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Channel Matters Blog > September 2012
by Global Administrator
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Co-op and MDF programs are the most popular channel marketing programs offered by vendors. Despite their popularity, these programs are often ill conceived by vendors and consequently misused by channel partners. Vendors often leap before they look by implementing and executing these programs without asking themselves two simple questions. “What are our objectives and how do we design marketing programs to meet them?”  

Anna Johnson of CCI sat down with Mike Haines, Director of Worldwide Strategy for SMB channel incentives at Microsoft to learn what common mistakes vendors make when designing their Co-op and MDF programs and how best to avoid them. With over 30 years of executive channel management experience including six years at Gartner, Mike Haines has provided sound advice to Fortune 500 companies on how to optimize sales and marketing through the channel.

by Philip Moon
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Channel managers often feel they have a most challenging and frustrating job. They are judged on the performance of their partners, which makes their personal success highly dependent on their leadership and coaching skills and their ability to influence partners over whom they have little or no positional authority.  This is a similar challenge to that faced by sales managers all around the world whose success is dependent on the performance of their sales team. Lessons learned from Miller Heiman’s research into sales managers in world-class sales organizations apply to world-class channel managers too.

by David Perrett
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Last year, Bill Johnson, the CEO of Heinz talked about the need to sell into emerging markets. Heinz have found growth here, 20% of their revenue comes from markets like China, India, Indonesia, Russia and Brazil compared to less than 5% a few years ago.  In his Harvard Business Review article he talks about the “Three A’s” of emerging market strategy; his observations may provide some lessons to other vendors seeking growth from new high opportunity market segments.

by Ian Moyse
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Ian Moyse looks at the many different billing models used by cloud vendors and how these affect channel compensation and financials. Even today’s tough economic climate could prove to be a lucrative time for growth and customer acquisition for vendors and resellers who embrace the cloud and get their financial model right.

by Stan White
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While vendors looking to expand their footprint and gain business efficiencies have continually increased their emphasis on finding channel partners to work with, there is a noticeable undercurrent of fear, uncertainty and doubt around how to grow channel revenues and remain connected to the end customer. CEO’s are challenging their sales vice presidents to grow the business and the question for many has been “Do I increase the size of my already hard-to-manage-channel to meet growth objectives or do I sell direct so I at least have a feeling of being in control of the result?”

by Lynn Shively
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For the past several decades, channels have been thought of in the basic categories of distributors, systems integrators (SIs), or value-added resellers (VARs), that are engaged by vendors to link them to end user customer and to sell and service their products.  When cloud computing started getting traction, there was concern about what would happen to this tried and true model.  So far, what we are seeing is that these channel partners that have been around for a long time are not going anywhere.  They are continuing to play an important role in the cloud, but their functions are starting to vary.  In addition to those traditional categories, a new form of cloud-enabled channel is also beginning to take shape.