• Three “Channel Changers” for IT Channel Organizations

    Many of our channel clients are looking for insights and best practices that will help guide their sales enablement and marketing budgets. Here’s our thoughts on three “channel changers” that can help guide channel enablement spending:

    1. Role-based enablement critical to deeper partner integration
    Successful channel organizations will include enablement resources that span all roles across their partner base. That means marketing, services, finance and even executive roles will receive customized enablement tracks based on their roles in positioning, selling and support solutions.

    We recently helped a large storage client develop role-based enablement resources to show partners how to build their cloud services offerings. We focused as much on shifting the financial practice, marketing messages and services alignment, as we did on the sales and technical implications of adding cloud services to their portfolio.

    2. Marketing enablement elevates the message to the customers
    Channel organizations that offer advanced marketing services are finding greater success in filling the pipeline and increasing deal close rates. Partner marketing and sales organizations should be educated on target profiles, market trends, and insights into the buying process before they even launch a specific campaign.

    A Launch client that provides converged infrastructure solutions asked us to create a “campaign in a box” package that would help partners take their solution to market. Along with the outbound content and assets, we included an interactive marketing playbook that highlighted messages and questions for specific target buyers, as well as a playbook with resources and content aligned to typical buying stages.

    3. Alliances enablement can make the difference
    We are seeing many channel organizations getting better at positioning their solutions within their partners’ larger portfolio. That means providing the messages, tools and resources to position their offerings with their partners’ solutions—showing how to position their security solution with the partners’ cloud offerings, or explaining how a new service can add value to existing network business.

    Launch strategists and writers spent much of our summer creating playbooks and battle cards that showed the best practices for integrating our leading storage supplier client’s offerings with integrator and services organizations offerings. These playbooks were used by resellers, as well as with the suppliers extended sales and channel teams.

    Bonus point: CDMs are the Last Mile to Partner Enablement
    All this integration across the partner business needs to be constantly reinforced and validated by the local feet-on-the-street. Local field support (by whatever name: CDM, CAM, CSM, etc) is absolutely critical to bringing the story home at the partner level.

    We have several clients focusing resources and communications to helping CDMs lead and nurture partners through this integrated approach to partner enablement. These companies are creating CDM playbooks, emails, and even dedicated CDM portals to providing consistent, relevant information to channel sales managers.

    Eric Nitschke is VP of Client Services and Managing Director at Launch International.  Eric uses his experience at Launch International to deliver a best-practices approach to client management, sales enablement, thought leadership, whiteboarding and channel development and enablement.  To read all blogs published by Launch International click here.

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