Channel Partner throughput lets your company, and your channel partner’s companies, maximize collective, cross-functional, collaborative bandwidth. Why continue to compete with each other for the same customer’s attention?
Where does channel partner throughput fit into your business model? It’s like asking you to pat your head and rub your tummy at the same time, huh?
Your Focus is Horizontal
For starters, the business model for channel partner throughput becomes horizontal and integrated. Gradually, the traditional linear straight-line chase through the customer acquisition process becomes a thing of the past. Horizontally-structured channel partner teams have a tremendous opportunity to create value for themselves and their customers.
Redundancy in service delivery to acquired customers is reduced and, in some cases, can be eliminated. Yet many partners are reluctant to adapt this type of idea to their business model, even if on a beta test basis.
Your Focus is Process
In order to achieve a more horizontal structure and team-based channel partner throughput process, your company must recognize that MSP and CSP-based lingo can create barriers to sales. Depending on where we all sit around the business table, we see, hear and speak about the same things differently. Even if we are all supposed to be part of the same channel partner team. Even if we are MSPs (managed service providers) and CSPs (Cloud service providers).
Stop assuming you all understand each other. You may be confusing your current and prospective customers, too. What’s obvious to you is not at all obvious to anyone else, especially the buyer.
Your Focus is Communication
Channel partner throughput recognizes the need for common denominators which translate terminology across the various disciplines involved in consummating the business deal. Do your partners have a common glossary of terms that you use each day? Do you assume that everyone seated around the table uses these terms in the same context? Ask your buyers if this is the case.
Having a common vocabulary across your channel partner structure facilitates communication, which can reduce rework of proposals and system design resulting from miscommunication. Increased operational efficiency also streamlines the order-to-cash process.
Running your businesses from a position of channel partner throughput keeps you all on your collective, collaborative toes. You and your partners will grow a few new antennae as you start to listen to each other – and your customers – more effectively.
When your business development processes are not based on assumptions about “the way it’s always been done” you will deliver your value to customers differently. You will deliver value to your channel partners differently as well, as you maximize areas of differentiation and minimize bandwidth overlap between your core capabilities as well.
Action Item 1 – Identify areas of service redundancy across your channel partner network.
Action Item 2 – Observe where slinging around MSP and CSP lingo creates opportunities for misinterpretation, miscommunication and potential rework.
Action Item 3 – Create a list of channel partner common denominators, to be shared with current and prospective customers. They will thank you for this list.
This post was brought to you by IBM for MSPs and opinions are my own.
Babette N. Ten Haken is a professional development coach and management consultant. She develops Playbooks for startups and small to mid-size companies experiencing unpredictable revenue streams. Then she brings these Playbooks to life. Her Playbook on business development and sales collaboration strategies, including tools, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com. Contact her here.