The law of the jungle is survival of the fittest, and few jungles are as competitive as indirect channel sales. Someone else will eat your lunch if you’re not operating at peak performance. To ensure you are optimizing your channel, it’s important to get full visibility into your channel performance.
On top of losing deals to the competition, a lack of channel visibility can also mean expensive mistakes in terms of incentive program payments, recognizing and tracking revenue and operations within the channel. Over time, this lack of visibility tends to rear its head as serious competitive disadvantage.
Is your company able to answer these questions—without spending hours tracking them down?
- Who are our most effective partners?
- In what verticals are they most successful? Least successful?
- Do partners have better success with some products than with others?
- Why are some partners losing deals?
- What partners are best positioned to get our new offering out to the customer?
Without easy access to these answers, you’re forced into making sub-par decisions—or making them so late in the game that they’ve become bad decisions.
Keeping track of partners, geographic coverage, the partner recruitment pipeline, partner activity and performance analytics is critical, and you need something smarter and more integrated than a variety of spreadsheets and email folders to effectively manage channel performance.
Vendors need to be able to sit down in one place, with partner profiles and business plan, and have all the facts and figures available in a meaningful format. Without that perspective, you’re running blind. You will be unlikely to repeat success, and all your effort to make sense out of the information will lead to results no different than if you’d thrown darts at a channel management dartboard.
How many of the vendors in your vertical already have 20/20 channel visibility? These are the competitors that will be ahead of you in their channel sales. Vendors that lack a clear view into the channel are going to fall behind.