We are using cookies to give you the best experience on our site. By continuing to use our website without changing the settings, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. View our Privacy Policy.
 

Getting Your Share of the Scarcest Channel Partner Commodity: Attention

Getting direct employees to focus is hard enough; getting your indirect sales channel to pay sufficient attention to your common pipeline, when other vendors compete for the same limited time and mindshare, is simply impossible to do manually, at scale.

Relayware Partner Relationship Management
‚Äč

Getting Your Share of the Scarcest Channel Partner Commodity: Attention

In today's workplace, the scarcest commodity is attention. While people seem to be reachable by email, chat or text at all times, we all run the risk of being hamstrung by nested distractions. Getting direct employees to focus is hard enough; getting your indirect sales channel to pay sufficient attention to your common pipeline, when other vendors compete for the same limited time and mindshare, is simply impossible to do manually, at scale.

A study of 161 channel partners, commissioned by Relayware, reveals just how difficult it is for VARs and systems integrators to juggle multiple vendors' competing demands. Of those 55 percent of respondents reselling products from 15 vendors or fewer, most say they intend to lower that number in the next two years. Only the larger partner organizations -- those reselling products of 16 vendors or more -- intend to add more vendors to their portfolios. A full 20 percent of respondents draw more than half of their revenue from one vendor source; another 20 percent draw 25 to 50 percent of their business from their primary vendor.

Unless your company is that 800-lb. gorilla, the only way to optimize the efforts and keep the attention of those channel partners is by responding to and even anticipating their needs with unmatched speed. The only way to accomplish that, in turn, is by automating those responses and outgoing messages in a properly triggered, timed and targeted way. And that, in turn, depends on two things:

  • 1) A well-planned, proactive communications strategy
  • 2) A current view of the state of play that is shared and synced.

Your strategy must have clearly determined goals: which products, vertical industries and geographies have the highest priorities in which to make sales, and why? Where are the greatest opportunities?

Following closely upon those goals, you need to know what actions -- seminars, RFPs, demos, follow-up calls -- do you need your partners to take as they move their leads down the funnel? And at what frequency?

Good partner automation systems help show channel managers which actions and intervals contribute best towards those goals, by revealing which individuals get the best results and tracking precisely what they did to get them. They enable channel managers to replicate those activities or materials across their lower rungs of partners, through business rules and automated communications, whether they are triggered by requests for collateral, timed follow-up intervals, budget thresholds, or any other perceivable events or measurable factors.

In order to make sure you and your channel partners have the same view of progress toward your sales goals, updates should automatically flow from partner cloud to your CRM system, if you have one, and vice versa. No training, certification, deal registration, MDF allocation or other activity should need to be entered twice. Synchronization between partner automation system data and CRM objects should give both parties access to the same lead, opportunity, and status info. Ideally, both channel partners and channel managers should be able to drill down on all activities, from dashboard representation to source data records.

Relayware's CRM Connector tool makes it easy to share all relevant data residing in Salesforce.com or other CRM tools with the Relayware Partner cloud, and therefore with your entire channel ecosystem. For more information on leveraging your CRM investment within the larger capabilities of Partner Automation to replicate best practices, see more on Partner Cloud.

 

Share