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

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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,

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