Channel Partner Enablement Tools

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| Peter Radizeski of RAD-INFO, Inc. talking telecom, Cloud, VoIP, CLEC, and The Channel.

Channel Partner Enablement Tools

It seems that Channel Enablement is starting to become a thing again. "What is the definition of Channel Partner Enablement? Sometimes also referred to as Channel Enablement, Sales Enablement, Partner Enablement or Channel Management, it is the process whereby you enable and empower your channel partners to sell your services or products. It is a way to increase sales and expand your business by creating partnerships and adding to your workforce." [Pulse Learning vis CSG]

For the most part channel programs just sign up everyone. Or at least every master agent and VAD that they can get to ink an agreement. A common strategy, but for the most part an ineffective and expensive one.

It used to be the Duopoly sales strategy to hire hundreds of sales people. And that worked for a little while - until the expense over took the outcome.

Also, when you have that many sales people, the competition is high - and the tricks and dirty play happen. Especially in telecom, where people fondly remember the hey days when they waited by the phone and took orders. Today, they have to hunt and educate and create solutions. That is a LOT of work for a lot less compensation.

Everyone treats the products like a commodity because they are. It is how they are built and marketed. All ME-TOO. No vertical. No niche. We serve 1-10,000!!


Who has an app? I got an app. What does it do? "the Hub app includes collaboration features that allow end-users to make and receive calls from any device as if they were in the office," CP writes. This isn't me picking on Birch, but you could have better explained the benefits. Like just saying app is going to make everyone jump. Psst... UC-One is an app that Birch's vendor, BSFT, offers.

So when you have 1200 partners and sales are flat, what do you do?

Your team commits to "over 75 different events to draw in new partners and expand education and support for its existing partner base." [CRN] Think about the expense of that. (I'll wait.)

Seeing an opportunity, the software vendors are clamoring about their PRM (partner relationship management) solutions.

"Impartner has enhanced the ability of channel chiefs to optimize their channel operations and accelerate revenue with the announcement of a new interface for the Impartner PRM solution," announced by Channel Vision mag.

"Convey Services today launched Align™, a new cloud-based Partner Relationship Management (PRM) and channel marketing solution." [PR]

And one master agent, AVANT, has re-branded as "a channel enablement company. We are passionate about helping partners learn how to sell leading next-generation technologies with our intelligent distribution methodology." And they have an app. "AVANT's BattleApp is our proprietary partner portal that is a central place where our channel partners can go to learn, research, qualify, register and close opportunities."

The next step is to (A) get the app downloaded by all XXXX number of partners; and (B) get the using it daily, which is where the struggle begins.

The problem isn't Content. The problem is the on-boarding is minimal. It isn't structured. And that goes back to the fact that you just wanted to sign up as many folks as can fog a mirror. Most don't know your company. They don't what you do. They don't know who would buy your stuff -- or why anyone would buy your stuff over the other 400 or 2000 providers that sell really similar stuff. And you do a poor job of explaining THAT!!!

You don't look for Alignment or Complimentary or anything in partners. You look for numbers. Yet if you take into account Pareto's Principle, then your 1200 partners is really 120 getting a check (if that many). So why did you sign up the other 1080??? Because you don't want to have tiny hands?


End of the day Enablement comes from Recruiting, On-boarding and Aligning. It takes all 3.

I wrote a 5-part series on Sales Enablement in 2013. I have helped a number of programs with it. In addition, I write a column about this for every issue of Channel Vision magazine that you can read online or download.

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