Adjustment Partner Management
Many sales reps live by the saying “Always Be Selling.” In Human Resources they use the mantra “recruit your employees daily”. In Channel management, it is a combination of these two sayings, as you need to maintain partners’ interest and desire to work with and for you and sell for you. You also need to constantly be looking for the best partners to achieve your sales goals.
Much like sales reps, partner managers have a list of partners (vs. customers) they manage and its generally between 20-30 partners. This list is further refined, where the top 3-5 partners will do 80% or more of the partner manager’s sales. These 3-4 partners are the contributors, the remaining partners on the list are the potentials and then there is the longtail of partners that do very little in sales (longtail). Call the tiers what you will, the reality is Partner Managers can effectively manage a finite quantity of resellers. The quantity of partners that can be managed is impacted by your channel program(s), program complexity, the number of products or categories of products you sell through them, the technical requirements of the products you sell through them and other parameters such as geography, sales performance, size of the partners, etc.
It can be quite challenging to determine the resources needed to manage your channel, but effective management of the channel is an art of adjustments. Let’s review the adjustments that you should consider:
- Partner Programs and promotions
- Quantity and quality of the Channel Management team
- Quantity and quality of Partners
- Capabilities of partners
- Desired partner profiles
- Recruiting existing partners
- Recruiting New Partners
- Swapping out non-performing partners with other potentials
- Use of Distributors for the Long Tail
We will cover each of these topics in future posts. Is there an adjustment we have missed? Do you have suggestions or questions about any adjustments? Reach out!