Channel partnerships may have changed in recent years, but they remain as important as ever. Previously, the partner model was centred on resale, margins and collecting upfront revenue, but as the technology sector has transitioned to a more service-based industry, the partner channel has followed suit. Nowadays, it is not enough for channel partners to offer good technology, they must also provide responsiveness, flexibility and strategic enablement. Of course, the potential benefits of a modern channel partnership depend largely on who you choose to partner with, which is why this decision is proving so important for businesses across all industry sectors.
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On the simplest level, partnerships allow resources to be shared between both parties, including consultancy, education and expertise, as well as more tangible resources like technology, capital and marketing materials. Effective channel partnerships have enabled businesses to generate new revenue streams, leverage powerful IT solutions and brand influence and gain access to professional business tools that may have otherwise been out of reach. On the other hand, ineffective partnerships can see businesses weighed down by bureaucracy and lacking support and open communication.
When choosing an enterprise partner it is important to select one that is willing to take the time to understand your business, its customers and what it is that you are trying to achieve. Vendors also need to create and deliver services that reflect your business needs – if the product or service is not relevant to your business, then your partnership is unlikely to be a fruitful one. As a result, collaboration is absolutely vital for any channel partnership strategy to be effective. Communication will allow you to both realise shared goals and strengthen trust between the two parties.
It is important that businesses look for a channel partner that has a comprehensive strategy already in place. This will likely include detailed pricing considerations that reflect different channel categories, discount options and a clear reseller model. The product or service being supplied may also require some tweaking to suit both parties. Is your channel partner willing to modify its resources to better suit its distribution partners and their customers? Will further adjustments be required for international partners in order to reflect local demands? What level of collaboration will take place when it comes to promoting these products or services?
At Dell we’ve worked hard to transition from a consumer PC vendor to a reputable channel partner that is fully invested in our partner’s aims and objectives. Through our PartnerDirect programme, we offer a range of benefits to ensure that we remain as committed to you as you are to us. Whether you sign up to the Registered, Preferred or Premier schemes, you’ll receive a number of advantages tailored to your business needs, including account management, access to field marketing support and market development funds.
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Channel partnerships can prove hugely beneficial for many businesses, boosting sales, creating new revenue streams and opening your company up to a wealth of shared resources. However, before any business can access these benefits they must ensure that they choose their channel partner wisely. The right partnership can truly demonstrate the benefits of business collaboration, but the wrong one can leave you stuck with a business that is ill-suited to your needs and ambitions.