Many sales leaders will make or miss their revenue objectives based on the performance of their reseller channel. How much revenue growth will they generate? This requires sales leaders to constantly recruit, onboard, enable and nurture reseller partners, both old and new.
SBI recently spoke with Ted Grulikowski, the vice president of the B2B business unit at MarketSource. MarketSource is the world’s leading sales outsourcing company, and has been helping organizations increase revenue for over 35 years. Ted and his team help their clients stand up new sales channels and ramp revenue quickly.
So, how does Ted help his clients grow reseller revenue successfully? “It starts with arming them with the ability to quickly and easily deploy the right resources. These resources need to be in the right location, working with the right channel partners. And be supported by the latest sales technology to drive revenue in a short period of time,” explains Ted. He also dug into the 4 most common mistakes that he sees in his business that prevent companies from growing reseller revenues.
4 Common Mistakes to Growing Reseller Revenues
“First, companies don’t know what they don’t know,” he said. Does your organization have a good profile of the resellers that can help you make better decisions? And will they help you determine what opportunity is really out there, and how to cost-effectively go after it? Do you understand the potential spend by reseller, how much you’ve capturing, and who’s growing versus shrinking? This knowledge is the foundation to a successful reseller program.
The second obstacle is something Ted calls the ratio challenge. This happens when organizations expect too much from too few channel managers. No matter how good they are, it is usually not enough to handle all of the partners. What happens to organizations that do this? “Way too often partners are left unaccounted for and then opportunities are left on the table without companies even knowing it,” explained Ted.
The third obstacle is the misalignment of people. Do you have the right people with the right experience calling on the right resellers? Too often companies assume that just because someone’s carrying their business card, or they’re a well-known brand, that resellers will listen to them. This is not the case, and can again lead to missed opportunities.
And finally, the fourth mistake he sees companies making is trying to force their process on the resellers. “Too many companies look at their program through the lens of their sales process and try to force the resellers to adapt to it,” said Ted. Ted instead recommends looking at your customer’s buying process. This is what you should adapt their process to.
How to Avoid These Common Mistakes
Ted wrapped up our conversation with some advice on how to avoid these issues. There isn’t one silver bullet to fix all, but there are a few things you can do when growing your revenue through resellers. First, spend time carefully profiling partners. Really understand their share of the wallet, and their strategy. Once you do, you can align with your partners accordingly recommends Ted. Also keep in mind, this cannot be a one-time event. It must be an ongoing process. Information should constantly be updated, profiles scored, and decisions made as a result.
Next, organizations must work with their resellers to develop the right talent competency profile. This scorecard should be used for the people who you are going to work with. Be sure to ask the partners opinion on who you should work with, and incorporate into your hiring profile and process.
And finally, focus on getting commitment to sell your product or service first. Then work on adapting to their sales process. “If you gain that commitment first, and you agree to work with them in their process, things fall into place pretty quickly,” states Ted. When his clients don’t do that, things tend to go downhill quickly.
Sales growth through resellers can be challenging. But it is a key piece to your overall growth strategy. Get ahead of the game by understanding, and avoiding these common mistakes that Ted has laid out for us when developing your channel organization.