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Channel Matters Blog > February 2015 > Channel Performance Tip: Look Back So You Can Leap Ahead

Channel Performance Tip: Look Back So You Can Leap Ahead

by Rich Blakeman
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The first quarter is when most channel managers complete their joint partner plans. Last quarter, they were too busy closing deals. Now, in quarter one, they and their partners are eager to put 2014 behind them and create plans for reaching 2015 goals.
 
According to Rich Blakeman, Managing Director for Channel Enablers, channel managers need to look back before looking ahead. "Channel managers should put the whole of last year's plans under the microscope, not just the attainment of last year's objectives. What did we do well? What didn't we do well?"
 
Much of this analysis boils down to whether or not everyone did what they said they were going to do. And when Blakeman says "everyone" he means everyone: partner, channel manager, as well as the individual departments within both vendor and partner organizations that play a role in executing the plan.
 
Together, channel managers and partners need to ask questions like: What were our strengths and weakness? Did we do a good job enabling the salespeople and front line sales managers within the partner organization? Did all sides execute the marketing plan? Do we need to beef up customer support? Do we have work to do in certain areas of product knowledge?
 
"It's also important to evaluate your planning skills," adds Blakeman. "You need to assess whether both sides are working together in good faith toward the same objectives with the same realistic understanding of what needs to get done. If not, no amount of planning is going to help either party reach their objectives."
 
Looking back is critical in good times and in bad. If the channel manager and the partner are coming off a disappointing year, it can be painful to assess what went wrong. Nevertheless, it's vital to understand so corrective action can be taken. Anything else is just "pie in the sky" thinking.
 
When times are good, it's important to identify success drivers so the successes can be repeated. A look back can also help detect actions that could drive the business to even greater heights.  With a little bit of focus on 2014, joint partner planning can lead to a very happy new year for all involved.
Last modified on 2/5/2015 7:44:46 AM
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