Intelligent Tech Channels Issue 45 - Page 34

FUTURE TECHNOLOGY

How to grow channel sales

A channel partner is a person or organisation that provides services or sells products on behalf of a software , hardware , networking or cloud services vendor . Partners including value-added resellers ( VARs ), systems integrators ( SIs ), consultants , managed service providers ( MSPs ) and independent software vendors ( ISVs ) are all grappling with how to increase and grow their channels sales . Industry experts share tips on how channel partners can grow their sales pipeline .

Today , channel partners share one main challenge : how to grow their sales and sales pipelineIndustry pundits look at how IT vendors including Amazon Web Services ( AWS ), Cisco , Dell Technologies , IBM and Microsoft etc are helping their channel partners to grow their sales and thrive in a challenging business climate .

Shane Grennan , Regional Channel Director , Enterprise and Alliances , Fortinet , said vendors , distributors and channel partners should be working closely together to build pipeline . According to Grennan , vendors have the best understanding of the core value of their solutions to customers
Shane Grennan , Regional Channel Director , Enterprise and Alliances , Fortinet and can help partners fund marketing activities and typically have dedicated teams focused on partner development and growth . “ Partners should take a look at their technology stack and ‘ lean it ’ to those vendors that show they want to focus with them ,” he said . “ Early engagement is key , don ’ t just look to engage with the vendor towards the end of the sales cycle , partner at the very start and even before the sales cycle starts , in marketing and prospecting activities .”
Andrew Cruise , Managing Director , Routed , a vendor neutral cloud infrastructure provider believes that people buy from people they like and people like people like themselves . “ The most critical tool for channel partners is empathy – they need to engage with the vendor in a way that makes them want to work with them and they need to engage their prospects similarly . Technical skills and expertise should be built on top of this ,” Cruise said . At NetApp , Maya Zakhour , Channel Director – Middle East and Africa , Italy and Spain , said the main tool that gives partners an advantage is having a strong solution so they must start to think about not just positioning products but provide services as well . “ We help our partners use a variety of exploration tools to identify and build a healthy sales pipeline . We provide them with active IQ tools , which help them identify where they have opportunities with their existing customers or with new customers . Partners must take the initiative of building their own AI tools to leverage their data and see where potential lies ,” she said .
Zakhour added that support is a key word here and vendors and distributors must work together to invest in providing partners with tools that will help them grow their sales . “ At NetApp , we ’ ve built specific campaigns that partners can leverage . We also support them if they
The most critical tool for channel partners is empathy – they need to engage with the vendor in a way that makes them want to work with them .
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