Don’t just fill your channel partner’s pail…

beautiful-jungle-waterfall-nature-wallpaper-beautiful-759063643This past weekend my wife graduated from The Ohio State University with her PhD.  She is now embarking on her new career as an education professor working with and preparing future teachers.  Her expertise is in science education, and she cares deeply about improving science education experiences, teaching and learning for all children.

In her dissertation dedication she references one of her favorite quotes by Yeats, and one she applies in her teaching,

“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the igniting of a flame.”

As always, when I hear such a powerful and moving statement I try to see how that statement might be applied to moving the channel.

All too often we fill our partners pails with discounts, co-marketing programs, trainings, and everything else that may be on our partner program checklist with hopes that this ‘pail filling’ will be the ignition we are seeking.  To take a step back and examine the pail, have we drenched the partner to the point of stifling the partnership?  Don’t get me wrong, filling the pail with a well-designed partner program is the foundation for a successful and fruitful partnership.  But a foundation is just the beginning.

Lets deliver and communicate a world-class channel program and benefits, but then turn our efforts to understanding our partner’s needs, challenges, opportunities, and passions.  If we can get to know our partner and what drives them we can “ignite” the partnership into a greater business opportunity than ever imagined.Don't just fill your partner's pail

Are you only filling your partners pail?  Where is the source of ignition with your partner?  How do you “ignite” your partnership into growth and profits?

As always, send me a note with your thoughts and feedback.

Move the Channel,

Email Me


Channel Marketing: Planning for 2015? Here’s your Channel Marketing Checklist

Business strategy organizational charts and graphs

Autumn: by far my favorite time of year! The leaves are changing daily to some of the most brilliant colors in nature. The weather is crisp but not too cold. Football is in the air, and two of my favorite holidays (Halloween & Thanksgiving) are right around the corner.

It also happens to be a wonderful time of year for the channel marketing industry. Like the leaves on a tree, the ever changing channel landscape impacts our positioning, our solutions, and how we move business through the channelAnd through change comes a wonderful opportunity to grow our channel business with the proper strategy and execution.

The months of October and November are also a great time to start planning for 2015. At this point you probably have a pretty good idea of what went well this past year, and what needs improvement. Well now is the time when you should start to develop your plan for next year and start trying to secure and allocate marketing dollars to initiatives that are likely to Move the Channel.

Move the Channel’s Marketing Guide and RIMES Chart can help you organize your strategy during this planning process. As a broad-stroke checklist for all of your channel requirements and future goals, this guide can only offer a general blueprint for channel success; it is incumbent upon you to decide which programs, resources, and benefits are appropriate for your 2015 approach, and which are not.

Enter your name and email address to download Move the Channel Guide and RIMES Chart

Name: Email:

As 2014 draws to a close, I challenge you to be as bold as the many colors of the trees you see on your lunch break today. Take a look back at the MTC Marketing Guide and try to figure out what is missing from your channel strategy. Are there certain components—even small ones—that your channel partners are currently lacking? Remember, being bold doesn’t always mean taking a big gamble. Sometimes it just means avoiding the same old status quo, creating that little extra separation between you and your

Are you aggressively guiding your channel partners? Do they have all of the resources they need? Are you communicating, enabling, and training them to be more self-sufficient? Have you properly allocated or invested in a Channel Incentive Program that influences and incentivized your partners’ salespeople and technical sales folks?

As always, shoot me an email with your ideas and any questions.

Move the Channel,

email me


Move the Channel Marketing Guide & 1.0 & RIMES Chart – Origin Story

RIMES PicSince the release of Move The Channel’s Channel Marketing & Sales Guide 1.0, I’ve been inundated with emails and phone calls asking me, “Travis, what is the Move The Channel Marketing & Sales Guide, what is RIMES, and how did you come up with them?”

So here’s the brief origin story: In collaboration with the Move The Channel Community (LinkedIn Group and, we began brainstorming what the most important components of a successful channel marketing campaign might be. To initiate this discussion, we first enlisted the thousands of MTC members to offer up their opinions and ideas regarding marketing strategies, sales techniques, technological advancements, and other channel solutions. The best part of this process was that all of the data, concepts, and suggestions we received were based on the extensive personal experience of real channel professionals.

As we began organizing literally thousands of ideas and best practices from our numerous group members, we started to see different categories coming into focus, and we determined that the most effective way to present this information would be as a five-pronged holistic methodology, which we’ve referred to as “RIMES.” We deemed these to be the 5 major “pillars” of any successful channel marketing program, and our goal was to highlight each as it relates to the greater whole. For those who don’t yet know, RIMES stands for:

  •  Relationships
  •  Information Technology (As in the channel professionals have access to and can use IT to better support their goals)
  •  Marketing & Communications (although sometimes we also refer to this pillar as “Management” — as in Channel Management)
  •  Enablement and Education
  •  Selling — pushing products/solutions THROUGH the channel

In addition to RIMES serving as the pillars of a successful channel marketing program, it is also the foundation of our exclusive eBook, which we have called the Channel Marketing & Sales Guide 1.0. It has been designed and structured from an outside-in perspective, so that in future versions we can start to drill down and explore all of the various sub-categories. In this way, each pillar is a potential gold mine of information and insight regarding channel best practices, and it will be our job at Move The Channel to harvest these nuggets, one step at a time. So in this way, you might even think of 1.0 as the origins of a future Channel Wiki…

Please send me your thoughts, ideas, and suggestions on where to go during the next stage of Move the Channel’s Marketing Guide.

Move the Channel,



Your Channel Marketing Program: If you can’t explain it simply,….


…you don’t understand it well enough. And your channel partners understand your programs even less than you. I have seen Channel Program Brochures that are 10 pages long, and presentation Channel Program overviews that are more than 40 slides.

We often get so involved in delivering MORE resources and MORE benefits, that we get trapped into thinking MORE is always better. It can be—to a point. Usually more resources and more benefits are a positive, but if your program needs a map and compass just to navigate through it, chances are you’ve overdone it.

Move the Channel has developed a Channel Marketing Guide & R.I.M.E.S chart. Don’t be trapped into thinking that you need to employ every one of the bullet points in your channel marketing program. Rather, consider the few that would be most impactful for your business and the relationship you have with your channel partners.

Download your MTC Channel Marketing Guide and RIMES Chart here:

Move the Channel Cover

Enter your name and email address to download Move the Channel Guide and RIMES Chart

Name: Email:

Move the Channel,


10 Channel Marketing Program lessons from Manchester United’s Sir Alex Ferguson

Sir AlexToday I bring to you a story from a different hemisphere.  A story about arguably one the most impactful figures in all of sport.  You have heard me speak with passion about American Football, Baseball, Basketball, and the people in those sports that have changed the game.  Today I share Manchester United’s Sir Alex Ferguson’s secrets of persuasion and turn them into Channel Marketing lessons.

I found the story at one of my favorite blogs spots .  Brian Ahearn is a friend and master of persuasion and one of only 20 Cialdini Method Certified Trainers® (CMCT®) in the world.   He recently shared a post from Sean Patrick a fellow Cialdini Method Certified Trainer.

Each number (1-10) references and matches a passage from the story below.   Here are the lessons I took away from this wonderful piece on SAF:

  1. Move the Channel:  Do your channel partners put themselves before winning titles?  Culture. 
  2. Move the Channel:  To find the best partners, we need grassroots “talent scouts” too.  Recruiting.
  3. Move the Channel:  Have you developed an academy and channel training strategy the produces the most successful teams?  Training.
  4. Move the Channel:  Does your organization have you finger on the pulse of every area of the Channel Ecosystem?  Pulse.
  5. Move the Channel:  Are you holding your channel partner accountable and “coaching them up”?  Goals and QBR Process.
  6. Move the Channel:  Have you fired a channel partner recently and focused on ones showing great potential?  Should you?
  7. Move the Channel:  Do you demonstrate respect, fairness, and empathy toward you partners?
  8. Move the Channel:  Do you invest to retain and coach your partners that have potential to be great?   Coaching. 
  9. Move the Channel:  Do your channel partners feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves?  Inspired.
  10. Move the Channel:  Do you have a channel rewards and incentive program that helps your channel partners hear “well-done”.  Channel Incentive Programs.


Here’s the story from Sean Patrick, Sales Coach:

In May 2013, Sir Alex Ferguson or SAF as he’s otherwise known as, stepped down as manager of Manchester United.  He had just won his 13th Premiership title, the most successful and highly decorated manager in English football.  This ended his 26th season in charge of one of the biggest sporting franchises in the world.

During his time at Old Trafford he won 38 titles including two UEFA champions league trophies. 1.) Ferguson took control of the club at a time when player status was more important than winning titles, over the course of four seasons and under severe pressure to deliver, he transformed the club from the inside out.  2.) He employed countless talent scouts to find the best youth players at grassroots level and 3.) developed an academy that produced one of the most successful teams in English football history.  4.) Every season a major development was installed inside the club that cemented United’s ability to find and retain the best playing staff.  Ferguson was well known for having his finger on the pulse in every area of the club.  Only Matt Busby, a legendary former United manager had any such influence across the entire club.

So how did he do it?  Ferguson was well known for his ability to psychologically influence the players around him and rival managers.  Ferguson believed that the key to success was to make sure that every player put in 100% during training.  He never allowed a bad training session as this proved a player would find mediocrity acceptable, he knew bad habits form quickly.  5.) He ensured that every player who under-performed at half time became aware of their poor performances thus the legendary motivational skills reared itself in the dressing room.

Former rival manager Jose Mourinho claimed Ferguson was the master of the ‘second game’, sing the media to motivate his team and to begin, as he put it, ‘to play the next game before it starts’.

The club and everyone around him knew he was the authority figure.  If a player tried to take over the dressing room or put in a poor performance he was either swiftly removed from the club or was given a severe face-to-face screaming which had become known as the hairdryer treatment.  His authority was without question embedded into the organization. 6.) Over the course of his 26 season reign he made difficult choices and this came in the form of releasing established world class players such as Roy Keane, Jaap Stam and David Beckham to make room for untested younger players such as Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo who became medal winners at United.

There was another side to 7.) Ferguson, he was liked and respected.  He was treated respectfully by senior management and back-room support staff and reciprocated respect by demonstrating fairness and his ability to empathize.  These skills were tested during the season of 1995-96 when maverick player Eric Cantona attacked an opposition supporter Kung-Fu style and consequently given a heavy suspension lasting several months.  8.) Over the course of this period, Ferguson mentally coached Cantona, firstly to retain his services and secondly to mentally motivate and prepare the player for his return.  Subsequently, Cantona blossomed to become a model player and became club captain helping United secure more silverware.

This method of psychologically preparing and motivating players culminated in United’s first UEFA Champions league title in 1999.  They faced a tough fixture against Germany’s Bayern Munich.  At half-time United were trailing, he reminded his players that if they lost the match they would not as much be allowed to touch the trophy, just amble past at a safe distance wearing their losers medal.  9.)  One of the players later recalled that Ferguson’s inspirational speech turned fearful men into world-beaters.  During that same season, United became the first side from a major league to win the treble of Champions league, English Premier league and League cup in a single season.


Ferguson understood the importance being consistent. One of his key skills in improving the preparedness of his players was his use of storytelling and being to talk to each player individually.  He liked to change the themes of his team talks with regularity.  “I once heard a coach start with ‘this must be the 1000th team talk I’ve had with you’ and saw a player quickly respond with ‘and I’ve slept through half of them!’  If a player was to sit out a game, he gave a personal and very frank conversation that conveyed empathy and instilled confidence in the player.

10.) Ferguson emphasized on the use of instilling confidence on the training pitch.  “There is no room for criticism on the training field’.  ‘There is nothing better than hearing ‘well-done.”

Channel Partner Programs don’t matter unless you target your Partner’s Sales People

POI Book CoverI know many of us in the Move the Channel community tend to focus on Channel Partner Programs that deal in Partner-level or firm-level benefits. Now don’t get me wrong, these can certainly act as critical foundations for the formal partnership between you and your supply chain partners. BUT these types of programs don’t always differentiate you from your competitors, and they often don’t move the channel or grow market share as well as you might like. The exception here would be if your Channel Partners are made up of small companies, where the principal also happens to be the salesperson. You see this with many companies that sell through small contractors, dealers, or consultants. In these cases, the firm-level benefits are actually targeting the firm’s salesperson, which, I will argue, is really where you can strike with your program.

What are these important but industry standard firm-level benefits?

  • Quarterly & Annual Rebates
  • Manufacture Development Programs
  • Pricing Discounts Schedules
  • Registration & Demo Programs
  • Training Minimums and Requirements

I know these kinds of benefits are not easy things to design, and they can certainly be a lot of work to manage and articulate. But at the end of the day,

Miguel Carerea POI

Miguel Cabrera POI

90% of your Partner/Firm-Level Programs are actually made of the same components. Sure your discount might be more exciting or your MDF program might be appreciated, but even if your program is superior to your competitor’s, it’s probably only a month or so away from being matched by the competition.

So where do we see real impact?  How do we actually MOVE THE CHANNEL? The biggest impact and most measurable movement can be realized when you effectively target, engage, and incentivize performance at the Point of Impact (POI). Also known as the Point of Influence, the POI is the person in the channel that can best influence the sale—to YOUR END USER. Believe it or not, the POI is almost always your channel partner’s salesperson or sales engineer. It is the individual who interfaces with your end customers, the person with influence who can take advangtage of THEIR relationship with YOUR end customer. Each Industry and every company has its own vernacular for this person, but we at Move the Channel have coined this strategic player the POI.

Behaviors you may want to impact at the POI

  • Increased Deal Registration
  • Training Completions
  • Individual Sales and Goals
  • Target Prospect Engagements
  • Customer Introductions
  • POC or Evaluation Placements

When you design a program and performance incentive strategy around the POI, you are engaging at the most valuable touch point in the channel—the Point of Influence. Programs that can engage and motivate at this level are much more difficult to duplicate, and thus they have a more profound impact on the sale and overall market share.

Make sure your Partner/Firm-Level benefits are top-notch, but also quickly turn your marketing genius and resource to the people in the channel that have the real influence you are looking for . . . the POI.

Move the Channel,


Your Channel Partners need more Coaches, Not Discounts

This was a terrific sports weekend for the Smith house. March Madness is always a favorite time of year, but this week was especially fun. First, my wife’s alma mater, the University of Dayton, beat my beloved Ohio State Buckeyes in the first round of the big dance. Then they went on to upset the mighty Orangemen of Syracuse to move on to the Sweet 16 for the first time in almost 30 years. To top that off, our local high school made an amazing run in the State basketball tournament to earn Division I State Champion Runner-Up. But by far, the highlight of the weekend was witnessing my old high school basketball coach finally win a Division II State Championship.Coach Gray cutting the net

Of all the big sports news from the weekend, why was this so important to me? Even though it has been 20 years since I graduated from high school, I still feel a great deal of loyalty, appreciation, and pride for Coach Gray. Many of the lessons he imparted to us as juniors and seniors have stayed with me to this day, and it seems a bit strange now to think that in the course of my life, one of the most important and inspiring teachers I ever had was a coach. Somehow, through his leadership, he was always able to get the most out of us, his players.

Leadership is a skill that is required in business as much as it is in sports. Take channel marketing and sales leaders, for example. Much of your efforts are spent designing, implementing, and marketing the perfect partner program. Discounts structures, rebate tiers, MDFs, CO-OPs, partner benefits, etc., are all foundations for any Channel Partner Program. In fact, Move the Channel has published its own Channel Marketing Guide and RIMES Chart to serve as a sort of “playbook” for all of these critical features.

But even if you have the best playbook in the business, it’s difficult to get the best results without an effective “coach” to implement the plays and motivate the “players.” These coaches are the people in your channel organization who interface directly and consistently with your channel partners. They are the people selling in the field whose compensation is linked to the partners they support. In many organizations, their main role is to “manage” their accounts; but if they’ve never managed (or coached) before, they might have a hard time doing this efficiently, with deals only getting done when they are heavily involved.

The people that interface with your channel partner need to have a coach’s mentality. All too often in business we have a first practice, hand out the playbook, and check back in the next quarter to review how many rebounds, assists, and points the partner and partner’s salespeople scored for our team. These partner “coaches” need to recognize the partner’s strengths and weaknesses in order to identify how that partner might best contribute to the “team.”  This takes time, energy, organization, and leadership—basically a coach’s approach. In the short term, this can lead to increased mind share, market share, and sales. In the long-term, you will have a partner who is loyal and appreciative, and who takes pride in working with your championship-caliber organization. Just don’t expect them to call you “coach.”

Enjoy the rest of March Madness and make it a great week!

Move the Channel,

Channel R.I.M.E.S: Relationships, IT Integration, Management, Enablement & Education, Selling


Move the Channel Cover

Enter your name and email address to download Move the Channel Guide and RIMES Chart

Name: Email:


What makes Move the Channel’s Marketing Guide 1.0 the first of its kind?  Well as most of you know, this project started over a year ago as simple discussion in our LinkedIn Group.  It grew from there to an all-out pouring of ideas from across the Move the Channel community.

The next thing that is unique about this eBook, is how it’s organized.  While organizing all the ideas and best practices different categories became clear.  These categories are what we call RIMES –and are the pillars of any successful channel marketing program.

  • Relationships
  • Information Technology (As in the technology they have access to and use to better support them)
  • Management – as in Channel Management
  • Enablement and Education
  • Selling

So anyway it’s here.  You can download it right here at move the

4 things your distribution channel partners will expect in 2014

2014 Channel ExpectationsI am fresh back from a terrific family vacation in Southern California. I have a huge wonderful family in Pasadena and many friends from our years living in Dana Point. In addition to my many client visits throughout the year, I try to bring the family once a year to hang with grandparents, aunts and uncles, and the many cousins. This trip was filled with non-stop activities like the Rose Bowl, the Rose Parade, Disneyland, LEGOLAND, the BCS National Championship Game, and even surf lessons for my 6-year-old.  Oh my! It’s definitely been a blast, but let’s just say I’m ready to get back to my “normal” schedule again. Now, down to business!

Let’s talk about what your Channel will expect from you in 2014.

1.)    Simplicity — Your Channel Partners don’t want a partner program that looks like a Smith or Griswold family vacation (reference above or National Lampoon’s Vacation). They want a program that clearly states what is expected from them and what resources will be available to help them deliver solution to the market.  Design an engagement and reward portal that gives them easy access to the handful of the most important components and tools available.

Here is great guide to make sure you aren’t over complicating things:

Enter your name and email address to download Move the Channel Guide and RIMES Chart

Name: Email:

2.)    Clear Expectations — Yes, they Channel Partners need to know what your expectations are so they can build those expectations into their company goals for 2014. By integrating benefits like soft benefits into your channel incentive program you can deliver a personal touch that leads to deeper, stronger relationships with your partners.

3.)    More Efficient Communication — Notice I did not say “MORE” communication. This year you should try to be more deliberate and concise with your message and how you deliver it. The channel has more “noise” than ever before, and how you communicate with your partners will help determine your success this year.

4.)    Be A Part Of Something Great — Your channel partners don’t want to be chess piece in your overall company strategy—they want to feel as important as the first chair in a world-class symphony. Share with them in a meeting what the goals will be for the entire channel ecosystem, and why their role is so critical to the channel’s overall success. There is a reason why Martin Luther King said “I have a Dream”, and not “I have a Plan”.   This is where most organizations tend to fall short. The companies that are able to do this well tend to have the best and most loyal channels.
It sure is great to be back. As always, send me an email or give me a ring with some of your ideas and questions. I couldn’t be more excited about moving the channel in 2014!

Hope you are enjoying Martin Luther King Day!

Move the Channel,

Channel Conduit of the Week – Partner Recruitment

Partner RecruitimentDo you have a few channel partners, but still aren’t sure whether to commit to a distribution channel Go-To-Market Strategy? When I talk to executives whose companies are at this point I often hear things like, “We know it’s time to commit to a channel strategy, but how do we recruit enough of the right partner?”

This is an excellent question, and the key words here are “enough” and “right.”

Here is a high level Channel Partner Recruiting Strategy for early channel adopters.

The Right Partners:

A.)     Profiling the perfect partner (2-3 different profiles):

  1. Of your current partners, which ones do you consider best? Chances are you have a few partners who might justify acquiring more.

i.      What core or supplementary products do they sell?  It is likely that those other products already go through a more mature channel.  If you have success stories with one or more of those partners, probabilities are the rest of the channel would be willing to listen.

ii.      Do these partners specialize in a certain industry?

iii.      How big of an organization are they? How many sales reps and technical people do they employ? You might be tempted to chase bigger, sexier partners, but it’s usually a good idea to stick with what you know, and more importantly what you can support.

2.  Talk to some of your happy end-user customers. Of all the products that bump up against yours, which ones do they consider world-class products, and what do they think of the organizations that stand behind them?  (This is also a nice introduction from a fortune 500 client which always gets resellers’ attention)

Closing Enough Partners:

B.)    Developing A Partner Recruitment Strategy

  1. Target your perfect partner. Accumulate a list of potentials that fit this profile, and start to pursue them. (If you can’t build a list from your perfect profile, you might need want to reconsider your standards)

i.      Target the other core or supplementary product’s channel partners discussed above  (Chances are their reseller network is published and easy to obtain)

ii.      Most industries have an organization in which channel partners are/can be members. This could be a good tool to use for when you compile your list. You should think about joining the organization if you haven’t already. NEAD is an example in the electrical space.

C.)    Executing a Partner Recruitment Strategy

  1. Closing the deal with new partners

i.      Web Conference Pitch — Get as many to attend as possible and make sure your pitch is a good one. Why would they invest their time and money, and allocate their resources to your company? Give them a reason they can’t ignore.

ii.      Sponsor and Participate at other core or supplementing product company conferences.  — In the tech space this might be EMC World or IBM PartherWorld or Oracle Open World.  This is a great chance to meet face-to-face with many target partners.

iii.      Good Ole Fashion Selling — Train your sales team & future channel managers to identify potential partners, pitch your channel marketing program and its benefits, and talk about the success stories of other similar companies.

Certainly this post just scratches the surface of what it takes to achieve.  To dive deeper please download the Move the Channel Marketing Guide and RIMES Chart or shoot me an email to discuss how I might help.

Download the Guide and Chart Here:

Enter your name and email address to download Move the Channel Guide and RIMES Chart

Name: Email:

Move the Channel,

Move the Channel 1.0—Marketing Guide & RIMES Chart is becoming the gold standard for channel marketing tips and insight.

Move the Channel CoverI have some great news to share with the Move the Channel community. Our Channel Marketing Guide & Rimes Chart has greatly surpassed our initial expectations in terms of total number of downloads. Nearly 600 of you have now downloaded 1.0, and that number continues to rise steadily. That’s more than 20% of the entire community! But what might be even more impressive than the quantity of downloads is the quality of who’s downloading it:

  • 244 Program Managers
  • 75 Directors
  • 39 Executives

All across the channel industry leaders are talking about Move the Channel’s Marketing Guide & RIMES Chart. Are you listening?

Check out this exclusive Move the Channel video for more information.

Download the Guide and Chart Here:

Enter your name and email address to download Move the Channel Guide and RIMES Chart

Name: Email:

Is your Channel Marketing Program Organized? Here is a checklist to find out.

Winchester_Mystery_House_San_Jose_CA_C31107The Winchester Mystery House is a well-known mansion in Northern California  This mansion is renowned for its size and utter lack of any master building plan. It once served as the personal residence of Sarah Winchester, the widow of gun magnate William Wirt Winchester. Under Sarah Winchester’s day-to-day guidance, the mansion’s “from-the-ground-up” construction proceeded around the clock, without interruption, for 38 years. As Sarah continued to add on rooms, hallways, and staircases, the house become a maze that was disjointed and very hard to navigate. Despite the enormous, time-consuming investment, only about  10% of the house was ever practically in use.

Why do I bring up this strange bit of trivia? Because for many of us, our channel marketing programs have become disjointed in much the same way as the Winchester Mystery House. Over the years, we have found ourselves adding on to our channel programs, not necessarily thinking about the evolution of our programs so much as reacting to various factors like changes in leadership, Go-to-Market strategies, partner segments, verticals, turnover in the channel marketing department, etc. If you feel that within your programs, some confusion or inconsistencies have naturally unfolded over the years, rest assured you are not alone.This is the nature of an evolving, maturing channel marketing program.

Stairway to Nowhere

Stairway to Nowhere

A couple of weeks ago we at Move The channel published the MTC Channel Marketing Guide and RIMES Chart 1.0. While many people have said that the eBook has given them innovative ideas for their channel strategy, one of the most surprising complements it has received is its value as an organizational tool. The entire guide, as a matter of fact, is based off of the easy-to-read RIMES chart, and it offers channel professionals a simple checklist with which they can compare their own program’s various components.

Is my program missing an ingredient?

Is there a component of my program that is no longer relevant?

Have I taken the time to reorganize my program and communicate it clearly to my channel?

What is the mission of my program?

After taking the time to sift through the 1000s of ideas and ingredients we received from Move The Channel members, we managed to organize the information in a manner that we thought might help you manage your own program. Because one of the worst things you can do with your program is keep adding to it without any real structure. You don’t want to end up only utilizing 10% of your program. So compare your important themes—your pillars—with ours. Use the RIMES guide as a checklist for your own program. And if you think of something that you feel we’ve missed, PLEASE shoot me an email so I can add it our next version of the guide.

Move the Channel,


Enter your name and email address to download Move the Channel Guide and RIMES Chart

Name: Email:


It’s a Good Time to be a Channel Pro!

Its good to be channel Pro

We have heard some positive news about the economy although the outlook is still a lil muddy.  However it is crystal clear that Channel Chiefs are making aggressive moves.   Companies have made the decision to grow their business through their channel partners because most industries know the best way to deliver their solutions is through loyal, vested, and well-trained business partners that are local to the end-user. Thanks to social media, LMS (Learning Management Systems), PRM technology (Partner Relationship Management), and enhanced ways to motivate the partner sales team through Channel Incentive Programs, companies are finally realizing that channel strategy & channel programs are the most profitable model.

Top Three Indicators of a Channel Economic Rebound:

1.)     Channel Hiring Spree!  Although companies aren’t ready to build up their direct sales forces yet, they are investing in channel pros. We continue to hear about companies like MSFT, Red Hat, Oracle, CISCO, EMC, and NetApp, just to name a few, are hiring for Sr. Channel Leadership positions.

2.)    The leading global channel companies are bulking up their programs.  MSFT says it best in one of their job descriptions: “Microsoft is rapidly developing its incentive programs to support growth across all business segments in SMSG by improving alignment of multi-billion dollar incentive programs with new customer segmentation and sales models.”

3.)    Channel Ecosystems are on the rise – Companies aren’t just saying they are committed to the channel but they creating environments that make their channel partners part of their biology.   Lincoln Smith of HMI Performance Incentives says, “It used to be that companies incentive programs would reward for only behaviors determined by the manufacturer (sales goals, training modules, STTS, etc.), but now our program are rewarding for collaboration or sharing of ideas and best practices through surveys.  These actions are made exciting through incentives and gamification.”.

If you are a Channel Pro it is time to take action and take advantage of these exciting times.  Chances are that your company’s C-Level folks are strategizing on how to creatively capture more mind and market share of the channel partners.  Don’t wait for the increased budget or positions to come to you, make bold recommendations on where and how to invest and create channel loyalty.  If you’re not seeing increased attention or channel priority you might be with the wrong organization.  The good news is that proven channel pros are in high demand!

Check your Channel Marketing Program against the Move the Channel Marketing Guide and RIMES Chart and make some exciting adjustments today.

Enter your name and email address to download Move the Channel Guide and RIMES Chart

Name: Email:

RIMES Chart – Origin Story

Since last week’s release of Move The Channel’s Channel Marketing & Sales Guide 1.0, I’ve been inundated with emails and phone calls asking me, “Travis, what is RIMES and how did you come up with it?”

RIMES PicSo here’s the short story: In collaboration with the Move The Channel community (LinkedIn Group and, we discussed what the most important components of a successful channel marketing campaign might be. While organizing all of the ideas and best practices, different categories started to become clear, and we determined that in fact the most effective way to present each would be together, as a five-pronged holistic methodology which we’d refer to as “RIMES.” We deemed these to be the 5 major “pillars” of any successful channel marketing program, and our goal was to highlight each as it relates to the greater whole. For those who don’t know, RIMES stands for:

  •  Relationships
  •   Information Technology (As in the channel professionals have access to and can use to better support their goals)
  •   Marketing & Communications (although sometimes we also refer to this pillar as “Management” – as in Channel Management)
  •  Enablement and Education
  •   Selling   – pushing product/solutions THROUGH the channel

In addition to RIMES being the pillars of a channel marking program, it is also the foundation of this living, breathing eBook, which we have called 1.0. It has been designed and structured from an outside-in perspective, so that in future versions we may start to drill down and examine all of the various sub-categories. Each pillar is a potential gold mine of information and insight regarding channel best practices, and it will be our job at Move The Channel to harvest these nuggets one step at a time. So in this way, you might even think of 1.0 as the origins of a future Channel Wiki…

Please send me your thoughts, ideas, and suggestions on where to go during the next stage of Move the Channel’s Marketing Guide.


2.0 awaits . . .

LinkedIn Group collaborates to deliver a very unique Channel Marketing Guides& RIMES Chart.

It wasn’t easy to organize hundreds of ideas from a network of thousands of people from all over the world. But we did it. Move The Channel’s unique Channel Marketing & Sales 1.0 eBook is now available for you to download exclusively on

MTC 1.0 CoverWhat makes 1.0 the first of its kind? As most of you know, this project started over a year ago as a simple discussion in the Move The Channel LinkedIn group. It grew from there to an all-out deluge of ideas from all across the Move The Channel community.

As we began organizing all of the different ideas and channel best practices that were coming our way, distinct categories started to become clear.  These categories are what we now refer to as “RIMES” — Relationships, IT, Marketing & Communications, Enablement, and Sales — and they are what we at Move The Channel consider to be the pillars of any successful channel marketing campaign.

Our goal is to begin to create a line of literature that can be referenced as a valuable tool in the planning and implementation of any channel marketing program. We hope you find this guide to be useful and informative. You can download it right here at

Enter your name and email address to download Move the Channel Guide and RIMES Chart

Name: Email:

Please provide feedback so we can continue to enhance the Guide & Chart. MoveTheChannel 1.0 is the first step in an ongoing line of literature about channel marketing and sales. Our plan with 1.0 is to throw a net around a wide range of industries and promote the basic tools that have been proven to generate success across multiple access points within the channel. Enjoy!
Move the Channel,

%d bloggers like this: