Are your Partners making money?

Would you agree that many Vendors deal with these same concers:  Is my channel making money –  Are they loyal –  Is this a win-win relationship?  Most Partners have 2 or 3 relationships for the same family of products/services.  So I would say, yes, this is an issue of concern for Vendors.

What are Partners looking for?  Surprisingly,  the answer is not necessarily in greater margins or MDF programs (Marketing Development Funds).  Though margins, MDF and other financial incentives are important, there is more to partner satisfaction than $$$$  incentives. 

I will touch in just a few:

  • Are you aware that today, many partners are not involved in any part of the sales cycle?  So, what do they gain from recommending Customers to go with one solution vs. another one?  To overcome this Vendors have Influencer programs that allow Partner gain when not involved in the sales cycle and Partner unbiased recommendations regardless of Vendor relationship.
  • Partners worry about channel conflict.  How can they disclose information about the deal to the Vendor and ensure the Vendor will not become a competitor?  Today, there are Deal Registration programs that allow the partners to increase reliability on the Vendor.  Once the partner registers a deal and the Vendor approves it, there is no uncertainty about disclosing necessary information to the Vendor.
  • Partners want to feel a differentiation with other partners based on the investment they have with the Vendor.  One way Vendors are creating partner differentiation is by placing emphasis on skills, competencies and specializations. It also allows Partners to build niche offerings around specific solutions.  Too many products/solutions on your portfolio can’t make you excel in all:  Hard to cover the sun with one hand!

I’ll stop here, for now…. Whether you are on the Partner or on the Vendor side, where do you stand today?   Let me hear from you.  I value your input.

 (…and if you feel I’m on the right track, let me assist you in making your Partner relationships a success)

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