Why Finding ‘Diamonds in the Rough’ Can Improve Channel Sales

Posted by John DeSarbo on Tue, May 08, 2018

Most technology vendors who sell through and with channel partners face an age-old challenge: how to deal with channel sales concentration. All channel managers are familiar with the 80/20 rule: 80% of channel sales are typically generated by the top 20% of channel partners. As I recently told Channelnomics, for some vendors, sales concentration actually exceeds this conventional benchmark, and the issue is becoming more critical.


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How to Implement a True Multichannel Strategy for the Big Middle

Posted by John DeSarbo on Thu, Jan 11, 2018

This post is the final in a four-part series on how high-tech companies can improve coverage of the “big middle” market segment.

Many high-tech companies have traditionally relied on direct sales channels to sell to the upper mid-market, or the “big middle.” Over time, however, industry leaders have determined that channel partners are needed to succeed in this attractive segment. Cisco, HP, Microsoft and others have built large-scale indirect channels and encouraged their partners to move upstream, beyond their traditional focus on small businesses, to engage upper mid-market and enterprise customers. Newer “born on the cloud” competitors such as Amazon Web Services and Google have followed suit and similarly adopted multichannel sales strategies in the big middle.  


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Is Your Sales Team Wasting Time and Money in the Big Middle?

Posted by Ty Curry on Tue, Dec 19, 2017

This post is the second in a four-part series on how high-tech companies can improve coverage of the “big middle” market segment.

In a recent Harvard Business Review article, ZS co-founders Andy Zoltners and PK Sinha discussed the importance of improving sales force allocation. “Salespeople can work smarter, not harder, by dividing their time more appropriately among customers and sales activities. Sales effort allocation has a large impact on sales and profits,” they wrote. Sales reps often waste money by investing time in the wrong activities and by focusing on the wrong accounts. Focusing on accounts with the most potential is critical. Making sure that your sales force is spending time on the right things will help high-tech companies improve performance by better targeting the valuable yet elusive mid-market segment: companies with $100 million to $1 billion in annual sales, known as the “big middle.”


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Breaking the 'Channel Laziness' Cycle

Posted by John DeSarbo on Mon, Sep 11, 2017

In my last post, I explored the causes of “channel laziness,” a common side effect of high-tech manufacturers’ efforts to create indirect sales channels to reach small- or mid-market businesses. Unfortunately, some manufacturers that leverage partners to reach customers who are difficult to cover through direct channels struggle to achieve desired channel productivity levels due to partner over-reliance on the support provided to them. In effect, partners become lazy, unwilling to invest in the resources and competencies that are required to play their intended role in manufacturers’ go-to-market strategies.


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Channel Loyalty: A Tale With Five Simple Lessons

Posted by Kris Bose on Wed, Feb 27, 2013

I grew up listening to parables that simply illustrated complex concepts about life, ethics and morality—so I used this technique to illustrate key points about channel loyalty…

Once upon time in Technology Land, there lived a mighty lord who ruled ironfisted over his traders. They followed his orders, sold the royal goods and paid their (high) taxes.


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