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How to Turn Your Channel Into a Competitive Advantage

Competitive advantage

… the tools and information they need to be successful and provide the best support possible. We must work to create a holistic, positive experience that extends support throughout the lifetime of a relationship.

Here are a couple of ways to make this a priority:

  • Keep lines of communication open and honest: All communication should be meaningful and provide helpful and actionable information. Oversaturation can happen quickly in the channel, so it is important to be aware of the tempo and tenor of change and prioritize the information you send.
  • Be prepared to educate during times of change: Change in a company is healthy and inevitable, so make sure you are bringing your partners along with you during these times. They can’t be ambassadors for your company if they don’t have the latest information and vision. Being consistent in times of change and keeping surprises at bay will help the channel plan with you and build trust for future growth.

Grow together or not at all: As a business grows, it can be easy to lose sight of the full team. In a recent Channel Partners article, our CEO Craig Malloy discusses the importance of evolving together or risking failure separately. I agree with Craig’s points, and I also find two words to be key to a strong channel partnership that stands the test of time: “with thought.” If, as a vendor, you are thoughtful in how you approach the channel and understand how your changes affect your entire ecosystem, partners will appreciate your effort and stay when times are tough. Trust is built without a hidden agenda and when everyone has a vote. Channel partners are not franchisees and should not be treated as such.

There is no way around it — building successful business partnerships can be difficult. But if you focus on developing trust, being accountable and thoughtful, these relationships can become a strong, competitive advantage for your company. Knowing you can be successful together, sharing collective knowledge and having faith in the solid foundation you’ve established, both parties will maintain a thriving relationship for years to come.

Tim Maloney is senior vice president, worldwide channels, at Lifesize. With over 20 years in sales operations and channel management, Tim is dedicated to leveraging a unique mix of vision, strategy, operations and analysis to bring the channel model to the next level, and has been doing just that at Lifesize since joining in 2017.

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