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Channel Matters Blog > May 2015 > Time to Double Your Efforts?

Time to Double Your Efforts?

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!"

I suspect a few channel managers can relate to Jerjerrod's predicament when their manager asks how the year is shaping up. When told the VP of Sales is "most displeased" with channel revenues, it's tempting to reply that you shall double your efforts.

Work smarter, not harder
Sometimes, it can seem that driving channel revenues is almost as difficult as building a Death Star. No matter how much effort you apply, your ability to impact channel sales feels limited. Is it time to roll up your sleeves and get involved in the actual deals?

Of course, not. You can't turn around lagging channel revenues by taking over sales activities any more than Jerjerrod could make the Death Star construction go faster by doing it himself.

The purpose of this series of mid-year emails is to help channel managers realistically assess their progress and determine what actions they can still take to have a positive impact on revenues this year. Last week, we talked about which partners deserve your focus between now and December 31st. This week, we want to focus inwardly on your own progress in building channel business acumen.

Do you know more today?
If you need proof that channel business acumen makes a difference, here's one of the key findings from our 2014 Channel Best Practices Study:

When channel managers build and present a business case for partner investment, financial target attainment was 45 percent higher.

To assess your own acumen, ask yourself the following questions:

Do you know more today than you did at the beginning of the year about:
  • How your partners make money?
  • What their priorities and objectives are?
  • How they evaluate investments?
  • How they decide to allocate resources?
If you answered yes to these questions, you should have seen a noticeable increase in your credibility with partners over the last several months. Perhaps they are listening more attentively or following your advice more willingly. Maybe they're even sharing details about their business and opportunities than they did before.  If you are not seeing any of these changes, perhaps you're not being entirely honest with yourself about your progress.

Of course, if you answered no, you need to decide what you can do to improve. There are courses available that can help such as our Channel Sales Financials Workshop.

You can also build channel business acumen through practical experience. If your partners have never explained their business model to you, perhaps that's because you haven't asked. With a little over six months left, there's still time for this knowledge to help you make an impact before year's end.

In our next post, we'll take a mid-year look at market mapping, which adjustments make sense to make now, and which are better left for the beginning of 2016. In the meantime, if you have questions about gauging mid-year channel performance, add your comments below or reach out to me at Jan.deleon@channelenablers.com.
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