Channel Partner Development

As with anything, choose your partners wisely.

A Channel Partner is a company or individual, such as a reseller, service provider, vendor, retailer, or agent that partners with another organization to market or sell their services, products, or technologies. The best channel partners can help you scale growth without having to grow your internal sales and marketing teams.

Key benefits include:

  • Generating more qualified leads
  • Increasing conversion rates
  • Reducing customer acquisition costs
  • Leveraging relationships for better access to client decision makers
  • Expanding brand value and awareness via established industry partners

At SME we elected to build our business via a channel partnership network.

Brand sensibility must be in aligned within all partnerships.

Case Study

There are a variety of approaches to building a channel partner network depending in large part on your product or services, and your brand. Most of the brands with whom I have consulted are positioned as upscale, market leading brands which means the channel partnership network needs to be in alignment. If you want to be known as the Mercedes Benz of your market, then channel partners must also reflect this. For this reason, I value channel partners with a peer group and/or customer base at the C-suite level which has a huge impact on shortening the sales cycle.

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At SME some of our most effective Channel Partners were former clients. For example, we had been soliciting a national retailer via the Chief Supply Chain Officer. He was always open to discussing his transportation business but he was slow to embrace our services. He had personally negotiated their substantial small parcel carrier contract for several years and was quite pleased with the relationship. He was convinced he had best in class market rates.
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Finally, after a year of discussion he agreed to our offer to provide a zero cost, no obligation analysis of his shipping spend. The analysis revealed a potential savings in the range of 20% on a shipping spend of over $30 million. He engaged us immediately and we created an RFP and put the contracts out to bid. In the final analysis we did indeed save him 20% or over $6 million.
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A few years later the Chief Supply Chain Officer left the retailer and eventually opened up a supply chain consulting practice. Both parties recognized quickly that he would be the perfect channel partner. He had first person experience with our capabilities and deliverables. Additionally, he was a well respected industry executive with a long list of industry relationships. It was a perfect fit.

Over the past several years the partnership produced dozens of new clients for our company and substantial fees for our Channel. One of the reasons Why? A perfect and complementary brand fit.

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