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Insights Into Successful Channel Relationships Cheat Sheet (DRAFT) by [deleted]

This is a draft cheat sheet. It is a work in progress and is not finished yet.

Introd­uction

What can vendors do to develop mutually profitable channel relati­onships with their partners? Teach them to fish? Well, something like that. One of the most important things a vendor can do for their partners is provide them with the education and tools needed to succes­sfully sell.

Insights

Insight #1: Furnishing and funding sales education and tools shows how much value the vendor places on the partner and supports their ability to achieve sales success.
It is not only sales education and tools that contribute to the develo­pment of a strong channel relati­onship, but also helping the partner to build their business. Sittig­-Rolf maintains, “I think partners are going to look for a vendor that’s going to support them in all kinds of ways. Not just in the products that that vendor sells, but in helping that partner be better at running the business, whether it be operations or sales or HR and just looking kind of at that overall package of, ‘How are you going to help me grow my busine­ss?’, and, ‘Why should I choose you versus your compet­itor?’”

Insight #2: Partners want to be a part of vendor channel programs that help them build and grow their busine­sses.
“The partners are really craving inform­ation and value and things that are going to help that partner be better at running their business” reiterates Sittig­-Rolf. When vendors can supply skills training, she explains, they are going “to get much more of a buy-in from that partner, you’re going to have that goodwill aspect from the partner saying to the vendor, ‘Wow. You really care about my business, not just pushing your product.’ And then that’s going to encourage that partner to then sell more of the vendor’s products and services just because of that goodwill that it creates.”

Insight #3: Really caring about the partner’s business can lead to goodwill and increased sales.
Vendor goodwill also helps to build trust, which is the corner­stone of successful channel relati­onships and something that should be nurtured. But what happens when that goodwill is damaged? Warns Sittig­-Rolf, “I think as soon as that’s broken, that trust is broken, it’s really hard to get it back.”

Insight #4: When a partner’s trust in the vendor is broken, it takes a long time and a lot of work to get it back but sometimes the partne­rship never recovers.
For some vendors, choosing a specific partner is not always about revenue. As Sittig­-Rolf says, “Sometimes it can be ‘Well, this particular partner has this niche, or they have a sweet spot that can really help us in this particular area. Maybe we’ve been wanting to sell more managed services and here’s a partner and while they’re small and maybe they only have a couple of locations, it’s going to help us get started with this services piece.’”

Insight #5: Many times it can be the partner who provides the education to the vendor, especially if the vendor is adding another line of business. The vendor should be ready and willing to accept the partner’s help.
 

Channel Marketing