Analogue channel enablement approaches have been successful in the past, but now no longer show results, as a result the role of the channel manager has been effected. Rather than being sales engineers, channel managers have become the go-to problem solvers for vendor-channel queries and issues. Channel managers are therefore distracted from their primary goals, analogue channel enablement approaches only intensifies the problem.
According to Channel Insight (2014) channel partners account for approximately 60% of overall sales revenue, thus ensuring channel efforts deliver the highest return is essential. However operating under an analogue channel enablement approach results in no sales visibility into the effectiveness of channel operations. Basically this is a result of non-existent data & feedback, lack of vendor-channel communication and the inherent sales content limitations of analogue.
Non-Existent Sales Data & Feedback
Analogue channel enablement approaches produce no sales data, channel managers are unable to track channel productivity or pinpoint which efforts are delivering the most ROI. So how do channel managers know if their investments are in the right place? The reality is they can’t. Channel managers basically have to assume where channel efforts are best placed and hope that they deliver a high return. As a result poor sales productivity continues, impacting overall channel sales revenue.
Lack of Vendor-Channel Communication
Analogue channel enablement approaches often lead to very little or no communication with channel partners, resulting in a strained relationship. Channel managers are often so tied up solving technical queries from the wider sales team that they have no idea where any of the major deals are. As a result deals are lost because channel managers cannot intervene to provide expertise at the right time.
Inherent Sales Content Limitations of Analogue
Channel managers and salespeople encounter numerous content issues when it comes to operating under an analogue channel enablement approach. Channel managers and salespeople are currently spending up to 40% of their time sifting through a mountain of sales content, trying to dig out and adapt relevant information for sales conversations.
Due to channel salespeople continuously researching and adapting sales content months in advance, sales content becomes extremely unorganised. Therefore channel salespeople struggle to find sales content exactly when they need it. As a result channel salespeople turn to a trial and error approach to selling, in the hope they will have a successful outcome, as a result channel productivity decreases.
On the whole, an analogue channel enablement approach significantly impacts channel sales effectiveness and productivity, slowing overall sales revenue and lengthening the sales cycle. However since the technology sector is so fast paced due to the digitally growing world, in order to stay competitive organisations need to start embracing change; digital is the way of the future.
Stay tuned for our next blog where we will look into the benefits of digital channel enablement. Embracing Qotient allows channel efforts to be scaled effectively, and gives management the ability to pinpoint ROI and access real-time sales insight into channel performance anywhere, at any time.
If your sales productivity and revenue has started to slow implement a digital channel enablement platform. For tips on successfully pitching digital channel enablement to your CEO, download Qotients Pitching Channel Enablement To Your CEO guide.
Channel Insight. (2014). What do channel partners really want? [PDF] Retrieved from http://channelinsight.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/What-Do-Partners-Really-Want-in-Incentive-Programs-082014.pdf
Forbes Insights. (2015). The Power of Enablement. Bridging the Sales Productivity Gap. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/forbesinsights/brainshark/index.html