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Channel Matters Blog > March 2015 > Channel Managers Need to Learn to Negotiate – Internally

Channel Managers Need to Learn to Negotiate – Internally

by Jan de Leon
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Every sales leader dreams of spreading channel sales out evenly over the twelve-month period. Most have yet to reach that particularly elusive goal. Instead, the serious negotiating always seems to happen at the end of each quarter, particularly at the end of the year.
That means channel managers regularly have to fight for the resources they need to close business. For example, they might need a product expert to meet with the prospect. Or, the prospect may be requesting specific implementation dates that require the vendor's commitment. The partner may even request a discount to help tip the scales in their favor.
"Channel managers can lose credibility within their own organization when they bring a laundry list of resource requirements to management at the end of the quarter," says Jan de Leon, Director of Channel Sales, Asia-Pacific, for Channel Enablers. "It strains the business resources, puts everybody under additional pressure, and makes the channel manager look like a poor manager of his overall channel development."
Channel partners shouldn't give up on trying to move partner negotiations earlier into the period. When that just isn't possible, they need to learn the strategies for negotiation with internal resources to gain their support. 
"It doesn't make sense for channel managers to burn through credibility pressing hard every quarter on every source of support," says dLeon"Instead, they need to balance the immediacy of the return for the quarter against the long-term potential for the partner. "
De Leon cites an example that is easily recognizable to many channel managers. "At the end of the year, partners are as eager to close business as the vendor. New partners may demand resources like a site-visit by a product specialist who can provide a needs assessment on the partner's behalf.  The channel manager needs to take a close look at the scenario and the partner's commitment. Asking for an expensive resource for an opportunity or partner that doesn't warrant it takes that resource out of play for other opportunities. Plus, it can impact the channel manager's ability to get cooperation from internal resources next time."
Channel managers need to be thinking long-term. The organization won't reach its long-term channel objectives if the channel managers are always looking at short-term needs.
Last modified on 3/11/2015 9:48:09 AM
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