CompTIA, the IT association, said building channel business requires a single finger at the pulse of business technology consumers and a macro force driving change. The association claims that such macro forces like data explosion, cloud migration and transformational applications require a channel strategy and channel plan to stay ahead of the fast-changing IT world and its impact on businesses.
Moheb Moses, CompTIA’s A / NZ community chief executive, said that software-as-a-service (SaaS), cloud computing, sensor-based data collection and new partnerships are dramatically changing the channel landscape.
“Having a deliberate and well-orchestrated channel model that stays aligned to the business transformation market dynamics is critical for long-term indirect channel success,” Moses says.
“The build, pilot, evaluate, perfect model is more important than ever. Channel leaders must also be consistent in learning and evolving to meet the needs of their companies and of their market.”
CompTIA has provided nine steps to developing a channel business as part of its “Getting started guide to building a channel strategy guide.”
1. Defining the reasons for building a channel
When adding more direct sales resources is not a real way to build revenue, companies tend to consider indirect strategies. However, businesses can also benefit from channels through other channels, including products or services that are not stand-alone products or growth strategies that include new geographic areas or verticals.
2. Verify the market
The next step is to validate the market to ensure that the indirect model will be well received. In verifying market opportunities, there are four key areas that need investigation. These are: market research; solutions and product offers; customer profiles and competitor strategies.
3. Opportunity to verify the partner
Proven partner opportunities are necessary to ensure that partners have compelling business ideas. The business idea of the partner is different from the end user’s value proposition. Motivation and indicators of success are different. The business idea of the partner solves the key reason why this relationship benefits suppliers and partners. Develop a successful partnership when goals and strategies are aligned.
4. Make sure the company is ready
There are several internal issues that need to be addressed to ensure the company is prepared to work with the channel. The real preparation comes from all aspects of the organization, directly affecting the competitiveness of the channel. Before launching a channel strategy, ensure that the organization has channels such as executive coherence and support, channel team roles and support, and channel tools and resources to ensure channel success.
5. Ensure product and service preparation
How suppliers prepare channel value and channel readiness will be an important part of ensuring the successful launch of the product. Some of these factors include: clear product information; awareness of existing and emerging markets; competitive pricing and service and support.
Training is crucial to the ability of most partners to achieve product success. If a partner can not intelligently discuss this product as part of a solution set, they can not effectively sell it. The result is a longer rise in volume and revenue targets.
7. Choose the right partner
Choosing the right partner type is a key success factor. Channel categories and types are defined to understand how channel types differ and how sales models can help with supplier partner portfolios.
Learn what their sales model is, what’s most important to them, and how they get funded. Understanding the business model of the partner will help the supplier understand which type of partner best suits them and how to build a business idea that appeals to their participation in the organization.
A comprehensive induction program should cover a period of sign-up from a partner to a fully skilled timeline and provide sustainable income to the business.
8. Evaluation and verification
Once a partner joins and the plan is in place, it’s time to assess whether the business has made the right decisions and validated the strategy. This is also the best time to implement any lesson revision in your plan to get the desired result.
9. Growth Leverage
The final stage of the channel success model is to assess the leverage of business growth to increase the size of the business and to create sustainable sources of revenue with partners. These growth elements are needed when channel initiatives reach a more mature state, meaning there are multiple partners working with companies and driving sustainable revenue.
Driving and driving growth levers include: changes to organizations, roles and responsibilities; the introduction of new tools and resources; and business intelligence, scorecards and reviews.