Lots of channel talk out there…Juniper is revamping reseller training online to address complaints from their channel, Fortinet coming out with an MSSP program, probably in response to the SMB and midmarket growth in managed services offerings – of course all of the AV companies out there are doing this or headed that way, and numerous comments on the CRN forums concerning whether partners should be exclusive or committed to one vendor in a given area. The problem with just about all of the programs out there is this: Vendors are not always addressing the root problem – resellers need more GP (Gross Profit). This won’t come through install services, and increasing product sales doesn’t necessarily mean more GP either. Sales must come earlier in the sales cycle with shorter sales cycles driven by high touch solutions, consulting, and low cost of sales in terms of people resources. So what do channel managers need to do?
- Understand the reseller profit model – it’s nothing like the vendor’s…
- Provide sales training that focuses on selling, not speeds and feeds
- Help resellers build your technology into solutions that drag other product areas within that reseller
- Learn about marketing and help/support VAR marketing efforts
- Clarify how deals are protected from direct reps and competition
- Don’t over distribute which hurts the street price
- Remember that GP is what matters – not revenue.