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Improving Sales Channel Partnerships Using Incentives

  • What Is Marketing for Channel Partners?
    • Demonstrably [align] your financial interests with theirs. Do this by proactively instilling them with confidence about your products, thereby reducing their fear of financial loss from using their assets to sell your products.
    • Your main assets should consist of winning products with great profit potential, skilled management and first-rate support programs that ensure your channel partners are well-prepared to fight the good fight on your behalf.
    • Effective marketing support for most industries usually includes world-class training, practical and effective sales collateral and incentive programs and generous contributions to local market advertising efforts.
    • Channel sales reps do not have the same access to sales aids as company reps. These reps need all the training and help you can provide including comparative competitive information, testimonials and “how-to” selling videos, webinars and scripts. Be generous with sales collateral and point-of-sale material.

  • Big Data in the Channel: An Untapped Growth Opportunity?
    • Data gaps and quality issues have stymied channel managers for decades.
    • Recent technology innovations are breaking down the barriers that prevented IT providers from gleaning insight from their mountains of channel data. New data management and business intelligence tools make it easier to aggregate and analyze channel data

  • Removing the Blindfold: Accelerating Growth Through Data-Driven Channel Management
    • According to a recent forecast from Forrester, approximately $2.1 trillion will be spent on IT in 2013. Industry analysts estimate that indirect channels generate two-thirds of high-tech industry revenue.
    • IDC predicts that there will be a turnover of 25,000 to 50,000 infrastructure partners in North America by year-end. For high-tech providers with dozens, hundreds and even thousands of partners, finding the right ones for ITaaS and investing in the right programs to drive their performance is critical.
    • Analyzing channel performance and measuring the impact of channel investments requires unlocking and then integrating information silos—standalone systems, or even spreadsheets, used to track partner certifications, MDF/co-op claims and payments, deal registrations, sales transactions, shipments and returns, partner/customer satisfaction data, etc.

  • Sharing Your Global Supply Chain Knowledge — The Right Way
    • The overall results of our research show that both buyers and suppliers will benefit from … knowledge-sharing activities, but suppliers generally benefit more than buyers. Why is this so? Because the predominance of demand-driven supply chains in today’s global marketplace, and the fact that suppliers are further away in the supply chain node from the final point of sale.
    • For example, suppliers could offer support for customers’ R&D programs, grant discounts or preferred customer status, or be more generous in the division of profits with their customers.
    • As concluded by a top executive in our interviews, “Even though it is often hard to quantify the actual size of the pie gained by each individual party, both sides have to look at the ultimate picture and be more in sync.”
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