Launching a New Channel

Situation:

Our client was a start-up company launching in an existing market with established VAR relationships. The company viewed the channel as critical to obtaining their goals and their ability to scale. The competition, while new to the channel, had created a significant presence and early loyalty.

Within the company, differing opinions existed about the role of the end user sales, channel sales and the channel partners. How to engage with the VARs was also compounded sales compensation credited at actual revenue to the company, creating the potential for channel conflict.

Upon this background the channel team needed to attract the top VARs to make their goals. They needed to prove their commitment to the channel and minimize any conflict early in the relationship.

  • Attract the top VARs in the market to invest in its technology
  • Avoid the typical channel conflict pitfalls of deal stealing and mistrust
  • Maximize early investment by proving they are channel friendly

Action:

This client worked with Bates Strategy group to develop a strategy and decided to develop upfront rules of engagement. This would set the basis for how the company and channel would partner and socialize teamwork. We developed a roadmap and scenario analysis of the key rules of engagement that needed to be addressed with channel partners, including:

. Deal Registration
. Lead Management
. Compensation
. Special Deal Management
. Account Management
. Roles and responsibilities

Using one-on-one interviews and joint process meetings – both internally and externally – opinions, positions and final rules were established.

Results:

The final product was an agreed upon short list and written document with rules agreed upon by the end user and channel management executives. Programs, policies and processes were fine tuned to better deliver on the commitments. Decisions made on exception situations, up front, avoiding in the field conflict. Channel partners were very pleased to see the company address these issues in such detail up front, giving a higher level of credence to their commitment to the channel.