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Channel Matters Blog > September 2013
by Rich Blakeman
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Our focus this month on the Channel Enabler’s blog is all about the first stage of the partner lifecycle – planning the partner channel. In the last post, we shared some things to consider when determining the number of partners needed in a specific geography or market. Today, I want to focus on one of the more common questions I get asked.
 
“Should I offer territory exclusivity to a partner?”
by Corinne Bartow
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If it's so obvious that effective partnering stems from thoughtful alignment with company strategy. Why is that alignment so rare and what makes it so difficult to get right?

We often talk about the skills of individuals, and less often about the skills of a company. Yet I wouldn't hesitate to comment that certain companies, such as IBM or Cisco, are "good at acquisitions" or "good at partnering." Both are generally perceived as well-run organizations, but they also demonstrate specific skills as companies. I just had a conversation that set me to contemplating on just what it is that makes a company good at partnering.
by Rich Blakeman
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As we enter the fourth quarter, many multi-channel organizations are starting to realize they may not make their 2013 targets. Inevitably, this leads them to question their channel strategy:

- Do we have enough partners?
- Do we have the right partners?
- Why do we even have a partner channel?

by Geoff Wright
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In our Channel Success Essentials workshop, we ask what should be a rhetorical question: Which is better?

A. To recruit 100 partners to end up with 5 productive partners
B. To recruit 10 partners to end up with 5 productive partners

The obvious answer is B. Managing a channel partner, even an unproductive one, requires overhead. The ratio of Channel Account Managers (CAMs) to partners varies between industries and organizations, but for the sake of the discussion, let’s assume a ratio of 1:20. In option A, the organization will end up needing 5 CAMs to manage 100 partners. In option B, one CAM can manage the entire channel. In both scenarios, the sales results are similar.