Change isn’t easy. We are creatures of habit, accustomed to working with tools, processes and people that are familiar to us. Learning to use new software, operate within new program rules or collaborate with new resources takes time, patience and commitment. Still, there are a few fundamentals that should be used to guide change, particularly where channel partners and channel partner programs are concerned.
Components of Channel Data Management
When working with my channel clients I often hear the term Channel Data Management (CDM) discussed in the context of managing Point-of-Sale (POS) data. POS is certainly an important part of the data you manage. But isn’t CDM broader than that? Don’t we also rely on channel data to:
Many technology partners and vendors find themselves in the implementation stage of a hybrid Cloud model. Tiffany Bova of Gartner, sees the channel evolving as follows:
Even if you are the 800 pound gorilla in your market (think Microsoft, HP, Google), you need to get into your partners’ heads to maximize the potential of your channel. If you are not an 800 pound Gorilla, the stakes are much higher. You need to know what makes your partners tick? What pays their bills? What keeps them awake at night? Who are their main competitors? What do their customers care about? Only when you truly understand their needs and aspirations can you fine-tune the elements of your partner program to ensure their success.
Okay, I might be biased, but let’s address a common misconception: visualization is just about making things look pretty. Over the last 10 years I’ve found visualization to be an increasingly important means for discovering insights, not simply making things look good.
Companies across different industries – Technology, Consumer Products, Life Sciences, Automotive, etc. – are experiencing pain points in today’s rapidly evolving markets. During the recent Vistex VISTAS conference, I shared some of the challenges our clients face and revealed how Vistex helps them tackle their Go-to-Market (GTM) challenges. In this context Go-to-Market is defined as contracts, pricing, and incentive programs, such as rebates, promotions and Co-op/MDF that motivate distribution partners to sell a vendor’s products.
Promotional allowance programs (MDF, Co-op) can be one of the most effective tools in a channel marketer’s toolkit. However, they often also represent the largest expense in their channel marketing budget. This combination makes them a true high risk/high reward proposition requiring the right strategies to deliver successful programs.
If you’ve spent any time in corporate America you realize that The 80/20 rule can be applied to pretty much anything – candy consumption, crop yields, tenant complaints, software features – the list is endless. It should come as no surprise then that this “Pareto Principle” can also be applied to channels of distribution.
You can have the most perfectly designed channel programs, but if you don’t execute successfully, it will fail … ever wonder why this is? The Business/Strategic effort to design a successful channel program is only as effective as how well it plays out in the Channel, and how well you prepare and execute on that vision. Will your program resonate with your partners, with your Senior Exec Team? How will you know? Let’s take a look at some of the common pitfalls that occur at the execution stage.
Recently, we hosted a webinar called Building a Go-to-Market Strategy to Enable Both Your Cloud and Traditional Partners. Our presenters VP Channel Strategy William Gilsing and VP Client Services Dale Taormino received some really good questions from attendees and here are their answers.
Companies are constantly reaching out to us for guidance on how to recruit the right partners for their channel. They have questions about finding their ideal partners, and how to identify what that partner looks like in the first place. With the rise of Cloud and recurring revenue models, the types of partners they need is shifting, which has made it necessary for them to reevaluate what partner capabilities are important to them – and made it even more critical to engage in profiling and recruitment activities. In this post, I’m going to break down one of the truths companies need to follow for successful recruitment.
If you are like many of us here at Vistex, you got into marketing because you enjoy engaging in creative and collaborative processes to develop strategic marketing plans, and are thrilled by putting them into action to drive real results. Like many of us, you have also likely spent too much time in the last 5-10 years talking about compliance and controls, while throwing around acronyms like FASB, SOX and FTC. Well, we’re happy to report that we’re seeing a shift back to the value of marketing. In particular, we’re seeing more value being placed upon Joint Marketing Planning (JMP) with partners to achieve sales and marketing objectives and executing on GTM initiatives. I wanted to share with you 5 takeaways from a recent conversation I had on JMP keys to success: