When writing a business blog, it’s always so easy to be focused on negative stories. Be worried about these challenges, don’t let your business fall prey to those negative trends, don’t let this happen to your channel. However, when it comes to channel sales and indirect marketing ventures on the whole, things are actually looking quite good! It’s a booming area of sales with a lot going for it, and more vendors are looking to move into channel sales every day.
So, it’s time to focus on the positive. Here are some trends in channel marketing we’ve noticed that are good for just about everyone. These would be great points to bring up with your own partners, or in pitches, when you’re trying to recruit new sales channels!
1. Overall, channel sales are growing
According to research done by The 2112 Group there is real growth going on in the sales channel. Channel partners have increased gross sales by an average of 10-15%. Better yet, the compound annual growth rate is even higher and has been holding steady for years. Overall, both vendors and partners in an indirect sale ecosystem have plenty of reason to expect further growth from the partnership in years to come.
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2. New strategies and tech are driving growth
In a recent blog, we discussed the problem of overcoming resistance to change within your sales channels. However, from everything we’ve seen, sales ecosystems are steadily implementing new technology and new ideas. There may be some internal resistance, but the benefits to updating channel strategies are simply too numerous for most vendors and partners to ignore.
If you can put together a solid case for updated policies or new tech investment, most of the participants will be willing to listen and, if necessary, adapt to changing market conditions. In particular...
3. Cloud technologies are good for channel sales
Some naysayers had been claiming that the rise of cloud computing and XaaS service-based offerings would render channel ecosystems irrelevant. Instead, it seems to us it’s more the opposite. Channel ecosystems are rapidly innovating and finding ways to utilize the cloud for their own services, and making XaaS offerings part of their portfolio.
This likely just goes together with the general “new technology will put us out of work!” vibe that’s been surrounding a lot of technological innovation. While sometimes older business types may get displaced by technology, in general smart businesses simply find ways to adapt and use the technology themselves.
4. Partners are a great way to interact with buyers
Another reason we don’t think managed services and cloud-based offerings will displace the channel setup is that those services are so detached and hands-off. Buyers still need lines of communication within a company, and actual humans to guide them. This is a perfect fit for channel partners! Partners give you a way to interact with your customers and ensure they have the guidance they need to make best use of your produces or services, but without you having to spend big money setting up your own customer service centers.
In terms of buyer relations, a channel ecosystem really hits a sweet spot between costs and service.