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There’s a simple set of principles the world’s best partnership teams tend to follow and some common dysfunctions that hold many teams back.Ecosystem thought leader Vince Menzione shares how to spread these five principles throughout your partnerships.Listen to today’s episode to: Leverage the one communication hack that aligns internal and external teamsDrive a partnership-first culture throughout your entire companyAnd, stand out in saturated marketsVince Menzione is:The Founder of Ultimate Partnerships – a consultancy helping partner organizations drive greater results. And the host of The Ultimate Guide to Partnering podcast
Some partnerships fail incredibly fast. Some in as few as 30 days.So, be careful with what you do in the early days of a partnership – as it can set the tone for the rest of the relationship. At the start of the partnership, it’s important to be careful and leave first impressions that can help create partners who are:Confident in your brandCome forward for supportAnd want to promote your productThe attention you pay to partners during this critical timeframe can result in either:A positive outlook for a long-term partnership Or, cause your partners to lose interest altogetherToday, we welcome a special guest to help improve your partner retention rates.He’s a channel partner with a horror story that shows you what not to do and shares tips for vendors on how they can retain their channel partners. Listen to this episode to:Learn how to set a standard for retaining channel partners for the long-termDiscover what aspects of your partner program help and hinder your partnersAnd, find out what truly motivates partners to sell moreGuest Bio - Adam Alfi: Today’s guest is a multi-preneur with over 25 years experience in the IT space, and a career spanning various roles, including: project management, consulting, and even a stint on Wall Street.Today, he runs an MSP business – EV Software and Business Solutions – which serves startups and enterprise clients alike. (1:46) Guest intro: Adam Alfi(3:52) Why are the first 30 days so critical when starting a new partnership with a vendor?(4:41) Textbook example of how to lose a partner in 30 days(10:21) Some vendors look great on paper, but that’s where it ends. As an MSP owner, what made this partner you mentioned seem like a good partner at the time? What motivated you to sign a partner agreement with them?(12:06) How can vendors and partners get on the same page from the beginning? What would build confidence in the partnership?(15:29) Vendors sometimes have different definitions of success than partners. How can partners on both sides align on a shared vision of success?(17:13) In terms of sales enablement, what helps you understand a vendor solution so you can sell it to your best-fit customers?(20:15) Do a lot of software vendors lack discovery as part of their onboarding or enablement process?(22:02) What about training? What's better, one-on-one, or self-guided? How does training play a role in the onboarding process?(25:41) Opinion on online training or self-guided training (as opposed to one-on-one) - is it useful?(28:56) Partner enablement resources: Content types that really help you sell a product?(32:50) Vendors engaging with partners via social media(33:36) Importance of timeliness of vendor responsiveness and bad experiences(34:06) Importance of trust with vendors and registering opportunities on a vendor's partner portal(36:37) Preventing channel conflict: What a vendor should do when they see two partners attempting to register the same opportunity in the partner portal(38:52) Do partner incentives motivate you to engage with a vendor?(41:05) With regards to vendor partner programs, has there been anything that appealed to you in particular? Or, has anything immediately turned you off from participating in a program?(44:28) What is the most important thing vendors can do to help partners succeed in the first 30 days?(45:36) Vendors should expect nothing?(47:12) Conclusion (including how to reach Adam Alfi)
It’s no secret, potential partners start scoping you out long before approaching you.Sure, it’s easy to brush off anonymous complaints as “unimportant”. But don’t forget, the channel community is listening. Today’s episode brings a new perspective on partnerships. We welcome someone representing the other side of the channel: a channel partner, straight from the MSP community.Listen to this episode to find out:How partners vet vendorsManaging your reputation in the channel communityWhich common practices turn partners off from working with youAnd, as a bonus, How to start delivering marketing that adds more value to your partnersToday's guest has been in the tech space for nearly 30 years. For the past 2 decades, he’s been a tech entrepreneur and advocate for open-source software. He maintains a YouTube channel, “Lawrence Systems” has over 258-thousand subscribers where he vlogs on: Tech, IT and, cyber security. And he’s currently the President at Lawrence Technology Services, a Managed Services Provider based in Michigan.  Read the blog: Introduction(02:34) Why is it important for an MSP to thoroughly vet vendors?(4:11) Define the MSP community and tell us where you connect with each other?(5:41) Red flags that can make you stop pursuing a partnership altogether(8:06) Green flags – Factors that inspire confidence in working with a vendor (9:33) Cringe-worthy call-outs: Claim # 1  (11:13) Cringe-worthy call-outs: Claim # 2  (12:39) Does breaking trust tend to affect vendor reputation forever? Can a vendor come back from breaking trust in the partner community?(14:57) Things vendors need to start doing to increase transparency overall(16:12) Pricing and transparency: How should vendors list pricing?(18:50) Product feature pages are usually written by marketers. How do you ensure that a vendor’s product does what it says it does?(21:05) Vetting Vendors video reaction(25:52) How can vendors be as transparent as possible(26:11) What's the right balance of marketing vendors should do?(28:09)  At what point in your vendor vetting process do you reach out to engage with them about a potential partnership?(29:54)  Advice for vendors dealing with issues that are negatively affecting their reputation today(31:14) Conclusion  
Partner ecosystems are like ecological ones: when healthy, all connected parts can nurture and support one another. But how do you know if your partner ecosystem is healthy?Are there any measurements that can help monitor ecosystem health? And how can you identify deficiencies within your ecosystem before it’s too late?Norma Watenpaugh shares insights on: How you can sustain a healthy partner ecosystem What you can do to optimize ecosystem healthToday’s guest, Norma Watenpaugh, has been a visionary in the IT world for channel giants like Sun Microsystems, pre-Oracle, Fujitsu, BA Systems, and for the last 20 years, CEO and founding partner of the Phoenix Consulting Group.She has a laser focus on helping companies achieve profitable results through strategic alliances, channels, and partner ecosystems.Listen for all of Norma’s insights on maintaining a healthy partner ecosystem. Read the blog: Introduction(2:30) What is a partner ecosystem?(4:32) The shift to the ecosystem model (6:08) Gauging the health of the ecosystem – how it impacts the success of partnerships(8:22) Establishing a Partner Ecosystem(13:17) 1st Thing to Check: Ecosystem strategy (18:25) 2nd Thing to Check: Interaction and engagement amongst partners(22:43) 3rd Thing to Check: Mutual benefits for partners(23:42) Example of a healthy partner ecosystem (25:16) Norma Watenpaugh’s background in partner ecosystems(26:39) Results to expect from a healthy partner ecosystem (27:33) Conclusion 
It’s important to find partners that are right for you, but just as important, if not more, is knowing how to make the most of those partnerships. One way that can almost guarantee a deep understanding of how to navigate your partnerships and best leverage them is the practice of partner segmentation. That is, segmenting partners within the different markets they service.  Manuel Rivera shares insights on: how to identify different partner segments, what you can do to build partners’ strengths, minimize their weaknesses, how to support them, and help them grow to reach your overall goal. Our guest today, Manuel Rivera, has been in the channel for over 20 years. He boasts a pretty extensive background in: taking over existing channel programs, understanding the current makeup of the channel partners that are part of those programs, and trying to align those partners with the goals of the organization. Today, he develops and manages the channel sales program of Constella Intelligence as the Vice President Global Channel Sales. Listen for all of Manuel’s advice on creating and leveraging strategic channel partnerships. Read the blog: Introduction (2:07) Manuel Rivera’s background in channel sales (4:11) Benefits of a well-thought out channel partner strategy (7:15) Start by selecting the right partners (13:55) Leverage partnerships & know where to invest time (37:24) Understanding market trends is key for positive growth  (40:15) Conclusion 
Our guest today, Hans Peter Bech, has been involved in the channel space for over 3 decades. With more than 25 years in executive roles growing global market shares for information technology companies under his belt, he decided to focus all his energy on strategic business development projects and founded TBK Consult. And as if that wasn’t enough, throughout this time, he has also written not one but 3 published books on channel-related topics. Topic summary: Channel sales is a great way to reach the end consumer and so you establish a channel. Now, how do you build that channel to be successful? What if you’re experiencing great success already but now, how do you expand your channel globally? Hans discusses what your channel sales strategy should include: A clear definition of the goals for your channel from day 1 – what you hope to achieve. Keep goals realistic and be sure to track and measure progress. A complete channel partner program, defining everything from selecting the best partners to guidelines for partners to expectations from partners. A plan for managing channel partners and all their ongoing requirements. Listen to the episode for all of Hans’ expert tips on building a successful partner channel. Read the blog: Introduction(2:14) Hans Peter Bech’s background in channel sales(4:00) Mapping out a channel strategy: how it impacts the success of the channel (7:23) Planning for a successful channel: the biggest misconception(8:39) What makes an exceptional channel partner?(09:20) 1st Tip: Define goals from day 1(16:14) 2nd Tip: The channel partners (29:19) 3rd Tip: Managing the channel partners (36:06) When does building a successful channel pay off?(37:12) What results can you expect?(39:09) Conclusion 
In this episode of The Ultimate Channel Sales Podcast, we bring on Jonathan Deveaux. He has had a successful career driving business growth through partnerships for nearly a decade. From developing strategic partnerships to roles focusing on partner enablement and partner marketing, today he is the VP of Global Alliances and Partnerships at Comforte AG. Topic summary: Whether it’s a tech stack involving multiple technologies or just a single platform, having tools to manage your channel sales is a part of forming a channel strategy not to be overlooked. There are a number of things to consider when selecting the tools you should use for managing your channel sales. You want to make sure the tools you select are suitable for the job and provide the performance and functionality you expect. And once you’ve figured that out, you’ve got to decide which tools or technologies to actually utilize – no easy feat considering the multitude of options out there. Jonathan discusses how to select the right platform to manage your channel sales including: Best practices for selecting a channel management platform When is a solution necessary for channel management? Which organizations should adopt a channel management tool? Top challenges alleviated by a stellar channel management platform How channel management platforms increase partner engagement Listen to the episode where we’ll discuss these topics and more. Read the blog: Introduction (1:57) Jonathan Deveaux’s background in channel sales (4:09) Best practices for selecting a channel management platform (7:30) When is a solution necessary for channel management? (9:28 ) Which organizations should adopt a channel management tool? (11:46) Top challenges alleviated by a stellar channel management platform (14:55) How channel management platforms increase partner engagement (20:13) Top 3 benefits of an excellent channel management platform (25:57) Pitfalls of not having a channel management platform (28:42) Look for a channel management platform that benefits other parts of your organization (30:49) Conclusion  
Our guest today, Kathleen Phillips, has been in channel-related roles for over 20 years. Her portfolio includes leading teams that have generated more than 100 million dollars in new revenue and successfully launched over 35 disruptive products, solutions and services. Today, she is the Head of Global Partnerships and Strategic Alliances at Digital River. Topic summary: The keys to building any relationship where both parties benefit mutually and equally are transparency, commitment and trust. These key concepts should be at the heart of every partner program and every activity in a partner program should lead back to helping flesh out one of these key areas. They are the building blocks for a mutually and equally beneficial partner program, and how you can use them to build yours is the discussion we’re going to have in this episode of the Ultimate Channel Sales Podcast. Kathleen discusses how to build a mutually and equally beneficial partner program including: How to show commitment to partners from the start Channel partner training and alignment across the partner organization Shrinking time to revenue and increasing the value of partnerships Partner enablement & incentives Tools for effective partner management Listen to the episode for Kathleen’s insights on these topics and more. Read the blog: Introduction (2:21) Kathleen Phillips’ background in channel sales (3:46) How to show commitment to partners from the start? (6:40) Channel partner training and alignment across the partner organization (8:28) Shrinking time to revenue and increasing the value of partnerships (10:17) Partner enablement - make sure your partner is effectively representing you  (13:47) Partner incentives, spiffs & rewards - what’s the best approach?  (16:45) MDF & co-op marketing (17:52) Maintaining transparency and trust with partners (19:41) Dedicated partner account managers vs. a team managing partners (21:08) Tools for effective partner management (22:32) What should channel partners do to maintain a mutually beneficial relationship (23:58) The benefits of a partner portal (25:10) What results can you expect from following a symbiotic approach? (26:27) Taking your channel program to the next level (27:49) Conclusion 
Our guest today, Autum Grimm, is not only an innovator, but also a pioneer, in a division of the channel space that had been left completely unexplored before the birth of her company. Today, she is responsible for revenue, demand generation, operations and business development as CRO at PartnerTap, a leading enterprise Partner Ecosystem Platform that allows companies to automate account mapping, control data shared with each partner, and enable sales teams to cross-sell with partners. Topic summary: Growth of your partnerships can sometimes take a direction that may demand a new set of requirements to keep your partners engaged. Dealing with any unforeseen situations can best be avoided by planning early & carefully, and regularly checking in with partners and tracking efforts. Take care of your partners and your partners will take care of you. This, is how you truly reap long-term benefits for years to come. Autum shares the 3 best kept secrets to creating long-term revenue streams within the channel: Build strong relationships with your channel partners Have a winning channel strategy Track and measure success with your channel partners Listen to the episode for all of Autum’s insights on achieving success within the channel. Read the blog: Introduction (2:16) Autum Grimm’s background as a channel leader (2:43) What do organizations need to consider if creating long-term revenue through partnerships is their end-goal? (3:04) Secret #1: Build strong relationships with your channel partners (5:29) Secret #2: Have a winning channel strategy (10:46) Building loyalty and engaging channel partners (13:55) Enabling partners to meet their goals (15:54) When to give up on an unsuccessful partnership (18:39) Secret #3: Track and measure success with your channel partners (26:31) Invest in yourself as a channel professional (27:48) Conclusion 
In this episode of The Ultimate Channel Sales Podcast, we bring on Matt Soloman. He has been in channel-related roles for nearly a decade. Currently, he is the Chief Business Development Officer & Co-Founder of a consultancy, The Channel Program. He is also the CEO of Channel Halo and he runs an insightful channel-related newsletter: Navigating the IT Channel. Topic summary: As we know, channel sales is an efficient way to cast a wider net and increase sales – But, did you realize that your channel partner program is also one of the greatest marketing tools you’ll ever have? Acting as agents on your behalf, channel partners engage in a variety of activities to promote a vendor, and all this additional marketing for your brand can really help build its authority far beyond what you may be capable of independently. So, what can you do to get the most out of the marketing opportunities from your partnerships and strengthen your brand authority, as much as possible via partners? Matt discusses how channel partners help build a brand’s authority including: What to define in the channel marketing strategy Through-partner marketing best practices Joint-marketing activities between partners and vendors that produce the highest ROI Best practices for enabling your channel partners to build your brand authority Listen to the episode to hear Matt cover these topics and more. Read the blog: Introduction (2:11) Matt Soloman’s background in channel sales (4:36) The Channel Program (7:42) Channel partners building a brand's authority: what to define in the channel marketing strategy? (9:19) How to strengthen partner relationships and differentiate yourself from other vendors (13:26) Measuring the success of your efforts: can you use KPIs? (15:21) Through-partner marketing best practices (20:38) Partner-vendor joint-marketing activities for high ROI (24:06) Setting realistic expectations for through-partner marketing (25:25) How to reverse the damage of a partnership that is affecting the ecosystem (27:14) 3 best practices for enabling your channel partners to build your brand authority (31:05) Can the growth rate of a vendor's channel be too fast? (34:39) Conclusion 
Our guest, Heather K. Margolis has been in the channel space for over 20 years. She helps channel organizations build smarter channel programs, manage channel relationships to find added value, and engage their communities through social and traditional media. Starting from positions such as Channel Marketing Executive and Director of Marketing and Alliances and later, going on to be founder and chairperson at Channel Maven Consulting and founder and CEO at Spark Your Channel (both now acquired by 360insights), she has carved quite the name for herself in the channel world. Topic summary: At the heart of every channel program are your channel partners. They represent you, they are in direct contact with the customer and carry your reputation for you – which they can either elevate or tarnish, largely depending on the quality of training they get from the vendor they’re working with. So why is that so often they are left neglected? Why aren’t channel chiefs prioritizing support to channel partners? Why aren’t they paying more attention to developing better partner enablement tools, such as optimized training programs to better meet their needs or start even earlier with a comprehensive, dedicated partner onboarding process? Partner engagement is key to your channel success and the best recipe for ongoing engagement is ongoing attention and support from the vendor.  Heather discusses a question all channel chiefs should be asking: are your channel partners getting the attention they need? And what can you do to give them the attention they deserve:  Channel partner training, support and feedback Eliminate barriers – allow for better integration of partners into your channel Be more present, mindful and inspire channel partner engagement Listen to the episode to hear all of Heather’s insights on partner engagement and support for channel success.  Read the blog: (0:00) Introduction (2:57) Heather K. Margolis’ channel sales background (5:13) Channel partners need ongoing attention from vendors (6:45) 1st Consideration: Channel partner training, support and feedback (22:11) 2nd Consideration: Eliminate barriers – allow for better integration of partners into your channel (29:13) 3rd Consideration: Be more present, mindful and inspire channel partner engagement (30:57) Will channel partners leave if you’re not paying mind to their needs? (34:08) Channel chiefs need to think differently about their partner programs (35:04) Conclusion 
Our guest, Tan Tran has been in the channel space for nearly a decade now and throughout this time, he has left an imprint on many partners’ channel sales efforts. Today, he is a Channel Development Manager at SAP Concur. Topic summary: Your channel partners’ devotion to engaging with your brand depends on your approach to your partners: Do you provide them with personalized experience and do you go above and beyond to provide them with everything they need? What do you do to set yourself apart from the other vendors they work with?  What do you do to keep yourself top-of-mind for your channel partners? And lastly, how far along in the future do you plan for when it comes to managing your channel partnerships? The relationship management of channel partners has evolved and future channel programs may not be the same as they are today. All this makes it crucial to know how to best engage your channel partners so that you can create a bond they won’t soon forget and ultimately, get the most out of your partnerships. Tan shares 3 little-known ways to engage channel partners: Define the opportunity with channel partners Commit to a cadence with them Ensure visibility and transparency (Bonus) partner relationship management (PRM) systems Listen to the full episode for all of Tan’s tips on channel partner engagement. Read the blog: Introduction (2:13) Tan Tran’s background in channel sales (4:49) Have a solid partner engagement strategy (6:57) Little-Known Way 1: Define the opportunity with channel partners (8:29) Little-Known Way 2: Commit to a cadence with channel partners (12:13) Little-Known Way 3: Ensure visibility and transparency for channel partners (14:14) Helping partners uncover new streams of revenue (20:58) (Bonus) Little-Known Way 4: Partner relationship management (PRM) systems (23:00) What happens if you don’t engage partners? (26:46) Follow these best practices for a faster ROI (28:39) Conclusion 
Our guest, Steve Kazan is an award-winning channel chief in the channel space for over 27 years now, who has developed quite a repertoire of transforming and elevating channel programs. Today, he is the founder & CEO of Inner Onion, LLC, a company that builds alliances with international technology companies that want or need representation in the United States. Topic summary: Your channel partners’ success with you can be determined in various stages. The most important of these stages is the beginning and what you do to set the foundations to attain your channel sales goals. Pay careful attention to practicing transparency early on and giving partners a personal experience. Steve shares with us his 4 best practices to lay the foundations for your channel program: Show your channel partners you’ve done the homework - show them a plan Establish strong and committed partner relationships Create a brand  Pick great tools & technology Listen to the episode to hear all of Steve’s insights on how to start channel partnerships off right. Read the blog: (0:00) Introduction (1:54) Steve Kazan’s channel sales background (2:50) Inner Onion’s mission & history (4:30) Best practice 1: Show your channel partners you’ve done the homework - show them a plan (13:44) Best practice 2: Establishing strong and committed partner relationships (18:44) Best practice 3: Branding (22:53) Best practice 4: Tools & technology (26:40) Challenges when not following these best practices (28:11) Generate higher revenue and company value (31:00) Conclusion 
In this episode of The Ultimate Channel Sales Podcast, we bring on Ben Cornett (works with channel partners in a partner marketing capacity, currently directing Verified First’s partner marketing division) who shares his insights on why nurturing channel partnerships is so important, as well as best practices and tips on how to use these insights to uncover untapped channel sales. Topic summary: Preparing your channel partners for success involves taking a customized approach, consistent attentiveness and active listening skills. Your work doesn’t end after partner onboarding - it is a continuous effort. Pay careful attention to: discussing and aligning your goals practice transparency and give them a personal experience Ben tells us there are two main reasons why nurturing partners is crucial: First, acquiring new partners to meet your channel sales goals can cost you much more than retaining your current ones. Second, how your channel partners represent you to customers, and deal with them, ultimately impacts you. So make sure your advocates are well-equipped to represent you and subsequently, make the sale. Listen to the episode to hear the rest of Ben’s advice on how you can make the most of your channel partner efforts. Read the blog: (0:00) Introduction (2:08) Ben Cornett’s background in channel partner marketing (6:01) Top 3 best practices for effectively nurturing channel partners (10:37) Why it's important to nurture channel partners (12:10) How to keep channel partners engaged (15:18) Training and education materials for nurturing relationships with channel partners (17:53) When to end a channel partnership (20:29) Proper nurture methods translate to higher sales and channel growth (24:36) Conclusion 
Welcome to The Ultimate Channel Sales Podcast hosted by Paul Bird! The discussions in this podcast explore various channel management topics relating to channel strategy, current practices for optimizing your current channel sales from today’s experienced channel chiefs, industry insider tips to managing your channel partners, and much more. As the head of sales at a partner management portal provider, Paul is in an advantageous position to glean specific, multifarious insights on channel management. To date, Paul has accumulated over 24 years of experience working in both ends of the channel - that is, both building partnerships as a channel chief and working with vendors as a channel partner. Listen to this short introductory episode to familiarize yourself with the sort of content you can expect from our podcast and to learn more about the host, Paul, and his expertise on the subject matter.(0:33) Paul's sales background (1:30) Paul's channel sales experience(3:25) Podcast overview 
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