I spent over 15 years in technology distribution working for large broadline distributors, specialty distributors and launching hundreds of vendors to the channel ecosystem. It’s a different world transitioning from 100% direct or hybrid channel business to building a world class channel-oriented organization, program and team.
As a Channel Advisor and fractional executive, vendors can cost-effectively augment their leadership teams with expertise in channel strategy, program development, pricing models, channel conflict, business processes, Reseller/MSP recruitment, marketing and coaching/mentoring the sales organization. I help vendors through the 3 stages of channel evolution and the challenges that each stage presents.
1) Managing internal & external conflicts created through mis-aligned direct vs channel strategies
2) Spending too much energy & resources on the wrong channel partners and strategies
3) Channel coaching to direct sales teams who don’t understand how to leverage channel to achieve GREAT results
4) Fractional Channel Chief at the senior leadership level without investing in F/T headcount
Most technology vendors start with a direct model. After proving MVP and onboarding hundreds of direct end clients, they need to increase leverage to scale their business. Adding Resellers/MSPs can help scale a business but they need to avoid creating channel conflict. I help companies navigate critical decisions and avoid making reputational mistakes that can backfire on them.
At this stage, vendors have a healthy universe of end clients and a growing channel partner ecosystem. How do you accelerate channel partner growth, productivity, margins, breadth and depth? What tools & processes need to be put in place? How do sales & marketing evolve their GTM approach? Do you add distributors – if so which ones and how do you work with them? Which horses do you bet on moving forward?
Very few companies make it here and it’s no coincidence that the largest technology companies in the world are channel-only organizations. However, moving from a hybrid model to channel-only model requires a complete re-configuration of sales, marketing, finance and operational business processes across the organization. The transition make pay huge dividends with the right alignment, resources, programs and strategies.