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ChannelPRO™ – Our framework for channel success

The solution that provides the best result for a client will be determined by a wide range of factors. No two organizations ever face exactly the same issues, so what works for one vendor or even one product line is unlikely to automatically work for another.

Channel Enablers proven ChannelPRO™ framework delivers unique solutions for our clients specific issues and opportunities.  The ChannelPRO™ method is used to evaluate a vendor's partner program and benchmark it against industry best practices in order to answer the most important question; “What should we do to drive sales productivity and improve our profitability?”

Vendor questions for success
  • Where will our growth come from?
  • How can we increase market share?
  • Do we really understand who our customers are or should be? Can we identify meaningful segment categories that help us to focus our efforts and get the highest return from our resources?
  • Do we understand how customers want to purchase our product? From whom do they want to buy, and what broader solution are they looking for?
  • What’s the best channel we could use to reach these customer segments? How do we know (i) if our current channels and partners are the best and (ii) when we should look to add to or replace them?
  • Do we know what we want our partners to do? Are they capable of doing these things and if not, what are we doing to enable them?
  • Who and what kind of partners are best for us?
  • Do we fully understand the cost and capacity of alternative routes to market?
  • Have we the right skills and resources to manage the channels we need? How do we achieve maximum revenue from them?
  • Do we communicate well with our partners? Do they understand their role and have the information they need to succeed?
  • Partners will often have multiple and conflicting priorities, so how should we motivate them to do what we need?
  • Does our organization “embrace” the channel? Is our channel strategy clear and are we united to achieve shared channel objectives?
  • How do we manage the organizational change required for partnering success?  
 

Channel PRO™ solutions framework

Seven CirclesIdentify attributes of 'ideal' partner, gap analysis of partners and recruit new partners Identify most effective partner program elements and understand competitive issues Focus, skill and resources required of partners to maximize the market opportunity Are we organized, measured and compensated in a way which effectivly integrates our channel strategy into overall business? Do we have enough of the right type of coverage to address the market opportunity Consider internal processes that will drive more effective partners and speed up the time to market Sales territory and partner planning alignment to drive sales productivityThe ChannelPRO™ methodology is built upon seven Key Performance Areas (KPA’s):

  • Target Market Segmentation and Mapping
    Do we have enough of the right type of coverage to address the market opportunity?
  • Whole Product
    The totality of products, services, attributes and partnerships that are required to completely meet market requirements.
  • Partner Selection & Recruitment
    Identify attributes of an 'ideal' partner, determine ‘gaps’ among existing partners and recruit the best new partners.
  • Channel Enablement
    Systems and processes that drive the creation of more effective partners and speed up time to market.
  • Partner Programs
    Identify the most effective partner program elements and understand competitive issues.
  • Sales Productivity
    Sales territory and partner planning alignment to drive sales productivity.
  • Company Alignment
    Are we organized, measured and compensated in a way which effectivly integrates our channel strategy into overall business?
 

Target Market Segmentation and Mapping

This KPA helps companies make the most of the hottest market opportunities. Partnering strategies and requirements are established by looking at:

  • market segmentation processes and criteria
  • potential market coverage gaps
  • preferred channels in these market segments
  • alternative channel strategies
  • where their products are in the market life cycle

 


Whole Product

This KPA helps companies understand the totality of products, services and attributes that partnerships must deliver to competitively satisfy end-user requirements

It reviews a company’s understanding of:

  • the whole product concept
  • the economics of transferring costs to partners, and
  • how well the pricing model competes and meets customer requirements

Partners and vendors often contribute different pieces of the whole product so in order to deliver a complete and competitive solution it is crucial that respective roles and responsibilities are clearly defined.



Partner Selection & Recruitment

Under this KPA vendors describe their “perfect” partner to determine how well potential new partners measure up and if existing partners are lacking in any way.

In this area we:

  • review the entire recruitment process including the criteria used to evaluate new and existing partners
  • determine the optimum recruitment strategy and steps needed in the recruiting process
  • assess if partners can deliver needed whole product elements to end-users
  • undertake an analysis to identify gaps between vendor requirements and partner delivery
  • identify if remedial programs are in place to close partner performance gaps

Channel Enablement

Under this KPA we determine what must be done to enable new partners to succeed. There are many steps between partner contract signing and profitable revenue. We question if:

  • a process exists to prepare partners to generate revenue
  • technical and marketing readiness programs are in place
  • plans are customized for each partner or if they are generic
  • the right resources have been dedicated to this process
  • commitments have been made to close gaps identified during partner analysis
  • existing sales structures and roles adequately support partnering activities

Partner Programs

Under this KPA vendors determine all the technical, training, and/or marketing investments they must make to enable and motivate partners.

We assess whether:

  • program objectives are clearly defined
  • critical ‘whole channel program’ elements are missing
  • partner program budgets are proportionate to the level of expected return
  • current program elements meet the needs of existing and potential partners
  • partner programs influence partner behaviors
  • existing financial incentives will attract new and desirable partners
  • programs are being measured effectively

Partners often have choices about which vendors to invest in, so partner programs must be regularly benchmarked to ensure they are competitive.


Sales Productivity

Under this KPA we consider what are the best ways for a company to manage the sales process in a multi-channel environment by looking at:

  • alignment between divisions and market segments
  • neutrality of compensation between direct and indirect sales
  • the integration of partners into sales activities  
  • channel conflict minimization
  • implementation of consistent conflict management processes

Company Alignment

Improving the degree to which business objectives and processes are aligned with partnering success offers the greatest benefits for many vendors. Company alignment is at the centre of the ChannelPRO™ framework and is a foundation upon which success in other KPA's is established.

In this key KPA we evaluate how well departmental practices support the company channel strategy. We ask:

  • Is there a company understanding of the reasons they have engaged partners? Are these reasons consistent across the organization?
  • Are the right processes and systems in place to support channel sales growth?
  • Is there a channel business plan, do all parties know about it and support it, and is it being implemented?
  • Do channel planning and decision-making processes include consultation with all those affected by their outcomes?
  • Is there sufficient automation of channel programs?