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Channel Matters Blog > September 2014 > Best Bet: Driving Qualified Opportunities Through a Channel

Best Bet: Driving Qualified Opportunities Through a Channel

by Rich Blakeman
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Ask any channel partner what they need from their vendor, and you’ll get the same answer almost every time: leads! Of course, when they say leads, they aren’t just looking for names. They want qualified opportunities.
 
The 2014 Channel Enablers Channel Competency Study uncovered a number of best bets—those behaviors and activities that drive quantifiable results. Given the importance of qualified opportunities to every sales organization, one of the most exciting is the link between metric development, action plans and qualified opportunities.
 
Best Bet: Partners who embraced metric development and SMART 90-day action plans improved the number of qualified opportunities by 100 percent.
 
“One of the most frustrating aspects of the channel management role is dealing with the constant demand for more leads. There is only so much the channel manager can do,” says Rich Blakeman, Managing Director for Channel Enablers, “The corporate marketing organization may or may not be in a position to help, but even if they are, resources are always limited. This best bet gives channel managers the direction they need to help partners get what they want.”
 
Blakeman calls out four aspects of this best bet that are vital to putting it into action:
 
#1 Accountability. “The best bet starts with the word partners,” says Blakeman, “but what we’re really talking about is a collaboration between the channel organization and the partner in setting mutually agreeable metrics.”
 
#2 Metrics. Some activities and behavior are better at driving results than others. Channel leaders need to study the activities and behaviors of their top performers to determine which metrics will drive actual results.
 
#3 SMART.  Almost everyone is familiar with the concept of setting S.M.A.R.T. goals. Metrics must be (S)pecific, (M)easurable, (A)ction oriented, (R)ealistic and relevant, and (T)ime based.
 
#4 90-day.  While longer-term planning should be done, setting new/revised action plans every 90 days gives partners and channel organizations the kind of agility and focus they need to adjust to changing market conditions and circumstances.
 
To receive a copy of the 2014 Channel Enablers Channel Competency Study Executive Summary, please contact info@channelenablers.com.
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