• Lower Tier Channel Engagement, Nobody Said it’s Easy!

    Getting lower tier channel engagement right isn’t easy; here are some of the top challenges that we think vendors face today:

    1. Partner marketing funds, in whatever form a vendor chooses to distribute them in don’t stretch to lower tier partners, particularly those that aren’t doing very much revenue today. How do you develop partners without funds?
    2. The wider base tends to be pretty wide by nature and with a high number of lower yield partners to engage with even spending a little time per partner gets expensive. How do you go about building an ROI case in today’s budget restricted world? Execs are looking for 12 month returns not 3 year investments.
    3. Partners [even lower tier ones] are supposed to be excited about doing business with you [the vendor]. They signed up, they agreed to the terms, yet they don’t use any of the marketing collateral you develop for them, they don’t use the tool and they don’t follow through on the activities they said they would.
    4. They’re competitive partners, in that they represent multiple brands, some of which you compete heavily with. It’s difficult to trust them entirely with investment as they might sell a competitive solution because they care more about winning the deal than being true to your relationship.
    5. Channel sales resource is expensive, they’re already stretched, it’s not practical for them to manage more partners and it’s not cost effective to hire more, even if you could get the headcount, which you can’t because you’ve got ratios to maintain.
    6. You simply don’t know enough about your wider base to be able to pin point which partners have high growth potential and which are a waste of time and financial investment. There are 10,000 of them where do you start?
    7. You’ve got a complex solution set, with lots of products that require significant training, so how do you drive uptake? How do you get sufficient mind-share?

    Tim Smith is the Managing Director for EIMS’ Global Headquarters. To view all company blogs go to EIMS’ blog site.

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    Rating: 4.5/5 (2 votes cast)
    Lower Tier Channel Engagement, Nobody Said it’s Easy!, 4.5 out of 5 based on 2 ratings
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