article | October 1, 2011
Cover your Blind Side now to Protect your 2012 Channel Management Strategy
A new cadre of Value Add Resellers are exploding onto the scene in a number of industries and registering growth rates in the 3 and 4 digits (yes, 2633% revenue growth!).
Channel Reseller News recently released their 2011 Fast Growth 100 list. The average two-year growth rate of all 100 companies on the list was an impressive 187.2 percent; their average revenue is $103 million
If you are targeting aggressive growth for 2012, your plans are at risk if you are not on their line card today. Worst case scenario, your competitors are already forging relationships and you may be locked out. This is a real possibility because this group of Fast 100 is averaging 2-3 vendor additions to their portfolio per year. Their extreme focus is a key ingredient of their success.
Our background research indicates these companies are stealing talent from large established resellers so your top partner today may be losing their best sales people to this group of Fast 100. Your partners are likely not going to share their talent issues with you.
The only way you will know is if your own channel managers are staying close to the top sales people. Either way, if you are watching the lagging indicator of last quarter sales, your choices will be limited when you choose to act
There is a simple step you can take right now to ensure this market dynamic doesn’t blind-side you. Establish a scout team or one individual who is responsible for finding and signing the fastest growing resellers in your industry. Compare this strategy to simply betting all your chips on yesterday’s top partners
Several of our clients took our advice this year and not only signed these partners but over-invested in them to accelerate results. One client in particular experienced the exact scenario described above and when the top sales person at one of their best resellers jumped to the up and comer, they did not miss a beat. In fact, the top rep’s performance prompted the new partner to direct more resources to the product line.
Key Take-Aways: Market dynamics are changing. Now is the time to assess if today’s top partners are really going to be tomorrow’s growth engine. Know the fastest growing resellers in your industry and begin courting them now. The alternative is to continue relying on your existing partners and leave your channel management strategy untouched.