Archives for July 2013

Channel Conduit of the Week: The Altruism of Sharing: It’s “like” a Pat on the Back

  • Small gestures that make big impacts on channel behavior
  • Commonsense reminders that make the difference b/t you and your competition
  • Elements that should be considered in a Channel Incentive Programs

Pat on the backWhy do we “Share” ideas, video, blogs, articles, and press releases with our network? Usually, when we press the “Share” button on any of our social media sites, its because we’ve come across information that we think might be valuable to our network. But that’s not all. It also acts as a digital “Pat on the Back” to the original poster. So in this sense, “sharing” an item is doubly altruistic, and this is one of the most important components of these social networks. Pat on the BackWhile past studies have shown that the most effective kind of recognition is public recognition, we still have yet to see substantial research regarding the impact of Social Network recognition. But whether or not we have the data to back it up, I think we can all agree that “sharing” information is becoming an essential part of the way we do business online.

If you are a channel account manager and you see that your channel partner is in the news or has recently disseminated a press release, why not give it a tweet linking to the article or that person’s twitter account? Or if mange the entire channel marketing program and have access to your companies LinkedIn Company Page, give it a share & a tweet!

But the power of sharing can go even further. Are you rewarding or incentivizing when you partner tweets about you and your company? You wouldn’t believe how easy it is to track what people are saying about you on LinkedIn and Twitter. So, go ahead and retweet, share, or better yet, include these altruistic gestures in your next Channel Incentive Program.

Happy Sharing!


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

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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 . . .

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