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Channel Matters Blog
by Rich Blakeman
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Marketers and salespeople alike understand that a value proposition isn't just about the features and benefits of a particular product or service. The value proposition also includes all of the sundry elements that wrap around your product and create the total value picture for your end customer. Of course, when you sell through an indirect channel, that includes channel partners.
by Rich Blakeman
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In my last post, I shared some strategies for how to sell sales training to the CFO. This week, let's tackle an even tougher challenge: justifying training for channel managers.
by Rich Blakeman
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Here's a question I routinely get asked by channel organizations: "Should we force our partners to use our sales methodology?"

If you read my posts on a regular basis, you already know part of what I'm going to say. Partners do things for their own reasons, and you can't really force them to do anything long-term. If they adopt your selling process, it's because they see a benefit in it for their business.
 
by Rich Blakeman
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These days, the sales and marketing profession is all abuzz about using "Big Data" to build relationships with customers and prospects and close more business. As a channel professional, it's easy to feel a little left out. Since we don't sell directly to customers, it's hard enough to collect the "little" data like which customers bought which products.
by Rich Blakeman
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As we approached midyear, we started a series of posts on areas of channel strategy that could still be adjusted in time to create a positive impact on end-of-year business. These posts covered a variety of topics such as partner selection, channel business acumen and refocusing resources to where they can have the greatest impact. We could not possibly move on from this series without taking a look at demand creation, a topic that is omnipresent in practically every strategy discussion we have.
by Rich Blakeman
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I was talking to a client recently, and he had a request we hear quite a bit:

"Rich, I have a terrible problem. As you know, we sell through multiple channels, and one of them is routinely undercutting our street price by discounting. Can you help us design some pricing strategies that will keep that from happening?"
by Rich Blakeman
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This month, we've been taking a close look at the analysis and actions channel organizations can take to ensure they're on track to meet their end-of-year numbers. I started off with a post on refocusing your resources on channel partners that can make a difference. Then, my colleague, Jan de Leon, wrote a post on the importance of building channel business acumen. Today, I want to turn the focus to market coverage.
by Rich Blakeman
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How you choose to engage customers forms the foundation of the customer experience. This experience, more than any investment the organization makes in marketing or logo design, creates the perception of the organization in the market. For the channel organization, your partners are your brand.

by Jan de Leon
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prospecting.jpgStar Wars fans will easily recall the scene from Return of the Jedi when Vader comes to inspect the progress made on the Death Star. Tiaan Jerjerrod tells Vader that his men are working as fast as they can. When Vader replies that the Emperor is coming and he is "most displeased" with the lack of progress, a suddenly motivated Jerjerrod says, "We shall double our efforts!"
by Rich Blakeman
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How time flies! It's almost mid-year, and soon, many of you will be making a judgment calls on your chances of hitting quota. (Whether or not you share that opinion with management is another matter!).
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