Channel Partners: High Maintenance, or windows to endless opportunity?

High MaintenanceIf you are getting the same results from your channel partners year after year, it might be time for a change. As our channel matures, as our products evolve with the times and the marketplace, so should our channel partner programs. But sometimes our expectations are not met, and we find ourselves asking a difficult question: if we’ve incorporated each of the pillars of a success channel strategy into our programs, why hasn’t our channel taken us yet to new applications, new clients, and new markets?

One explanation might be that we’re still looking at our reseller channel partners the same way we always have. Instead of viewing them as vehicles for growth—our growth—we’re continuing to see them as business accounts that must be constantly maintained in order to take us anywhere. Viewed in this light, it’s understandable that these channel relationships might at times seem burdensome. But there is an enormous amount of untapped potential in each and ever reseller, and if we can somehow access it, we can reap the benefits of their tremendous entrepreneurial spirit.

Because let’s remember who our partners are: they are small-to-medium-sized companies that were founded by entrepreneurs, many of whom are still at the helm. Each of these partners represents a window to a new world of opportunity, because this is part of their company’s DNA. Each was built on finding new opportunities and seizing them. Isn’t it in our best interest to harness that ability?High Maintenance

To do this, perhaps its time we stopped looking at our partners as mere accounts, and added a more personal touch to our reseller relationships. Could we sit down with these partners, listen to their goals, and figure out how they might align with our own? Could we help them grow their business, and not just in a “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” sort of way? By considering the human side of these relationships, by considering how we can help our partners achieve their goals, we might just be able to activate the entrepreneurial spirit that made them successful in the first place. If we can enable our partners to take their own businesses to new verticals, new markets, and new heights, then we will put them in a position to take our own products with them.

How do you look at your channel partners? Are they high-maintenance accounts, or vehicles of opportunity?

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