Our client had an interesting challenge:

  • Mature sales channel with 340 certified partners
  • $1B in channel sales
  • Sales volume had been flat for the past 18 months
  • Goal was to increase revenue by $100M

 

They tried imposing higher targets but it did not achieve the desired result. In fact, it created contention between the partners and the vendor.  They increased Marketing Development Funds across the board for all partners but it also failed to produce the desired result. More channel managers were added to drive more activity and oversight but that only created a small lift in revenues.

 

Finally, they decided to assess their partner base across the competencies that both the company and the customer value.  This identified a common gap across most partners.  They lacked the capacity to develop and carry out effective lead generation camapigns.  The majority of the partners acknowledged this gap and agreed to work with our client to address it.

 

Our client developed programs to teach their partners world-class lead generation capabilities.  In parallel, they also launched specific performance monitoring and changes to their incentive programs related to lead generation activity.  Specifically, those firms that generated more qualified leads and closed them were allocated a larger portion of MDF funds.  Sales performance subsequently increased for a number of their partners that embraced the program. 

 

Within eight months of going live with improved partner lead generation capabilities they saw the following results:

  • Surpassed the revenue growth goal by achieving $150M in new sales
  • The top ten partner list makeup had changed
  • The new top ten received a larger share of MDF funds

 

One of the most interesting by-products of this effort was the displacement of several partners on the top 10 list by those who committed to the new lead generation program. 

 

If you are struggling with channel sales performance, consider assessing your partners across the competencies that matter to you and your customers.  Then take action on the largest gap.

 

A quick slide presentation on this case study is available below:

 

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