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Delivering Value Through Channel Partners

by David Brock on June 16th, 2009
To many sales and business executives, developing channels, reseller relationships, or other similar partnerships is driven by finding cost effective means to covering markets or geographies. While this is compelling, I’d like to suggest a more effective strategy for developing and implementing your channel and partner strategies—if well executed, it will also be a cost effective way of reaching your customers.

Partners can be a key differentiator in developing, communicating, and delivering value to your customers. Today, no organization can deliver everything the customers need. Partners and resellers can be effective in adding to your total value proposition, better addressing your customer’s needs and further differentiating your total offering from the competition. They can help fill holes in your value proposition, extending the strength of the total offering to your target customers.

In designing a value based channel,you should start with your target customer segments and work backwards. Make sure the value delivery chain you put in place adds to the value your offerings. Each partner should add value that complements yours and creates a greater value for the total offering to your customers. The picture below shows an example.

If your partners are not adding value and improving the total value proposition to the customers, they are adding cost — detracting from your value proposition and competitiveness.

There are many ways partners might add value: relationships with customers is one area. Skills and capabilities that complement yours–for example implementation, installation of your products, local support, the ability to integrate complementary products for a richer solution, and others all represent potential value they might provide.

When building a channel that complements and enhances the total value of your offerings, make sure you understand one other element of value. What is the value that you provide your partners? If you are not providing them value, it is very unlikely the relationship will produce results. A way to think about this is illustrated below.

The decision to use partners should be driven primarily by filling gaps in your value proposition. If your partners add value in reaching your customers, and you add value to them, you will probably have an effective, efficient and high performing channel–creating great results for your mutual customers as well as for each other.

Partners In EXCELLENCE is the recognized leader in helping organizations develop and communicate differentiated value propositions. We are also recognized for our expertise in developing and implementing high impact partnering and channel strategies.

If you need to sharpen your tools, processes, thinking, and skills in value propositions, look at our Value Proposition Solutions, follow the link. For a copy of our free Value Proposition eBook, follow the link.

For our eBook, Partnering for Profitability, follow the linkg

For any other information about how Partners In EXCELLENCE can improve your organization’s capabilities in understanding, developing, communicating and delivering differentiated value, or i ndeveloping and implementing your channel strategies, please contact us at +1-949-305-7146 or dabrock@excellenc.com

Book CoverFor a free peek at Sales Manager Survival Guide, click the picture or link.  You’ll get the Table of Contents, Foreword, and 2 free Chapters.  Free Sample

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