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Channel Matters Blog > October 2014 > Best Bet: Driving Channel Productivity

Best Bet: Driving Channel Productivity

by Rich Blakeman
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How can we get our partners to sell more? It’s a common question among channel leaders. World-Class Channel Organizations know that the secret lies not just in driving activities, but the right activities. That requires top-down, strategic planning.

Best Bet: Channel partner productivity was 123 percent better when channel managers committed to planning a strategy for partner development.

According to the 2014 Channel Enablers Channel Competency Study, there is a direct link between partner planning and productivity. However, Channel Enablers’ work with channel organizations around the world suggests that planning must be strategic in order to drive real, sustainable results.

“Many organizations do a haphazard job of partner planning,” says Rich Blakeman, Managing Director at Channel Enablers. “Instead of driving a proven, consistent and focused planning methodology throughout the channel, they often leave it up to the channel managers to come up with their own strategy. Sometimes that works. More often it doesn’t. But either way, the channel manager has to recreate the wheel without any guidance as to what a strategic partner plan should look like.”

Leadership Required
According to Blakeman, channel leaders need to create the framework for partner planning because they understand the big picture: overall channel plans, go-to-market strategies, and a view of where the organization is headed. Individual partner plans need to support the organizational strategies.

Channel leadership also has the best view of what works and what doesn’t. “The highest-performing organizations have a collaborative environment,” says Jan de Leon, Channel Enablers Director of Channel Sales, Asia Pacific. “However, collaboration doesn’t usually just happen. Channel leadership needs to build the culture from the ground up and foster its development through systems and strategies.”

Finally, channel leadership needs to coach channel managers on proper planning strategies. They need to watch for weaknesses in channel competencies, such as business acumen or influencing skills. From time-to-time, they may even need to enforce the planning strategy to ensure it gets executed in the field.

To receive a copy of the 2014 Channel Enablers Channel Competency Study Executive Summary, click here.

 

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