In the pursuit of more revenues and growing profitability, it has become apparent that your direct sales team is no longer capable of achieving your ambitious sales goals. As the executive launching a channel strategy for an emerging growth company, you are about to embark on a complex journey: supplementing your direct sales force with independent re-sellers to springboard revenue growth. If indirect channel partners are the solution, what will ensure their effectiveness and success?
Goals of a Channel Sales Partner
Objectives of adding an outsourced sales team include:
- Increase revenue as soon as possible
- Gain market share over your competition
- Improve margins, cut costs, and lower overhead
- Decrease your cost of goods sold
- Improve your up-sell or cross-sell opportunities
Of course, with goals come obstacles that can limit your channel success.
Obstacles to Channel Success
According to the April 2011 study, The Key Challenges to Channel Sales Effectiveness from the Aberdeen Group, there are four issues limiting channel success:
- Insufficient mindshare among partners
- Insufficient sales/marketing abilities among partners
- Too little top-line revenue yielded by partners
- Limited sales pipeline visibility
As an emerging growth business, deploying an indirect sales force is one of the most difficult yet most rewarding steps to quickly capture market share. In recent times, it has been an ever-growing best practice for an emerging company to implement a channel management system in order to mitigate and possibly eliminate those obstacles. Today, you can manage your partner relationships via technology cost-effectively and efficiently.
How, What and Why?
With a channel management solution, more commonly known as a Partner Relationship Management System (PRM), now widely available to small and medium sized businesses.
Partner Relationship Management is Software-as-a- Service (SaaS) technology platform with a suite of tools, content, training and an infrastructure designed specifically for your emerging business to sell better. Solutions include role-based content delivery, better training and certification tracking, and collaboration forums.
A sound PRM strategy allows you and your partners to easily overcome the typical challenges of ramping up new partners. There is no other best practice to ensure optimal channel performance.
How Does One Start?
Effective channel sales start with an effective channel management solution: launching a partner portal. Partner portals aggressively support indirect sellers and their end-user customer relationships. Your ramp to new revenues will be faster and less risky than trying to manage these partners manually. The visibility and business tools alone will justify the ROI.