Session 3: Building a partner channel

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The Discussion

  • User profile image
    gailmercerm​ac

    Welcome everyone - it is almost 1:00 pm EST and we will be around for the next hour to answer any questions you might have

  • User profile image
    dkreklow

    Hello all-  I'm happy to joining Gail to answer any questions you may have!

     

  • User profile image
    TheresaONeil

    I'm here too. This was one of my favorite companion guides to write, so I'm looking forward to our discussion!

  • User profile image
    gailmercerm​ac

    Good to see everyone back today. I just got back to my home office from an IAMCP event at Microsoft this morning and one of the big discussions was how to build the right channel plan to maximize your time at WPC

     

  • User profile image
    gailmercerm​ac

    We had a lot of great conversation about the right approach but essentially it is exactly the same approach

     

  • User profile image
    gailmercerm​ac

    Build out your partner channel plan including a strong value proposition and target the partners you really want to meet

  • User profile image
    gailmercerm​ac

    Really, this series is happening at an ideal time because WPC in Washington in July is the perfect time to do a rapid execution of a channel strategy

  • User profile image
    dkreklow

    Corrine really brings great insights from her deep channel experience!  Happy she could join us!

     

  • User profile image
    gailmercerm​ac

    What did you think was her most relevant observation in terms of what you are seeing with your ISV clients Diana?

  • User profile image
    gailmercerm​ac

    Actually, Theresa, I am going to ask you the same question - you had some great success developing channel at an ISV

  • User profile image
    corinnesharp

    It's Corinne here.  I am on line and happy to address any questions.

  • User profile image
    dkreklow

    Developing the right strategy and value propositions is KEY.

     

  • User profile image
    dkreklow

    Also think the ISV's should clearly understand the timeline to develop and grow a channel program.  Realistic timeframes set expectations accurately and keeps everyone on target.

     

  • User profile image
    TheresaONeil

    I know I mentioned focus last week-- I think that's my theme. In working with a client this week, we really had to bring laser sharp focus to our plans to make sure we focused on what's important and used our resources most wisely. One of the questions I got was "how many partners should I recruit?" We thought about the effort it takes to recruit, enable, and empower a partner and about what internal resources were available. Then start by recruiting your target * 5. Say we think we can effectively onboard and manage 50 partners the first year. That means target 250 partners to recruit. The guidebook has great tips on how to profile the ideal partner and what it takes to onboard them. Don't let shiny objects distract you!

  • User profile image
    DanCassell

    How many new partner meetings could I realistically get at WPC and should I set them up in advance?

  • User profile image
    gailmercerm​ac

    That seems like a lot of partners Theresa - what size of ISV would be looking at bringing on that many?

  • User profile image
    TheresaONeil

    @dkreklow: ISVs often ask, "what is a realistic timeframe?" What would you tell them?

  • User profile image
    powerhouse

    where do i find the checklists and worksheets? 

  • User profile image
    gailmercerm​ac

    @DanCassell: Hi Dan - you will probably get different answers to this question. Once you define your ideal partners, I would suggest that you could plan for 9 or 10 new partner meetings - that is around 3 / day. And because plans change, you will get about 1/3 of those as no-shows. So you will actually end up with 2 meetings / day.

    but then you need to consider your ad-hoc meetings - they will occur over lunch as well as in the regional lounges where you can get warm intros from IAMCP members to the kinds of partners you have identified you want to meet

  • User profile image
    TheresaONeil

    @gailmercermac: That depends on the type of partner they are trying to recruit and what infrastructure they have in place. For example, an ISV that has all their sales and technical enablement available online will be able to empower a lot more partners that an ISV that doesn't have those resources. It also depends on what the ISV is willing to invest in terms of partner managers. It's not just size, it's maturity of infrastructure and investment. A small ISV with not much infrastructure and one partner manager can probably only realistically manage 20 or so partners in year one because they will be building out (or managing the building out) of the infrastructure as well as managing the partner activity. Long-winded way to say "it depends." ;)

  • User profile image
    gailmercerm​ac

    @powerhouse: There is a download button about halfway down this page -right about our bios

  • User profile image
    gailmercerm​ac

    @TheresaONeil: Thanks Theresa - of course now that you put it in black and white, that makes total sense. Having the right infrastructure in place enables scale. Many smaller partners try ad hoc processes and that can quickly become a nightmare.

  • User profile image
    dkreklow

    We recommend all partners attending WPC build out a plan with very specific goals and strategies to leverage the most out the conference.  Clearly outline key objectives around: networking, product knowledge, training and support. 

    The agenda is full of great breakout sessions, keynotes which you should take full advantage of.  I would recommend you determine the number of meetings based on the amount of personnel attending and your planning.  I find out of my many years of attending I'm booking meetings from 7am-till the last networking session. 

  • User profile image
    gailmercerm​ac

    @corinnesharp: Corinne, why don't we talk about financial investment. You have worked with lots of partners looking for Angel or VenCap funding to invest in building out a channel - what are some of the mistakes they have made that has caused the investors to walk away

  • User profile image
    dkreklow

    @TheresaONeil:  Realistically it takes on average 18-24 months to build out an end to end channel program which can support partners via a solid program infrastructure and execution sales.  Those timelines reflect new recruit, onboarding, enablement and sales cycles.  It can vary, however due diligence is important to a building and supporting a channel program.  In many cases we've seen ROI in shorter timeframes, but this is the "average".

  • User profile image
    gailmercerm​ac

    They need to have their plan and their value proposition very clearly defined before they seek funding. So often, the ISV has not built the channel value proposition and just assume everyone wants to sell and implement their solution. They should have some pilot partners (1 or 2 is fine) already working with them in a co-selling approach to prove to investors that a partner truly sees value in their solution and can scale the business locally or on a global level.

  • User profile image
    corinnesharp

    They need to have their plan and their value proposition very clearly defined before they seek funding. So often, the ISV has not built the channel value proposition and just assume everyone wants to sell and implement their solution. They should have some pilot partners (1 or 2 is fine) already working with them in a co-selling approach to prove to investors that a partner truly sees value in their solution and can scale the business locally or on a global level.

  • User profile image
    dkreklow

    I suggest too that ISV's watch next week for the Revenue Recognition session, this will help them understand some of the financials needed to build out a business case for funding.  The tool will be downloadable and it will calculate for partners "what if" scenarios as they build out channel funding requirements.  It's pretty cool.

  • User profile image
    gailmercerm​ac

    This has been a terrific discussion - I am signing off a few minutes early today because I have an interview scheduled with a partner who has a terrific case study about the power of the partner channel - four partners aligned to win business that none of them could have won on their own. The customer is thrilled and will be sharing their story with me. It's all about better together.

  • User profile image
    dkreklow

    Thanks to all!  This was great and look forward to seeing you at WPC.  Diana

     

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