The influence is high because channels are trusted as advisors and their support is needed all the time through initial purchase to final deployment phases. Role of channels is also intensifying with economic recovery and transubstantiating with centralization of channel management which is ever more important both for cost-containment and streamlined distribution.
Any two organizations with incongruent objectives can still sync among themselves if they complement each other’s goals. So if the channel management strategy is such that it offers the partners sufficient motivation, both financial and otherwise, and also adds value to the vendor, it is a recipe for success even if both are diverse organizations.
They can build a thriving win-win ecosystem, commit to recognize and support each other, pursue joint initiatives, drive co-innovation with impact and enjoy voluminous business opportunities. So another noteworthy trend is that vendors and channels now understand the value of ‘in-sync’ goals and focus. Strategic channel management has evolved and although there remain instances when these are diverse but aren’t as ‘entirely disconnected’ as before. Vendors realize that partners have their own independent tactical approach & long-term objectives. They have a lifecycle and it is more of an ‘evolution’ and not just a ready-to-realize, turnkey lead generation mechanism! And so the recruitment or recognition processes can be seen being reshaped in order to ensure enhanced loyalty. Down the line, this will empower channels further and metamorphose their play and clout.
Roles are indeed changing for the better and certainly the channel is ready, willing & able to capitalize on any new market opportunities. So, vendors that successfully seize this moment to build closer, more collaborative and interactive relationships with channel partners will in turn reap gleaming long term benefits.
Asheesh Pandia is a distinguished Brand Management and Corporate Communications consultant with around a decade of cross-industrial exposure and has been extensively published & exclusively featured in some of the best international publications. He currently drives brand management for Tyco International (Europe, Middle East and Africa) and also provides brand and communications consultation to several MNCs especially on elevating and differentiating their brands. The author writes independently for numerous publications across Asia-Pacific, US/Canada and co-chairs many professional Canadian communities and non-profit organizations.