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The Return Value of Channel-Specific Programs

Managing an indirect channel is complex. Use the right tools for the right job.

Relayware Partner Relationship Management

The Return Value of Channel-Specific Programs

In a world where 70% of businesses sell through the channel, companies spend a disproportionate amount on their direct sales. When companies put a little more into their channel partners, with the right tools, vendors see significant accelerated growth and a better return on investment.

We’ve seen our customers increase their revenue by more than 50% after putting in place channel-specific programs. We’ve also seen our customers increase their channel deal value when they give their partners the tools they need to market to customers and put together the right packages.

So it seems surprising when companies try to force fit direct sales tools for their channel partners to use. This happens when a company is shortsighted or not mature. For example (a common situation), a company has a CRM solution that they use for their own internal sales reps, and they try to just extend the system to their partners. The CRM company tells you (the vendor) that it can extend to your partner organizations (just not each and every partner rep), and this seems good enough for your channel partners.

Vendors increase channel revenue, when they enable each professional at each partner organization. This can be cost prohibitive when trying to scale a CRM solution for all of your partners, so sometimes short cuts are created. CRM solutions don’t have partner-specific learning management systems or complete marketing solutions that meet partner needs to increase sales. A company hits these walls, and they see channel revenue flat lining.

Furthermore, you can’t manage what you can’t measure. If you don’t have full visibility into each partner professional’s activities because of your CRM solutions limitations, then you are blind to what’s really working on the ground level.

Managing an indirect channel is complex. There are many moving parts that you do not completely control. Don’t kid yourself. Use the right tools for the right job.