Growing A Channel Program

By Michael Fair, MarketRace

I have been getting much feedback from service providers lately regarding my recent article in PHONE+ magazine (“Are You Your Worst Enemy? 10 Common Mistakes to Avoid“). The feedback was especially focused at the first item Setting Unrealistic Time-To-Success Expectations.

I was approached several times by channel executives from various carriers at both Channel Partners in Las Vegas and VON in San Jose, Calif., recently stating their thanks for the statement that it often takes a minimum of 18 months to create a viable and self sustaining program in this industry. Several have forwarded this article to their senior management as proof that building a program is hard work and takes substantial time.

Maybe they are just looking to save their skins but this time frame is a fact and any program must be managed with proper expectations, resources and support or it will fail.

Channel partners must not only be recruited into the program, once it is built (which takes time to properly build and needs to be done PRIOR to recruiting), the service provider then must go through the process of 1). Enabling the channel partners to be successful through training, proper onboarding, etc., 2). Engaging with downstream end user opportunities and 3). Retaining the partners with world class support and invigorating programs. Any senior executive that thinks they will see immediate benefits from a channel program will fail.

I will continue to explore this in future postings.

These programs are like trees. They need time and support to flourish, but once developed they become self sustainable and then are actually difficult to remove once they become dependable and substantial sources of revenue and profits.

Michael Fair is a founding partner of


. He can be reached at +303 884 8174 or


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