Danny Deganis bio photo

Danny has been working in indirect channel sales and product marketing since graduating from the University of Toronto in 1993. More than 20 years of this time has been spent developing and selling complex technology solutions in both Canada and United State across a range of technology subject matter areas including data protection and disaster recovery, cloud and hyperconverged infrastructure, software services, and mobile networking technologies. Danny is a proud associate member of the Canadian Channel Chiefs Council.

Written by

Danny Deganis
June 19, 2020

Part 2: Key Challenges Facing Channel Chiefs in the Post-Pandemic Landscape

Key Challenges Facing Channel Chiefs in the Post-Pandemic Landscape

Technology industry Channel Chiefs are currently facing many challenges as they strive to meet their business objectives, retain experienced staff, and survive amidst the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.   Part One offers commentary of the current state of the North American technology industry and highlighted a specific issue confronting many technology vendors.  The second segment attempts to offer Channel Chiefs some ideas about how they may uncover and capture channel opportunities during these challenging times. 

If there is truth in Albert Einstein’s quote that “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity”, Channel Chiefs have before them a rare occasion to justify new investment and experimentation ideas that will  connect them with a broader set of partners who need dependable suppliers more than ever before and will demonstrate appreciation and loyalty to those suppliers who stand with them during these times.  Any of the following recent events or activities within your Channel organization present a great reason to establish/re-establish ties with partners:

  • Have you redefined your business model, target client market, sales process, or channel program in the past 6 months?
  • Do you have well defined client and partner personas that you use in your business?  Have these changed recently?
  • Have you signed alliances or published topical case studies, launched new solutions in late 2019 or early 2020 that may not have received the market reception you had hoped for?
  • Have you launched a post pandemic programs and tools to demonstrate your commitment to partners?
  • Has one of your competitors suffered a major stumble within your marketplace; abandoning partners and clients via product and support discontinuations, price increases, or other events that have partners rethinking their vendor & solution allegiances?

Like many Channel Chiefs, your organization has probably implemented a global hiring freeze or is about to.   How do you make it rain when there are no clouds in the sky?    Could an outsourced channel services solution help you achieve your Channel development and enablement objectives?  Can unused budgets from marketing, travel and onsite sales meetings be repurposed to achieve your objectives? 

Perhaps you have used outsourcing service providers before and were not happy with the results?  When you look back on the experience objectively however, how much of your focus was based on project cost and ensuring that you would achieve your mandated 20X on spend vs the outcomes you were trying to achieve?  How accurately did the statement of work align with your requirements and how much due diligence did you do with respect to the outsourcing partner you chose?

Here are some things to consider when researching an outsourced channel services provider:

  • How long have they been in business?
  • Judge the provider by the company they keep; who are their customers, and will they go on the record for them as a reference?
  • Do they hire contractors or full-time employees?   Prospecting, recruiting, and enabling partners is challenging work that demands dedication.  Employees who are secure in their employment tend to stick around longer and show more commitment to achieving results.
  • Where are their facilities located and what are the education and employment dynamics associated with the region in which they operate?  Working with a partner that can hire and retain educated and experienced workers outside of major metropolitan areas is an advantage that should not be overlooked for several reasons. Project delivery disruptions due to staff turnover at the provider and other delays impacts overall performance.
  • What unique methodologies and processes are being offered by the outsourced service provider as their skin in the game?  Look beyond immediate fixed dollar costs of the project and consider other factors that present a true value proposition such as reputation, experience, and a source of impartial/unbiased advice. 
  • Is the provider willing to walk away from the project if they believe that your expectations are unattainable or not realistic within the project parameters? 
  • Do they provide some measure of financial or performance recourse if the requirements detailed on the statement of work of are not met within the project scope and timeline?
  • Eventually corporate hiring freezes will lift, and Channel budgets will normalize. Does the outsourced provider have ability to scale with you as you grow, or will they efficiently and effectively transfer partner accounts and record histories to your organization without disruption and data loss?

Perhaps success lies in the details when it comes to choosing a Channel services provider?  Established firms should work with you to develop a customized solution that will expand your channel base with committed partners who will lead with your brand, remain mindful of your value proposition and consistently drive incremental revenue from your solution portfolio.  


ABOUT CGS CHANNEL PARTNER ENABLEMENT

CGS has been delivering Channel Enablement services for more than 20 years to some of the largest names in the technology industry.  Our teams are comprised of seasoned professionals with decades of channel experience utilizing proven methodologies and tools that consistently achieve annual revenue growth exceeding 30% for our clients.  The information provided here is intended to share the benefit of our knowledge and experience with industry leaders as they work through these challenging economic times.  Learn more about our Channel Partner enablement offering.

Danny Deganis bio photo

Danny has been working in indirect channel sales and product marketing since graduating from the University of Toronto in 1993. More than 20 years of this time has been spent developing and selling complex technology solutions in both Canada and United State across a range of technology subject matter areas including data protection and disaster recovery, cloud and hyperconverged infrastructure, software services, and mobile networking technologies. Danny is a proud associate member of the Canadian Channel Chiefs Council.

Written by

Danny Deganis

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