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Defining Channel Intelligence

6 min read By November 8, 2021 November 19th, 2021 No Comments

For the past 10 years, we have seen channel managers working up quite the sweat. Giving your partners the attention they deserve is a top priority, which means long hours and often working deep into the night. But margins are shrinking, and once abundant teams of account managers seem to be slowly fading. This leaves more partners to service with less time and resources.  Surely there’s a smarter way?

Traditional methods for modern partners

As channel builders, we are stuck in a catch 22. Our targets continue to rise each quarter, and competition is soaring. You’re most likely offering incentives to get your partners to sell. Now take a look at your current margins, and compare them to 5, 10, 15 years ago. They’ve gotten lower and lower, to the point that you can hardly compete anymore. So how are you going to grow your teams with less revenue?

The race to the bottom

We’ve established that your margins are under pressure and your time is limited. You have fewer and fewer people available to help hit your target. And with a bottom-line profit getting lower and lower, sometimes it feels like a race to the bottom.

The new approach towards channel management is to add value, focusing on the entire channel. Distributors and partners included. But how do we add value if we are doing labor-intensive and margin-lowering activities?

Vendors and partners are still communicating through endless emails and calls

In traditional channel teams, we see that vendors and partners are still communicating through endless emails and calls.

Are we stuck in our old ways?

Are margin-lowering Incentives going to help you stand out from the competition? Probably not. Chances are you’re sending your best account managers around the country for one-on-one talks with your partners, while your competitors wait in the wings ready to pounce. It’s a jungle out there!

It’s almost like we’re stuck in our ways, using traditional methods to activate modern partners. And still, there is the huge growth potential of your unmanaged channel partners. Activating them today means higher revenue tomorrow.

Time for a more effective approach

Ever get the feeling you’re throwing coins into a wishing well? Predicting your revenue and proving your ROI is difficult. But why?

Wouldn’t it be great if you could have access to actionable data insights about your partners? About your end-users even? To have the time and manpower to add even more value to partnerships? But how do you make it scalable? Because whether you have 10 or 1000 partners to start with, they each deserve the same experience from you.

It’s time to make the channel more intelligent. Time for more predictable, scalable revenue, in a way that is less time-consuming. It’s time for Channel Intelligence.

With Channel Intelligence you have over 60 data points

Traditional Channel teams focus on just a few data points, Channel Intelligence uncovers over 60, actionable data points.

The era of assumptions is over. Channel Intelligence is here.

Channel Intelligence focuses on developing a highly automated channel with access to real-time partner data, providing actionable insights to grow your partner revenue. It’s designed to drive three business results.

Hassle-free campaigning together with your partners

Imagine removing the hassle of manual campaigning with your partners, and putting an end to endless chasing via emails and calls. Campaign Collaboration allows you to tap into the existing network of your partners, through automated campaign distribution.

It’s like growing your existing network of end-users exponentially, overnight. Imagine how much time that will save. Not just for you, but for your partners too! Time that partners can spend following up new conversations, while channel teams craft strategic messages targeted to their end-users.

Collaborating on campaigns has never been easier. Hello, faster product launches and demand generation campaigns.

Evaluate partners based on 60+  data points

In traditional channel management we would mainly evaluate how our partners are performing based on revenue, right? Well, that’s the old way. Now, there are 60+ data points that will help you get a much more accurate picture of your partners.

This is where Partner Performance comes in. It shows how partners value you at a glance by collecting and presenting over 60 data points in such a way that your next action is clear. See how well-connected your partners are and decide who gets extra attention.

Again, it’s not just vendors who profit here. The new way of channel is all about giving partners a stronger voice. By focusing on a continuous feedback loop (in the form of feedback on content assets and monthly NPS scores), channel teams can continuously improve their channel program.

Never waste another channel marketing dollar

In the old way, we did everything based on assumptions, with little end-user data – because they were only visible to partners. Meaning some crucial questions remained unanswered.

Market Insights uncover a treasure trove of statistics that you never had access to. Not only do they help discover the whereabouts of your partners’ end-users, but get highly-specific data such as their company size and role within the company. The perfect input to shape your campaigns and propositions, and target your partners’ exact end-users.

You’ll never waste another channel marketing dollar targeting the wrong audience.

 

Attract your end-users and your partners' end-users with hyper-targeted content

Use actionable insights to attract your end-users and your partners’ end-users.

Out with the old. In with the new. 

Channel Intelligence is here to stay, helping to elevate channel teams from traditional channel management tactics like discounts, incentives, and partner portals to an intelligent way of running demand generation campaigns, evaluating partner performance, and getting actionable market insights

Boost your end-user demand: by offering highly-targeted, relevant content, and see how you are performing in real-time.

Drive predictable and scalable revenue growth: work together with your partners to generate new conversations with potential end-users. Amplify your voice through your partners’ networks, gain brand preference with your partners, and recognition with your end-users.

Get raving partners: knowing who your partners are and really being able to hear what they have to say is invaluable to channel managers. Allowing them to consolidate multiple systems and sources into one will save them huge amounts of time and resources.

In part 2 of our Defining Channel Intelligence series, we will go deeper into the three pillars to increase channel success, and how to implement them for your channel.

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