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How to Grow Channel Partner Sales Using Capability Scoring

How to Grow Channel Partner Sales Using Capability Scoring

I recently asked a senior technology executive how long she had been with her current company. “Fourteen quarters,” she replied. I took from that answer that her company was focused mostly on short term results.

Short-term versus long-term thinking is a challenge for many companies, large and small. And all too often short-term thinking is viewed as bad, and long-term thinking is viewed as better. But that’s not the case. Mark Zuckerberg has said: “I like to pride myself on thinking pretty long term, but not that long term.

Many business people refer to short-term thinking as ‘working in the business’, versus ‘working on the business’ which is long-term thinking. ‘How do we make the business a success today?’ versus ‘What will the business look like tomorrow?’

Like all business leaders, executives responsible for technology channel partner sales must have good answers to both these questions. ‘How do we make the partner channel a success today?’ versus ‘What will the partner channel look like tomorrow?’ Let’s explore how these questions work.

Making the partner channel a success today

We often refer to this as a ‘tactical’ challenge, which means that it’s likely to relate to fixing a ‘point problem’ in the channel. That might be about partner coverage in a particular country or creating immediate customer opportunity with partners to drive revenue this year.

Addressing challenges of this type usually boils down to one of two tactics:

  • Re-activating your current channel partners to increase your share of spend.
  • Finding new channel partners where there is an opportunity to displace competitors.

In both cases understanding of the competitive battleground is important. The aim is to quickly identify partners who have the capability to grow with you, but where you have not maximised your share of addressable market in that partner.

At bChannels we call this ‘Growth Capability’. Very different from using lists when engaging partners for recruitment. We use our Intelligent Index database, and the supporting analytics tools to assign a Growth Capability score to current and potential future partners, so that investment can be targeted in areas that will impact short-term revenue.

Watch the 60 Seconds Guide to Growth Capability:

Designing the partner channel for tomorrow

Partner Growth Capability scoring is equally valid to address longer term challenges associated with channel strategy. Partner Growth Capability scoring can be undertaken across a region, or globally, and the scoring process can be adjusted to look at indicators of future success, not just immediate opportunity.

We look at future opportunity based on partner capability and partner engagement:

  • Partner Capability = does the partner have the skills and resources to grow revenue with you?
  • Partner Engagement = what is the partner intent to commit to your brand versus competitive offers?

bChannels Intelligent IndexTM provides vendors deep insight into these criteria, partner by partner. By aggregating Growth Capability scoring across regions, across partner types, or across technology offers, a vendor can identify longer-term growth opportunities.

Watch the introduction video to Intelligent index:


Ongoing measurement of success

bChannels Growth Capability scoring, using Intelligent Index, offers vendors channel insight that can address both short-term and longer-term channel needs. That’s important, because both sets of needs are valid and important for future success.

The final piece in the jigsaw is repeatability. The impact of decisions made to solve short-term and longer-term challenges needs to be tracked. If it’s not tracked then it’s not measured, and attention shifts away. At bChannels we recommend repeating Growth Capability scoring every six months.

We can track specific movements in Growth Capability scores partner by partner, to assess the success of actions that have been taken.

Short-term thinking is just as important as long-term thinking. bChannels Growth Capability scoring addresses both these needs.

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