Sometimes we can be lion to ourselves…

    lion

    Supreme confidence can be a blessing and a curse…right?

    To my point, it’s a rare case when I meet with a CEO or any members of his/her executive team that I’m not meeting with an impressive group of confident and successful overachievers. Their will is strong and their egos can fill a conference hall – and often do.

    In no way am I suggesting that that is a bad thing, not at all – these are the people I love working with.

    Where things can get a little off the tracks, is when this same group of non-channel experienced exceptional thinkers goes behind closed meeting room doors and hammers out a new reseller business plan relying on a series of compounded “reseller motivation” misunderstandings and unrealistic time-to-profit expectations.

    Their past ability to hard think and logic their way through virtually any challenge in the past, is about to become their curse.

    It stems from the fact that, unlike Direct Sales, Indirect Channel Sales is a mirror image of what they’ve encountered in the past and getting the most out of your Partner Channel is counter intuitive.

    When you’re working with partners, you’re working with a successful group of co-equals who are very adept at getting the most our of their vendor partners. They will have more experience working with vendors than you will have working with reseller organizations.

    Some examples:

    Vendor Statement: Our customers love that our software is inexpensive, easily downloaded from our website and requires very little technical support.

    VAR Hears: I won’t make any money selling it, the vendor will steal the deal online anyway, and our large investment in technical staff is wasted.

    Vendor Statement: We’re brand new with an amazing product – we have no customers so the resellers can have a field day picking off the low hanging fruit.

    VAR Hears: They have no customers, no case studies and no evidence that there’s product demand.

    Resellers are the nurturing “Farmers” of the sales trade and Direct Sales are the skilled “Hunters”. They have vastly different personalities and outlooks on how to close sales and maintain steady annual growth.

    Something else to keep in mind, the VAR Sales People don’t work for you. They’re not obliged to recommend or sell your product and they don’t respond well to the same type of pressure you can apply to your own team.

    Summary – Before you adjourn to the meeting room it would serve you well to get some advice from those who have toiled in the Channel trenches and are more than eager to share their experiences for your benefit.

    Feel free to contact me before you head on into the meeting room – let’s chat.

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