux Academy, the foremost online Linux and cloud training platform and community, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Linux Academy was founded on the belief that providing high-quality, in-depth training should be available at an affordable price. Industry leaders in quality training, provided services, and student certification passes, its goal is to c...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusion, a leading provider of cloud services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Fusion, a leading provider of integrated cloud solutions to small, medium and large businesses, is the industry’s single source for the cloud. Fusion’s advanced, proprietary cloud service platform enables the integration of leading edge solutions in the cloud, including cloud...
SYS-CON Events announced today that HTBase will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. HTBase (Gartner 2016 Cool Vendor) delivers a Composable IT infrastructure solution architected for agility and increased efficiency. It turns compute, storage, and fabric into fluid pools of resources that are easily composed and re-composed to meet each application’s needs. With HTBase, companies can quickly prov...
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud taking place June 6-8, 2017, at Javits Center, New York City, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long developm...
With 10 simultaneous tracks, keynotes, general sessions and targeted breakout classes, Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo are two of the most important technology events of the year. Since its launch over eight years ago, Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo have presented a rock star faculty as well as showcased hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors! In this blog post, I provide 7 tips on how, as part of our world-class faculty, you can deliver one of the most popular sessions at our events. But before reading the...
The purpose of this article is draw attention to key SaaS services that are commonly overlooked during contact signing that are essential to ensuring they meet the expectations and requirements of the organization and provide guidance and recommendations for process and controls necessary for achieving quality SaaS contractual agreements.
SYS-CON Events announced today that OpsGenie will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Founded in 2012, OpsGenie is an alerting and on-call management solution for dev and ops teams. OpsGenie provides the tools needed to design actionable alerts, manage on-call schedules and escalations, and ensure that the right people are notified at the right time, using multiple notification methods.