Brand deals vs technology deals in channel

3 min read By October 5, 2022 No Comments

One of the biggest challenges in channel today is one that many channel organizations and sales leaders need to fundamentally understand: There are 2 main types of purchase flows happening within the channel. And almost every deal can be broken down into one of these 2 types. 

Brand deals vs. technology deals


What are Brand deals?

You want new marketing software, a new laptop, or new hardware for your huddle room. Before even doing research we often have a specific brand in mind. For instance Marketo for marketing, Lenovo for laptops, or Logitech for huddle rooms. We know where to look for research, and ultimately, where to ask for pricing.

In channel, an end-users could reach out to their partner and say: “I need Microsoft Office 365.” 

This kind of purchase flow is interesting. As end-users become more aware and do more of their own research, they’re becoming far more brand-focused.

In order to keep hitting this kind of deal, you need to scale and drive your sales and marketing organizations.

You’ll need to answer these questions:

  • How are you generating demand? 
  • How are you ensuring that you’ve got the right partner profile to satisfy that go-to-market? 

What are Technology deals?

The second type of purchase flow is a technology deal. To make the consumer reference, instead of asking for Marketo, you “want to create automated email flows”, instead of asking for Lenovo you “want a work laptop that’s quick and works with my systems”, instead of Logitech you “want a solution for video conferencing”. 

In the channel example, instead of saying, “I need office 365 licensing” it’s “I need a firewall” or “I’m worried about my security”. 

In this type of sale, partners play a very different role. They will talk an end-user through the features and benefits of three different security vendors and will get you some pricing quotes.

Partners have a much greater level of control on a technology sales process than a brand sales process. 

Are you going for a brand play or a technology play?

In channel, we see that over 90% of brand requests stay with that brand. There’s very little switch selling done in the partner landscape. So if you’re in sales leadership it’s vital to understand whether we going after a brand play or are we going after a technology play. 

Once you have determined whether you are going for a brand play or a technology play, what you need to ask yourself is:

Brand play

  • Do we have partners that:
    • Have massive reach
    • Work on a huge scale
    • Will generate a lot of inbound leads
  • How do we drive demand generation through partners effectively to ensure more people ask for specific brand licensing?

Technology play

  • Do we have partnes that: 
    • Touch the right ICP (Ideal Customer Profile)?
    • Understand the features and benefits of our product or service? 
    • Understand our differentiating factors?
  • How can we drive a sales and marketing message towards those types of partners? 

That way, when an end-user says, I’m worried about security, they’ve got the right use cases, they’ve got the right information to really drive that sales approach through. 

Don’t be afraid to put all your eggs in one basket

Once you have decided, you need to go all in on one strategy. If that strategy doesn’t work out for you, you still go away with some great insights. Then it’s a matter of pivoting your strategy.

Here’s a quote we really like that illustrates this perfectly:

“Put all your eggs in one basket, then go get more eggs.” – Kobe Bryant


Cassandra Pizzey

Cassandra Pizzey

A Channexteer since 2021, Cassandra has been copywriting for the past 10-years, broadening her horizon as content marketer since entering the B2B SaaS industry. Connect with Cassandra on LinkedIn for more.

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