If you think you don’t have enough insight into what your high-tech channel partners are doing on your behalf, you are not alone. Almost three-quarters of those recently surveyed by Aberdeen Research said they lack visibility into partner performance and 84 percent are considering investments in channel management over the next 12 to 24 months.
These are two of the findings cited in Aberdeen’s report, Channel Sales: Renaissance in Channel Management. And here’s where I need to make the obligatory disclosure that this study was underwritten, in part, by SWOT Management Group subsidiary Channeltivity, which sells a partner information management application that’s offered up in SaaS form. So, I’ll stick to citing the basic facts of the study, and I’ll leave the assumption-making to you.
I should note, then, that when channel managers talk about wanting visibility, more often than note, they’re talking about wanting to know what deals a partner is working as well as which leads they are following up on. At least according to Aberdeen. Those organizations that the research house considered best-in-class, as an example, report that they are using partner relationship management applications (89 percent), lead referral systems (59 percent) or lead tracking tools (55 percent) to keep tabs on the activities of their VARs and resellers.
Personally speaking, I think there should be a whole lot more to a partner-vendor relationship than simple pipeline check. Better profiling, in my opinion, is the best place to start. Chances are, you can get your partners selling more for you if you understand what else they are selling. Visibility always seems way too product-oriented for me, but I’ve always been kind of naïve that way. Anyway, if you’re trying to get a better handle on your own priorities, you might want to read the report, which can be found at this link.
You might also want to revisit the results of the Forrester Research study that I blogged about a couple weeks back, as it provides a sense of what else is on your peers’s minds.