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Channel Matters Blog > October 2014 > Asia Pacific Channel Organizations Sing a Two-Part Harmony

Asia Pacific Channel Organizations Sing a Two-Part Harmony

by Rich Blakeman
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We just finished a whirlwind tour of the Asia-Pacific region (APAC) where we briefed clients on the results from the 2014 Channel Sales Competency Study. In these briefings, we discussed the key channel management behaviors that drive channel sales results, specifically focusing on those behaviors that respondents in APAC thought had the most potential for a positive impact on the business.
 
If you haven’t had a chance to review the study, here’s a quick recap of those behaviors and the channel competencies to which they relate:
 
·       Consistently applying effective questioning and listening to build trusted business relationships (Influencing Skills)
·       Clearly understand how our behavior impacts partners financially (Channel Business Acumen)
·       Clearly understanding partner business drivers/imperatives (Channel Business Acumen)
·       Being able to describe how partners of all types actually make money (Channel Business Acumen)
·       Consistently prioritizing partners for channel sales focus and investment (Channel Core Fundamentals)
 
To request a copy of the 2014 Channel Enablers Channel Competency Study Executive Summary, please contact info@channelenablers.com.
 
Same song different tune
Everybody knows that channel organizations in Asia can’t be lumped together any more than they can in other diverse regions such as Europe. Some markets are more mature than others. Some are growing and changing at lighting speed. Yet, these same behaviors rose to the top across APAC. So the question we need to ask is “why?”
 
First, I think it’s important to note that Channel Business Acumen was the core competency that channel leaders in each of these regions said held the most potential for channel performance improvement. Simply stated, Channel Business Acumen refers to the channel manager’s ability to understand how their partners make money, evaluate investments and measure returns.
 
Three of the top five competencies related to Channel Business Acumen, however, the reasons why channel leaders zeroed in on Channel Business Acumen reflects the difference in markets and channel maturity. Let’s take a look at Australia and Singapore specifically:
 
Australia’s lyrics gets complicated
Australian markets tend to be mature. Vendors have successfully leveraged channels for a long time, and channel partners don’t tend to do a lot of vendor swapping, although there is some vendor consolidation taking place.
 
Nevertheless, the channel environment in Australia is not stagnant. Many vendors are trying out new partner models where the financial aspect—how the partner makes money—may be significantly different than what partners are accustomed to. Channel managers in Australia are being asked to recruit new types of partners with new offerings and business models. To be successful, channel managers need to change their approach and message. Since they are selling a new business model, their business acumen needs to be sharper than ever.
 
Singapore sets a fast beat
By contrast, channel organizations are somewhat less mature in Singapore, but the markets are fast-growing, and channel managers are being tasked with acquiring and developing new partners quickly.
 
Channel managers in Singapore are often recruiting partners in smaller countries where the channel partner businesses are less mature. They need to be able to work with business owners who have limited capital and other resources. This forces the channel managers to be very savvy about partner business models. They need be able to articulate how the organization’s offerings and programs will help the channel partner become productive quickly and cost effectively.
 
I’m off to Europe next. Stay tuned for a new set of insights from that part of the world.
Last modified on 10/31/2014 9:07:49 AM
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