Channel Readiness Blog

Pareto Principle: How to Manage a Growing Roster of Channel Partners

Posted by Seth Jacobsen on Dec 18, 2014 2:50:00 PM

A growing network of channel partners – dealers, VARs, and resellers – can be a very good thing for companies looking to increase revenue, but to those tasked with managing channel relationships, adding channel partners also means adding to the challenge of maintaining and maximizing their engagement with the enterprise. Getting the attention of your channel partners - and maintaining it - is one key challenge. Another challenge is bucking the Pareto principle where 80% of your revenue comes from only 20% of your partners. This scenario leaves most channel managers wondering how to change this dynamic and get most out of their entire channel.

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Topics: prm, Scale Your Channel, PRM Best Practice, Partner Collaboration, channel management, channel manager, emerging growth companies, Channel Partner Certification, Increase Channel Sales, Performance, marketing, communication, dealer training

Mindshare and Your Channel Partners – Are You Getting Their Attention?

Posted by Seth Jacobsen on Dec 16, 2014 3:11:00 PM

We hear a lot of questions related to channel partner relationship management, and invariably the term “mindshare” seems to pop up.  It is an easy concept to grasp but, in practice, is very difficult to obtain. If you are a manufacturer selling through an indirect channel, you know the importance of mindshare. In many cases, your partners are selling your products and services right alongside those of your competitors. In order to gain a leg of up on the competition, you need your partners focused on your products first. That's mindshare. But...how to achieve it?

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Topics: prm, partner relationship management, Partner Portal, Channel Partner Training, Partner Collaboration, Channel Partner Certification, Marketing Materials, Performance, prm systems, marketing, communication, channel partner management, PRM solutions, channel partner relationship, mindshare

5 Best Practice Ideas for Launching a PRM Solution

Posted by Seth Jacobsen on Dec 11, 2014 2:45:00 PM

We are often contacted by organizations asking us about the best approach they should pursue as they consider a Partner Relationship Management (PRM) solution for their company and their dealer channel. As we reflect on these questions, we have come up with five best practice strategies we think are important for any company considering a PRM solution.


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Topics: prm, Build Your Channel, partner relationship management, Partner Portal, best practices, channel management, emerging growth companies, marketing, prm technology, think big, dealer training, PRM solutions

Building a Partner Relationship Management Culture

Posted by Seth Jacobsen on Dec 9, 2014 1:39:00 PM

You are the VP of Sales and Channel Support for a rapidly growing high tech company.  It has become clear that you need to re-evaluate your channel sales strategy and begin to consider what technology options are available to help you better support your sales partners.  In many ways this is a cultural shift. You have consulted your existing channel partners to evaluate their needs, and based on past experiences, you know that some of the keys to a successful channel partner strategy involve the following components:

  • Recruit and retain the right channel partners
  • Onboard and educate new channel partners quickly and efficiently
  • Provide ongoing support through training and certification, marketing collateral, marketing strategies, etc.
  • Monitor their progress and deliver the right incentives to promote future success
  • Deploy a system that allows for bi-directional lead management and pipeline visibility
  • Provide a forum for customer feedback and allowing your partners to share best practices

 

Now that you have identified your most pressing needs and developed the plans and documents - on your side and at the partner level - the hard part remains to find a technology solution that can help.

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Topics: prm, Build Your Channel, partner relationship management, Partner Portal, Partner Collaboration, PRM in the cloud, channel management, Understanding PRM, Channel Marketing Strategy, Channel Sales Productivity, channel partner management, channel support

Unlocking Channel Value with Partner Relationship Management

Posted by Seth Jacobsen on Dec 4, 2014 9:59:00 AM

If you're an executive with sales or marketing oversight you understand that your channel partners play an invaluable role in the sales process by representing your brand and acting on your behalf (often as the voice and face of your company). Under your sales direction, your channel partners establish strong customer relationships by listening to customer needs, offering personalized support and ultimately providing products essential to customer success. All too frequently however, channel partners are neglected and a lack of support in the tools, material, and communication they need prohibits their ability to service the customer as effectively as possible. Your business suffers along with theirs. Making matters worse, a variety of point solutions are often put in place to help meet a specific need, with the end result being too many disparate systems that only make doing business more difficult.


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Topics: prm, partner relationship management, Partner Portal, PRM Best Practice, PRM in the cloud, channel management, emerging growth companies, emerging growth sales, Increase Channel Sales

The PRM/CRM Balance – How to Handle Lead Management

Posted by Seth Jacobsen on Dec 2, 2014 10:21:00 AM

Any business that sells through an indirect sales channel has likely encountered the challenge of lead registration and management. If your emerging growth company is bringing on its first few channel partners you recognize the need to have some type of process in place to share leads. If you are looking to expand an already successful indirect channel you probably realize the complexity of maintaining control and insight into your pipeline. Regardless of how advanced your relationships are with your with channel partners, you understand this is a critical success factor. Our experience has shown us that some consistent challenges exist as it relates to lead management:


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Topics: prm, partner relationship management, best practices, lead management, Partner Collaboration, PRM v. CRM, emerging growth companies, Performance, marketing, communication, crm

Gaining a Competitive Advantage with Channel Partner Insight

Posted by Seth Jacobsen on Nov 25, 2014 11:40:00 AM

You are the head of sales for an emerging growth company but your company’s sales remain stagnant. You are not able to efficiently move your products through your channel partners to the end customers, capitalize on new market opportunities or build successful relationships with your partners. This is not a recipe for success. In an effort to move forward you will need to evaluate your channel strategy to optimize your channel’s performance. We've come up with a list of places to start:

 

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Topics: Optimize Your Channel, Ease of Doing Business, channel management software, PRM Best Practice, Channel Software, Partner Collaboration, channel management, Channel Marketing Strategy, business intelligence, data visualization

7 Ways to Improve a Channel Partner Sales Productivity with PRM

Posted by Seth Jacobsen on Nov 20, 2014 11:00:00 AM

As the person responsible for your channel partner relationships, you are always looking for ways to help your partners increase their sales effectiveness.  You have a singular focus on driving sales (with maybe a secondary focus on margin improvement) and you are interested in any tools that help. 

You have started to explore what is available in the channel partner management software space.  Your research has led you to an even more specific solution called partner relationship management (PRM) software.   But can a PRM solution improve sales productivity?


 

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Topics: prm, Build Your Channel, Ease of Doing Business, Partner Portal, best practices, PRM in the cloud, channel management, Understanding PRM, Channel Marketing Strategy, Channel Sales Productivity

PRM Partner Portals: Achieve Visibility Into Channel Performance

Posted by Seth Jacobsen on Nov 18, 2014 10:30:00 AM

Listening to the needs of your channel partners provides your business - and theirs - tremendous benefits.  The channel will realize improved efficiencies and greater productivity as well as a distinct competitive advantage in the marketplace.  Partner relationship management (PRM) is a strategy to help you get the most out of your channel partnerships by achieving the business outcomes you both need to be successful.

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Topics: prm, Optimize Your Channel, partner relationship management, Partner Portal, Partner Collaboration, channel management, channel partners, channel partner engagement, Performance, prm systems

FAQ When Considering a Partner Relationship Management (PRM) Solution

Posted by Seth Jacobsen on Nov 13, 2014 1:45:00 PM

If your organization sells product or services through an indirect channel, you know that supporting your channel partners (dealers, distributors, VARs and franchisees) is an ongoing challenge.  You've likely concluded that effective communication, high levels of engagement, and providing the information your partners need are mission critical to your success and theirs. You probably recognize the need for proper planning and a technology platform to bring it all together, but how do you determine where to start?

We've compiled a series of questions you can ask yourself if you are considering Partner Relationship Management (PRM) solutions and technology to support and enable your channel partner community.

 

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Topics: Optimize Your Channel, Ease of Doing Business, channel management software, PRM Best Practice, Channel Software, Partner Collaboration, channel management, Understanding PRM, Channel Marketing Strategy, New Product Introductions, business intelligence, data visualization

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