The CompTIA Channel Development Advisory Council has created a Channel Readiness Assessment tool that helps tech vendors assess their channel prowess and identify their strengths and weaknesses. It also provides actionable advice on how to improve. It’s one thing to want a channel program that is successful with MSPs, IT solution providers, and other partners. It’s quite another to achieve this success. It takes planning, discipline, investment, patience, and patience to build a partner program.
It is important to know where to begin, how to measure success, and what to do next. It can be frustrating if you have never done it before or are unhappy with the results.
CompTIA’s Channel Development Advisory Council is made up of industry leaders from all parts of the supply chain (including distributors, tech vendors, and partners) and has created a Channel Readiness Assessment to help vendors succeed. The assessment will help companies understand their current position in the channel-building process, their strengths and weaknesses, as well as provide actionable advice to improve relations with partners.
Start the assessment by clicking here. Or, you can first read the FAQ to find the answers to your most pressing questions regarding the tool.
What is the Channel Readiness Assessment?
This assessment is for technology vendors to assess their readiness to engage in a channel model and to identify areas where they could make improvements. The assessment asks users a series of questions that are based on the company’s current channel practices and processes. The assessment uses these responses to generate scores and provide actionable advice about how to improve.
Why did the CDAC believe a Channel Readiness Assessment was necessary for tech vendors?
Council members recognized the need to conduct an assessment based upon their collective experience in the tech supply chain. The assessment aims to improve the relationships between solution providers and vendors. The assessment helps vendors understand how to better serve their customers by helping them to adapt to changing customer needs.
What are some common errors vendors make when assessing their channel readiness?
CDAC members believe vendors may underestimate their channel readiness if they call themselves “channel first” or “partner-first” companies, but still have a direct-model mindset which creates conflict with channel partners in go to market efforts. These are some examples of mistakes that could be made:
A primary focus on the direct sales force and a secondary focus on partners. For example, creating content, videos and campaigns for a direct sales team to target customers, rather than driving a go–to-market strategy through the channel. This is often due to the fact that different departments within the vendor organization are more comfortable with direct-to customer tactics.
Inadequacy of channel education and awareness. Although a vendor’s channel team may be aware of the benefits that partners bring, they don’t do enough to educate the rest. This is why product and service creation often focuses on the customer directly, rather than the channel.
Don’t underestimate the importance of partnering with partners. It is not a “start/stop” process to build a channel practice. It takes time to build a channel and see the results. It is also important for vendors to communicate with senior management the expectations they have.
The channel is not a sales engine. Partners can help you reduce costs and provide better customer service, among other benefits.
Other common errors include a lack or buy-in from all stakeholders; unbalanced compensation plans for partners and internal; a process to eliminate channel conflicts; and forgetting that their product/service is likely part of larger multi-vendor solutions.
What can vendors do to improve their channel readiness and efficiency?
First, complete the Channel Readiness Assessment. Then, follow the guidance that is based on your score. More than that, recognize that the channel is a partnership and not a sales engine. Strong outcomes for partners will translate into strong outcomes for customers. Do not enter into a channel program expecting to be successful in your market. Partners will receive 10% of the shared revenue. Channel programs that are successful are nurtured, not launched.
What is the importance of each section of the assessment? Strategic Planning, Strategic Alignment and Financ