The simplest answer to what matters most may well be sustainable profitability. Make it profitable for partners with a clear, credible path to a positive return on partner investments made on certifications, skills building, business transformation. How do you help them create predictable revenues by enabling them to solve business problems their customers face? And how do you help them evolve their businesses to meet those demands?
Channel partners no longer rely on reselling products as their primary source of profitability. Most operate hybrid models with varying mixes of Products and Services with both On-premise and Cloud-based Solutions; a growing number of partners have been ‘born in the Cloud.’ Many partners are creating their own branded solutions and creating their own channels, programs and offerings. The notion that a partner is a reseller or a service provider is in the past. Indeed, the old boxes – Integrator, Reseller, Service Provider – seldom fit neatly any more and social platforms are giving greater emphasis to the Influencer.
With so many of the traditional channel dynamics rapidly changing, what is core? At Channel Matters, we view the “4 Ps” for today’s channel marketer as Product, People, Programs and Processes:
- Product: Create and support great products/services solutions that Enterprise, Government, Mid-market and SMB customers want; then continue to create markets/demand.
- People: Trust is built over time and through the ongoing interactions. We live in a relationship economy.
- Programs: Partner benefits, incentives and entitlements, are increasingly important to partner profitability and are opportunities to engage more fully with their extended teams.
- Processes: Making it easy to do business is now a prerequisite for earning and keeping partner business
At Channel Matters, our mission is to help our clients to make it easier and more profitable for partners to do business.