Post by: Bill Marcus
After more than fifteen years in and around the world of partnering in the High Tech sector, a few truths still exist:
- It is hard to capture and keep the mind share and wallet share of partners
- The cost-of-sales through the channel is high
- It is not easy for partners to do business with most vendors/manufacturers
This was evident in my first job working with partners at SGI in the 1990’s. And decades later, despite technology advancements (web portals, PRM systems, CPQ systems, MDF tracking, etc.) channel leaders will admit these problems still exist today. And considering there are exponentially more companies vying for the limited mind share and wallet share of partners; and the number of changes in sales methodolgy, as well as the evolution of devices (i.e. iPads and SmartPhones), the job of growing a business through partners is more challenging than ever. So,unless channel leaders want to remain stuck in the future, perhaps it is time to focus on a couple of things:
- To stop believing in the magic pill approach; thinking that the problem can be solved by specific applications (like CRM/PRM), and
- To begin exploring the problem from the user's perspective (the partner sales rep); what they do each day, and what they need to better execute.
Based on my conversations with sales reps from industry leading solution providers, they may need to touch up to 10 different applications each day. Not only is this very inefficient, but reps take short-cuts and do the minimum necessary in these systems to get the sale completed. And, for the most part, they don’t care if management, the distributor, or the manufacturer collects enough data to report and analyze. It may be valuable to their businesses, but a sales rep's top priority is their paycheck.
About a year and half ago, an old friend called me and told about a revolutionary technology that unifies applications and streamlines workflows. Because I trust him, I went to see it in action. I was amazed and, a short time later, I joined the company. Fast forward to Q4 2015 and I see how this solution is transforming the way sales reps and partners work; how they are better engaged; how they are able to act independently, resulting in greater efficiency, effectiveness, and productivity.
After decades of hype and disappointments with various systems promising to make partners productive, it’s pretty exciting to be part of this transformation and actually help companies get the results they are expecting from their various routes-to-market.