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Relayware Partner Relationship Management

10 Reasons Vendors Are Difficult To Work With (from your channel's POV)

Posted on May 13, 2013 by Ken Snyder

A few weeks ago I had the privilege of talking to an individual who worked for a channel partner organization.  During the course of our 20 minute conversation I learned some incredibly useful bits of information.  The net take-away was that she thought the vendors that her company did business with weren’t as easy to deal with as they made themselves out to be.

Here are 10 specific discoveries that emerged from that conversation:

  1. Some partners work with 800 vendors
  2. Larger partners actually have employees dedicated solely to managing compliance with [all 800] different vendor program policies
  3. The burden, in most cases, is put on the PARTNER to ensure compliance with each vendor’s unique partner program policies
  4. There’s very little automation from vendors to assist the partner with timely and preventative notifications about possible lapses in partner program policy compliance
  5. The people at these partner companies who try to keep up with vendor program compliance get very little sleep since their plates are so full and there’s little hope of successfully organizing and automating compliance across 800 vendors
  6. Their wish is to be able to segment VENDOR’s in a way that groups by similar program requirements/attributes/time-triggered events/etc.
  7. It’s likely that you [the vendor] have put your own needs before those of your partners by starting your requirements definition with “I need…” rather than starting requirements with “My indirect sales channel needs…”
  8. It’s likely that 80% of your channel [typically Silver & Bronze] gets very little personalized attention and only the top 20% [typically Gold or Platinum] of partners get individual and personalized attention
  9. Average and low producing partners are often removed from your program only to be replaced by other novice partners who will, inevitably, take time to onboard and ultimately succumb to the same fate as their predecessor
  10. Vendors rarely provide opportunities for partners to interact with one another to share best practices and collaborate in order to overcome challenges that other partners in different regions (yet under similar circumstances) may have successfully overcome
  11. The majority of vendors do not offer a mobile application for improving channel education, satisfaction, and engagement

Just like in the movie, “Spinal Tap”, our lists go to 11. 

At the end of the day your resellers and partners wish you were easier to do business with.  As you plan for the 2nd half of 2013 and consider your strategic needs for 2014 – start by putting yourself in your partner’s shoes and think about THEIR needs as you allocate resources and define program policy compliance requirements.

Ask yourself whether or not you have sufficiently automated collaboration and communication mechanisms in place to give your partners every opportunity to succeed!