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Determining roles in the vendor-reseller channel relationship

Selling through channel partners can be a valuable sales strategy for many different businesses and industries. Big-name corporations such as Microsoft and Cisco Systems acquire a vast majority of their sales through the channel. However, even small companies can implement effective channel sales programs to help spur growth and revenue.

Essentially, channel sales must create a symbiotic relationship between the vendor and the reseller or partner. As a principle reflection of how capitalism works, the partner only makes money if the vendor makes money, and vice versa.

However, because the balance can sometimes be swayed, it is important for the vending company to implement certain sales incentives and loyalty programs to establish faith and reliability in its partners.

It is also important for both parties to clearly define their goals for the channel. What's more, the vendor and the reseller each have their own responsibilities to each other, the company and the industry.

"Companies decide to partner when they feel there is an opportunity to gain additional lines of revenue," writes Beth Barach for Sys-Con Media. "However, the responsibility lies with the vendor to institute a clearly defined model that empowers the channel partner to generate profits from the relationship."