Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Reinhard Brandstädter

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
Join us at Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo 2016 – June 7-9 at the Javits Center in New York City and November 1-3 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – and deliver your unique message in a way that is striking and unforgettable by taking advantage of SYS-CON's unmatched high-impact, result-driven event / media packages.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
18th Cloud Expo, taking place June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterprises are using some...
SoftLayer operates a global cloud infrastructure platform built for Internet scale. With a global footprint of data centers and network points of presence, SoftLayer provides infrastructure as a service to leading-edge customers ranging from Web startups to global enterprises. SoftLayer's modular architecture, full-featured API, and sophisticated automation provide unparalleled performance and control. Its flexible unified platform seamlessly spans physical and virtual devices linked via a world...
SYS-CON Events announced today that BMC Software has been named "Siver Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. BMC is a global leader in innovative software solutions that help businesses transform into digital enterprises for the ultimate competitive advantage. BMC Digital Enterprise Management is a set of innovative IT solutions designed to make digital business fast, seamless, and optimized from mainframe to mo...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Tintri Inc., a leading producer of VM-aware storage (VAS) for virtualization and cloud environments, will exhibit at the 18th International CloudExpo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Isomorphic Software will exhibit at SYS-CON's [email protected] at Cloud Expo New York, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Isomorphic Software provides the SmartClient HTML5/AJAX platform, the most advanced technology for building rich, high-productivity enterprise web applications for any device. SmartClient couples the industry’s broadest, deepest UI component set with a java server framework to deliver an end-...
SYS-CON Events announced today the Docker Meets Kubernetes – Intro into the Kubernetes World, being held June 9, 2016, in conjunction with 18th Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Register for 'Docker Meets Kubernetes Workshop' Here! This workshop led by Sebastian Scheele, co-founder of Loodse, introduces participants to Kubernetes (container orchestration). Through a combination of instructor-led presentations, demonstrations, and hands-on labs, participants learn ...
Just last week a senior Hybris consultant shared the story of a customer engagement on which he was working. This customer had problems, serious problems. We’re talking about response times far beyond the most liberal acceptable standard. They were unable to solve the issue in their eCommerce platform – specifically Hybris. Although the eCommerce project was delivered by a system integrator / implementation partner, the vendor still gets involved when things go really wrong. After all, the vendo...
SYS-CON Events announced today that AppNeta, the leader in performance insight for business-critical web applications, will exhibit and present at SYS-CON's @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. AppNeta is the only application performance monitoring (APM) company to provide solutions for all applications – applications you develop internally, business-critical SaaS applications you use and the networks that deli...
SYS-CON Events announced today that EastBanc Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. EastBanc Technologies has been working at the frontier of technology since 1999. Today, the firm provides full-lifecycle software development delivering flexible technology solutions that seamlessly integrate with existing systems – whether on premise or cloud. EastBanc Technologies partners with p...
The initial debate is over: Any enterprise with a serious commitment to IT is migrating to the cloud. But things are not so simple. There is a complex mix of on-premises, colocated, and public-cloud deployments. In this power panel at 18th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will look at the present state of cloud from the C-level view, and how great companies and rock star executives can use cloud computing to meet their most ambitious and disruptive business ...
Many banks and financial institutions are experimenting with containers in development environments, but when will they move into production? Containers are seen as the key to achieving the ultimate in information technology flexibility and agility. Containers work on both public and private clouds, and make it easy to build and deploy applications. The challenge for regulated industries is the cost and complexity of container security compliance. VM security compliance is already challenging, ...
Agile teams report the lowest rate of measuring non-functional requirements. What does this mean for the evolution of quality in this era of Continuous Everything? To explore how the rise of SDLC acceleration trends such as Agile, DevOps, and Continuous Delivery are impacting software quality, Parasoft conducted a survey about measuring and monitoring non-functional requirements (NFRs). Here's a glimpse at what we discovered and what it means for the evolution of quality in this era of Continuo...
Last week I had the pleasure of speaking on a panel at Sapphire Ventures Next-Gen Tech Stack Forum in San Francisco. Obviously, I was excited to join the discussion, but as a participant the event crystallized not only where the larger software development market is relative to microservices, container technologies (like Docker), continuous integration and deployment; but also provided insight into where DevOps is heading in the coming years.
In the rush to compete in the digital age, a successful digital transformation is essential, but many organizations are setting themselves up for failure. There’s a common misconception that the process is just about technology, but it’s not. It’s about your business. It shouldn’t be treated as an isolated IT project; it should be driven by business needs with the committed involvement of a range of stakeholders.
You might already know them from theagileadmin.com, but let me introduce you to two of the leading minds in the Rugged DevOps movement: James Wickett and Ernest Mueller. Both James and Ernest are active leaders in the DevOps space, in addition to helping organize events such as DevOpsDays Austinand LASCON. Our conversation covered a lot of bases from the founding of Rugged DevOps to aligning organizational silos to lessons learned from W. Edwards Demings.
As AT&Ts VP of Domain 2.0 architecture writes one aspect of their Domain 2.0 strategy is a goal to embrace a Microservices Application Architecture. One page 9 they describe how these envisage them fitting into the ECOMP architecture: "The initial steps of the recipes include a homing and placement task using constraints specified in the requests. ‘Homing and Placement' are micro-services involving orchestration, inventory, and controllers responsible for infrastructure, network, and applicati...
Application development and delivery methods have undergone radical changes in recent years to improve scalability and resiliency. Container images are the new build and deployment artifacts that are used to ship and run software. While startups have long been comfortable experimenting with and embracing new technologies, even large enterprises are now re-architecting their software systems so that they can benefit from container-enabled micro services architectures. With the launch of DC/OS, w...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...