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.
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.