Keys To Build A Successful Channel Sales Strategy
—By Sanchit Vir Gogia
The channel partner community in India has experienced significant growth in the last decade owing to establishment of more organised and sophisticated sales networks. The market conditions in B2B segment are rapidly evolving with more customers seeking enhanced value in purchases, end to end solutions and customised offerings.
A successful channels and go-to-market strategy does not just involve on-boarding more channel partners but instead it should focus on continuous renewal and rehashing of value proposition for the customers.
We believe that for an organisation to accomplish a successful channel sales strategy, it should increasingly focus on the inclusion of the following important elements –
1) Leveraging channel partner’s market intelligence to drive aggressive and targeted sales – Vendors should come up with channel sales strategies which not just focus on elaborating the features of the products, but should also include the expertise of local channel partners. Their knowledge on diverse requirements of different customers and customisation of offerings can do wonders in driving the business of a company.
2) Dedicated Technical Support will guarantee customer acquisition – Since a large number of channel partners customise products to meet specific customer requirements, an enhanced focus on providing round the clock technical support comes as a pivotal part of an efficient channel partner strategy. For example: The availability of a 24*7 technical support from the vendor will ensure there are no roadblocks for the channel partners and they are able to deliver effectively to prospective customers
3) Creating a healthy ecosystem of mutual benefits – Channel partners work for the growth of their own organisation with a core objective of fetching more profit. Provision of attractive incentive schemes will encourage the channel partners to sell more products of a vendor, knowing that they have something in it for them as well. Many IT vendors today are offering B2B Royalty Programs to their respective Channel Partners to keep them motivated – the more sales they make, the more rewards they can earn.
4) Investment in channel partner training is a sure shot way to align them with your G-T-M objectives – Regular and well-outlined training programs on products and selling skills will ensure that channel partners are competent and know exactly how to define the benefits of a vendor’s products to the customer. As the technology market is in a constant state of flux, IT Vendors must invest in training their channel people to ensure they can approach their go-to-market with the most optimal value proposition.
5) Transparent and Realistic goal-setting ensures successful sales – Vendors should indulge in a transparent communication with their channel partners for their sales objectives. Setting up strategies jointly to increase sales by a definite percentage in a given amount of time will facilitate in achievement of business targets. For example: A transparent communication specifying the objectives of organisation such as increasing sales by a definite percentage in a given amount of time will help its channel partners
A vendor and channel partner relationship is becoming increasingly synergistic and co-dependent. A strong channel partner alliance is a critical investment for a company and it should focus on maximizing each other’s potentials. Greyhound Research believes that with the growing appetite of the technology market in India, vendors and channel partners must work in tandem to deliver innovation in sales that maximizes value for customers.