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Channel Matters Blog > May 2015 > Separating the Believers from the Deceivers in Channel Sales

Separating the Believers from the Deceivers in Channel Sales

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!)

Unless you've had a great first half, you've probably vowed to work a little harder. But as we all know, there is only so much time in the day, and the key to productivity is to work smarter not harder. For the channel sales organization, that means putting your resources behind the channel partners who can have the greatest impact on your numbers.

As we've discussed in previous posts, it doesn't make much sense to focus your extra efforts on the Achievers. Those partners perform well with or without you. Any additional attention you give them will probably not result in much incremental impact.

It's not the Deceivers either. These channel partners demand a lot of time and attention, but never fulfill their end of the bargain. With only a little over six months to go in the year, you have no time for their games.

Now is the time to refocus on the Believers, those partners who have the desire and the commitment to succeed, but need your guidance to achieve their potential.

Deceivers in disguise
Unfortunately, it's not always easy to separate the Believers from the Deceivers. Some Deceivers are good at disguising themselves as Believers by hiding behind their enthusiasm. I'm reminded of a story about channel partner who found a "hot prospect" in Mexico and wanted to open up that market for the software vendor they represented. They were convinced they could do it, and they were willing to dedicate the resources. The partner had been successful in the past, and their enthusiasm was contagious.

However, this partner also had a reputation for not finishing what they started. As the channel director for the company told me, "Success in that market is the worst possible outcome. Once that partner establishes us there, we're committed to serving those customers regardless of what the partner decides to do in the future."

It would have been easy for the young, inexperienced channel manager to get sucked into the partner's enthusiasm and distracted from what really mattered - making her numbers now.

It's all about follow-through
At the end of the day, enthusiasm isn't enough to separate the Believers from the Deceivers. Hopefully, you made a few judgment calls at the beginning of the year, but now is the time to compare actions against the commitments made during your joint channel planning. What did your partners commit to, and what actions have they taken toward fulfilling those commitments? By the same token, don't forget to reexamine your own commitments and whether you've lived up to your promises.

On a final note, it's also a good time to take a closer look at your Achievers. If you followed our guidance at the beginning of the year, you've been spending less time with them. Have they even noticed? If you're seeing a downward trend in their key performance metrics, maybe they aren't the Achievers you thought they were.
Last modified on 5/8/2015 9:57:59 AM
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