Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: PagerDuty Blog, Robert Reeves, Liz McMillan, JP Morgenthal, Automic Blog

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
Admittedly, two years ago I was a bulk contributor to the DevOps noise with conversations rooted in the movement around culture, principles, and goals. And while all of these elements of DevOps environments are important, I’ve found that the biggest challenge now is a lack of understanding as to why DevOps is beneficial. It’s getting the wheels going, or just taking the next step. The best way to start on the road to change is to take a look at the companies that have already made great headway ...
In 2006, Martin Fowler posted his now famous essay on Continuous Integration. Looking back, what seemed revolutionary, radical or just plain crazy is now common, pedestrian and "just what you do." I love it. Back then, building and releasing software was a real pain. Integration was something you did at the end, after code complete, and we didn't know how long it would take. Some people may recall how we, as an industry, spent a massive amount of time integrating code from one team with another...
Many private cloud projects were built to deliver self-service access to development and test resources. While those clouds delivered faster access to resources, they lacked visibility, control and security needed for production deployments. In their session at 18th Cloud Expo, Steve Anderson, Product Manager at BMC Software, and Rick Lefort, Principal Technical Marketing Consultant at BMC Software, will discuss how a cloud designed for production operations not only helps accelerate developer...
I have an article in the recently released “DZone Guide to Building and Deploying Applications on the Cloud” entitled “Fullstack Engineering in the Age of Hybrid Cloud”. In this article I discuss the need and skills of a Fullstack Engineer with relation to troubleshooting and repairing complex, distributed hybrid cloud applications. My recent experiences with troubleshooting issues with my Docker WordPress container only reinforce the details I wrote about in this piece. Without my comprehensive...
From the conception of Docker containers to the unfolding microservices revolution we see today, here is a brief history of what I like to call 'containerology'. In 2013, we were solidly in the monolithic application era. I had noticed that a growing amount of effort was going into deploying and configuring applications. As applications had grown in complexity and interdependency over the years, the effort to install and configure them was becoming significant. But the road did not end with a ...
Struggling to keep up with increasing application demand? Learn how Platform as a Service (PaaS) can streamline application development processes and make resource management easy.
As the software delivery industry continues to evolve and mature, the challenge of managing the growing list of the tools and processes becomes more daunting every day. Today, Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) platforms are proving most valuable by providing the governance, management and coordination for every stage of development, deployment and release. Recently, I spoke with Madison Moore at SD Times about the changing market and where ALM is headed.
In a crowded world of popular computer languages, platforms and ecosystems, Node.js is one of the hottest. According to w3techs.com, Node.js usage has gone up 241 percent in the last year alone. Retailers have taken notice and are implementing it on many levels. I am going to share the basics of Node.js, and discuss why retailers are using it to reduce page load times and improve server efficiency. I’ll talk about similar developments such as Docker and microservices, and look at several compani...
The goal of any tech business worth its salt is to provide the best product or service to its clients in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible. This is just as true in the development of software products as it is in other product design services. Microservices, an app architecture style that leans mostly on independent, self-contained programs, are quickly becoming the new norm, so to speak. With this change comes a declining reliance on older SOAs like COBRA, a push toward more s...
Small teams are more effective. The general agreement is that anything from 5 to 12 is the 'right' small. But of course small teams will also have 'small' throughput - relatively speaking. So if your demand is X and the throughput of a small team is X/10, you probably need 10 teams to meet that demand. But more teams also mean more effort to coordinate and align their efforts in the same direction. So, the challenge is how to harness the power of small teams and yet orchestrate multiples of them...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Peak 10, Inc., a national IT infrastructure and cloud services provider, 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. 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 inter...
Much of the value of DevOps comes from a (renewed) focus on measurement, sharing, and continuous feedback loops. In increasingly complex DevOps workflows and environments, and especially in larger, regulated, or more crystallized organizations, these core concepts become even more critical. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Andi Mann, Chief Technology Advocate at Splunk, will show how, by focusing on 'metrics that matter,' you can provide objective, transparent, and meaningfu...
In the world of DevOps there are ‘known good practices’ – aka ‘patterns’ – and ‘known bad practices’ – aka ‘anti-patterns.' Many of these patterns and anti-patterns have been developed from real world experience, especially by the early adopters of DevOps theory; but many are more feasible in theory than in practice, especially for more recent entrants to the DevOps scene. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Chair Andi Mann, panelists will dis...
Wow, if you ever wanted to learn about Rugged DevOps (some call it DevSecOps), sit down for a spell with Shannon Lietz, Ian Allison and Scott Kennedy from Intuit. We discussed a number of important topics including internal war games, culture hacking, gamification of Rugged DevOps and starting as a small team. There are 100 gold nuggets in this conversation for novices and experts alike.
The notion of customer journeys, of course, are central to the digital marketer’s playbook. Clearly, enterprises should focus their digital efforts on such journeys, as they represent customer interactions over time. But making customer journeys the centerpiece of the enterprise architecture, however, leaves more questions than answers. The challenge arises when EAs consider the context of the customer journey in the overall architecture as well as the architectural elements that make up each...
If there is anything we have learned by now, is that every business paves their own unique path for releasing software- every pipeline, implementation and practices are a bit different, and DevOps comes in all shapes and sizes. Software delivery practices are often comprised of set of several complementing (or even competing) methodologies – such as leveraging Agile, DevOps and even a mix of ITIL, to create the combination that’s most suitable for your organization and that maximize your busines...
Digital means customer preferences and behavior are driving enterprise technology decisions to be sure, but let’s not forget our employees. After all, when we say customer, we mean customer writ large, including partners, supply chain participants, and yes, those salaried denizens whose daily labor forms the cornerstone of the enterprise. While your customers bask in the warm rays of your digital efforts, are your employees toiling away in the dark recesses of your enterprise, pecking data into...
You deployed your app with the Bluemix PaaS and it's gaining some serious traction, so it's time to make some tweaks. Did you design your application in a way that it can scale in the cloud? Were you even thinking about the cloud when you built the app? If not, chances are your app is going to break. Check out this webcast to learn various techniques for designing applications that will scale successfully in Bluemix, for the confidence you need to take your apps to the next level and beyond.
With DevOps becoming more well-known and established practice in nearly every industry that delivers software, it is important to continually reassess its efficacy. This week’s top 10 includes a discussion on how the quick uptake of DevOps adoption in the enterprise has posed some serious challenges. Additionally, organizations who have taken the DevOps plunge must find ways to find, hire and keep their DevOps talent in order to keep the machine running smoothly.
Much of the discussion around cloud DevOps focuses on the speed with which companies need to get new code into production. This focus is important – because in an increasingly digital marketplace, new code enables new value propositions. New code is also often essential for maintaining competitive parity with market innovators. But new code doesn’t just have to deliver the functionality the business requires. It also has to behave well because the behavior of code in the cloud affects performan...