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Ted Finch President, Chanimal Marketing www.chanimal.com. Chanimal Presents…. Building a SaaS Channel: A Step-by-Step Approach. Overview - Contents. Channel Defined (Level-Set Group) SaaS Differences, Concerns, Trends Phase One Defining (or Re-Defining) a Channel Program Phase Two

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ted finch president chanimal marketing www chanimal com
Ted Finch

President, Chanimal Marketing

www.chanimal.com

Chanimal Presents…

Building a SaaS Channel:

A Step-by-Step Approach

overview contents
Overview - Contents
  • Channel
    • Defined (Level-Set Group)
  • SaaS Differences, Concerns, Trends
  • Phase One
    • Defining (or Re-Defining) a Channel Program
  • Phase Two
    • Recruiting a Channel
  • Phase Three
    • Enablement
  • Channel Management
    • Ongoing Motivation
  • Where to Learn More…
background chanimal
Background – Chanimal
  • Chanimal – The Ultimate Resource for Software Marketing at www.chanimal.com. Celebrating it’s 10th year anniversary. 500+ pages of online content. Ranked #1 by Google (channel marketing & sales).
    • Short for “Channel Animal,” Ted Finch – 23 Years of professional marketing
  • As co-founder and VP of Sales & Marketing, built world’s largest high-tech product launch service company from 13 to over 4,000 people while executing the launch of over 400 products for over 150 companies (Microsoft, IBM, Adobe, HP, WordPerfect, Intel, Ashton Tate, Sony, Citrix, Autodesk, ATI, Creative Labs, Disney, Canon, Corel, Aldus, Compaq, plus more)
  • Wrote marketing plan & published Netscape Navigator (#1 best-selling software in the world at the time) & AOL. Helped inaugurate .dot com era.
  • Wrote marketing plan, helped finance ($27 million funding) & form Red Storm Entertainment with Tom Clancy (Press release on USS Nuclear Sub Cheyenne, ABC, CBS, NBC)
  • Former VP Marketing at Goldmine (#1 Rated SFA), VP Marketing at $4 billion Harcourt (General Cinemas, Sea World, HRW), Sr. VP Marketing at $33 billion Motorola (sat on Marketing board), VP at $130 billion GE.
  • Achieved five successful acquisitions.
  • Speaker at dozens of conferences and events, quoted in over 100 trade publications & high-tech books, produced, “How to Finance a High-Tech Start-Up” Video
  • Has executed reseller programs for over 270 companies
terminology
Terminology
  • Level set the group
    • Channel. How a company sells their product
    • Direct. Company to End User
    • Indirect. Company to middle man to customer
    • Reseller. Anyone that resells product or service
    • Affiliate. Refers—does not sell (but still a channel)
    • Partner. Legal term – but means reseller
    • VAR. Value Added Reseller (ads value with installs, integration, training, etc.)
    • System Integrator. Development capabilities.
    • Distributor. Wholesale distributor
    • MDF. Market Development Funds
    • Co-op. Co-operated funds
    • Channel Conflict. Resellers and/or vendor compete for same sale
slide5
Note
  • My slides will have a lot of density
    • Not because it makes for the best slide…
    • But because it will be easier for you to remember what was said when you want to transfer this information to team members who couldn’t attend
  • Prepare for a high speed delivery
    • Take quick notes
three phases
Three Phases
  • Definition Stage
    • Determining the elements of your reseller partner program
  • Recruiting
    • Finding enough of the right kind of resellers
  • Enablement
    • Ensuring they have everything they need to sell & support
      • Training (product, market, competition, resources, certification)
      • Sales tools (presentations, demo scripts, e-mail templates, etc.)
      • Systems (content/lead portal, forum, deal registration)
      • Leads, model calls, coaching calls
      • Motivation (contest, recognition, news)
two things resellers look for
Two Things Resellers Look For
  • Is your product competitive?
  • Can I make any money working with you?
    • Do you have competitive margins?
    • Is there a lot of competition in my area/region?
    • Will you train me and my team?
    • Do you have channel conflict (direct sales competes)
      • Deal registration
    • Well prepared sales tools (PowerPoint, market info, demo scripts, sales dialogues, content portal, etc.)
  • Determined by your partner program
defining your partner program
Defining Your Partner Program
  • Structure
    • Levels, margins, requirements
  • Sales Tools
    • Portal site (bucket of content)
      • Market info, competitive analysis, spec sheets, e-mail templates, white papers, videos, case studies, sales presentations, brand guidelines, reseller forum
  • Technical & Sales Support & Training
  • Lead Generation & Sales Help
  • Requirements
  • Reseller Experience
defining your partner program1
Defining Your Partner Program
  • Have a free comprehensive spreadsheet at Chanimal.com that shows all partner features. It can be used to compare your program to others or make sure you cover all the bases.
defining your partner program2
Defining Your Partner Program
  • Structure
    • Levels
      • Authorized. No quota, no commitment. Low margin.
      • Gold. Quota, plus 1st level certification. Medium margin.
      • Platinum. Higher quota, plus 2nd level certification. Highest margin.
    • Why?
      • “Shared” sales force. You want them to prefer to sell your product
      • Help create dealer loyalty. To maintain their level, must meet quota. If sell competitor—risk missing quota = increase loyalty
      • Help you decide who gets any leads (highest level gets most leads)
    • Concerns…
defining your partner program3
Defining Your Partner Program
  • Structure
    • Concerns with levels
      • Partners fear can’t compete if they have to come in at the lowest level
      • So, grandfather all new partners into the middle Gold level for the first 90 days. Longer for a new program.
        • Require they meet minimum training goals, some minimum revenue
      • For a new channel program
        • Usually takes about 6 months (depending on sales cycle) to determine what the typical revenues for your best partners is—before you can setup a quota range (or it is not fair)
      • After you set the level requirements—then give 3 months to transition before moving down, staying or moving up
defining your partner program4
Defining Your Partner Program
  • Portal site (bucket of content)
    • Generic to start with, later it is personalized (unique content per partner with their leads, their plan of action, their deals, etc.). PRM application.
defining your partner program5
Defining Your Partner Program
  • Sample portal
    • chanimal.com/vars/portal
    • 43 page sample partner portal with examples for all of the content
defining your partner program6
Defining Your Partner Program
  • Sales & Marketing Tools
    • (Within Online Portal)
    • Market information
      • Which market segment uses your product
    • Competitive Analysis
      • Why should someone buy YOUR application
    • Product Spec Sheets
    • Ad Templates (if you have any)
    • E-mail Templates
      • Proven e-mail samples to help them promote your product
    • White Papers
    • Case Studies and/or Testimonials
    • Sales Presentations (PowerPoint)
    • Brand and Logo Guidelines
    • Graphics Library
    • Reseller Forum
      • Helps resellers collaborate on deals
      • Also see “Saga Consulting”
  • These are most of the “deliverables” to put together
defining your partner program7
Defining Your Partner Program
  • Program Decisions & Policies
    • Product Training
      • New programs have low barrier to entry—free training
      • Mature programs have barriers—paid training & pricey certification (i.e., Microsoft, Salesforce)
      • Typically free video training (Camtasia)
        • See www.interspire.com (comprehensive)
        • See www.planswift.com (over 80 free videos by topic)
    • Dedicated Sales Rep
      • Small companies – a given (only 1 – 2)
      • Large companies—a perk to have a dedicated person to help you
defining your partner program8
Defining Your Partner Program
  • Program Decisions & Policies
    • Reseller Tech Support
      • Small company – not a big deal (not a lot of support needs)
      • Large company – resellers need a hotline where they don’t have to wait in que (especially if they are on site)
    • Pre-Sales Support
    • Online RMA (Hardware, n/a with SaaS)
    • System Configurator
      • Needed when an application is complex and only supports select hardware (i.e., GE Security)
defining your partner program9
Defining Your Partner Program
  • Program Decisions & Policies
    • Annual Partner Meeting
      • Start with a Webinar. 2-4 hours. This will work for starters.
      • Can grow to a multi-million annual event within a large company
      • The equivalent of an on-site national sales meeting
        • New product introduction
        • New policies, pricing, competition, alliance add-on products, etc.
    • FAE Support (not typically needed for SaaS)
    • Pre/Post Sale Engineer (not typical)
defining your partner program10
Defining Your Partner Program
  • Certification Program
    • Designed to help partners
      • Get up to speed on the product
      • Helps them make money from pro services
      • Provide better 1st and 2nd line of support
      • Better integrate with the application
      • Can be less rigorous with SaaS since the network is pre-configured. Still some major integration, import, setup, etc.
      • Creates dealer loyalty (more invested)
    • Tied to the reseller levels (Gold, Platinum)
    • Program material decided after 1st 3-6 months
      • Find areas of greatest partner questions, build it in
defining your partner program11
Defining Your Partner Program
  • Pre-Qualified Leads
    • Always include it in your program (one of top things they are looking for). Even if you only send 1 lead/yr!
    • If you don’t have leads—then fix it (promotions, website, referral process). Plus—SaaS sells a lot direct
    • Internal sales doesn’t call out of a phone book, why should external 100% commissioned sales people (paid for by someone else) use one?
    • Need a lead policy
      • Ensure leads are followed-up on in a timely manner
      • See www.chanimal.com/vars/portal for sample lead policy
defining your partner program12
Defining Your Partner Program
  • Deal Registration
    • A reseller registers their deals with you (company, contact, deal size, etc.)
    • Their concerns (you will steal the deal)
    • Their benefits
      • Get exclusive pricing (better margin) advantage over competitors
      • Assistance from your sales to help close the deal
      • Preferred pre-sales support to help win the business
      • Promise that you will not call on the registered opportunities direct, and will credit them if their accounts order direct
defining your partner program13
Defining Your Partner Program
  • Deal Registration
    • Your Benefits
      • You will know what is coming down the pipeline for sales forecasting
      • You can elect to work with them to win the largest bids
      • You don’t have as much channel conflict (when two sales people (resellers or vendor) compete for same business)
      • Increases margins for all – since you “selectively” reduce the chance of competition from your own partners
    • Policy details
      • See chanimal.com/vars/portal for sample
defining your partner program14
Defining Your Partner Program
  • Front end discounts
    • Often part of deal registration
  • Back end discounts
    • Rebates, promotions
  • Bid desk
    • Important if you have enterprise applications that integrate with other systems
    • The bids may get too complex for dealers initially, but they will learn
    • Not important for non-complex applications
defining your partner program15
Defining Your Partner Program
  • Reseller Locator
    • Some contacts want to ensure local support and will look for local resellers to order from
    • Having them e-mail or call eliminates benefit of 24/7 self-serve
    • Start with a graphical map of partners
    • Move toward a zip-code look up as you get more partners
    • Partners like to see their name on your website
    • Guard with a “re-direct” script if worried about competitor’s recruiting your partners (I would)
defining your partner program16
Defining Your Partner Program
  • NFR (Evals n/a – applies to hardware)
    • Discounted “Not for Resale” copies--”access with SaaS”
    • Resellers are NOT your end users
    • Know what they use, sell what they know, so get them to use your software
    • Should be treated just like your existing sales people
      • Do you charge your existing sales people to use and get to know your software?
    • Can be free and used as BAIT to recruit resellers—especially if they can benefit from your software
    • Always have a value attached (then promote FREE for recruiting)
      • What we obtain too cheaply, we esteem too lightly
    • Additional copies/access often discounted (COG)
      • $5 - $10. 70% of resellers used. $31% used.
defining your partner program17
Defining Your Partner Program
  • Joint Reseller Promotions
    • MDF (Market Development Funds)
      • Must have a policy (see chanimal.com/vars/portal)
      • Used for regional promotions usually proposed by partners
        • Trade show in their region
        • Joint mailing
        • Other items they may propose
      • You can pick and choose which you will participate in
    • Co-Op (co-operative funds)
      • Usually accrued as a percentage of sales
      • Not preferred, since often have less control of usage
defining your partner program18
Defining Your Partner Program
  • Requirements
    • Register
      • Ensure you get enough information to “profile” them later
      • Size, vertical markets, # sales people, certifications, etc.
      • One of my companies is paying over $38k just to “re-profile” all their partners since they captured little on the application
        • Will use this information to map the characteristics of the most successful to recruit more just like them
        • Helps to know their vertical coverage
    • Qualify as a VAR (only if want a barrier)
    • Purchase from an authorized Distributor
      • Trick question. Designed to stop end-users and competitors from trying to find out more. Has phone # to bypass
defining your partner program19
Defining Your Partner Program
  • Requirements
    • Required Business Plan
      • Actually, it is a plan of action. One promotion per month for 1st 3 months to ensure proactive activity
    • Reseller Agreement
      • Chanimal.com has a lot of samples
      • Covers independent status, right to use logo, termination clause
    • Sales Quotas
      • For gold or platinum levels
      • Determine within 3-6 months
      • Need to first know what is “possible” for resellers or may set it too low or too high
      • Setup a ramp up period to achieve
defining your partner program20
Defining Your Partner Program
  • Reseller Experience
    • How easy are you to do business with?
    • Pre-Sign up phone number
      • Salesforce.com – a PAIN
      • Linksys – record 7 calls
    • Grid of program details
    • Ease of registration
    • Timely response for approval
    • Automated e-mail response
    • Perceived lead-gen capability
defining your partner program21
Defining Your Partner Program
  • Reseller Sign-Up Page
    • “Basic” hello (won’t read)
    • Program feature bullets
    • NO product hype—already convinced if they got here
    • Link to grid of program
    • Link to application
    • Channel Mgr contact info
    • Provide the information that they need to make a decision
      • Confused = No sign up
defining your partner program22
Defining Your Partner Program
  • SaaS Specific Issues
    • Channel used
      • Recommender program (45.4%)
      • Affiliate program (similar - terminology) (29.8%)
      • Aggregator (similar to a distributor) – combines SaaS apps (34%)
      • OEM – may or may not be private labeled (29%)
      • Uses a wholesale distributor (Ingram, Tech Data, etc.) (9.7%)
      • Have resellers (41% have, 11.4% expect to – 52% )
      • 48% of SaaS surveyed got 20+ % revenues via channel
      • 80+ % of revenue via channel from many non-SaaS
        • Why?

* Percentages are from SoftLetter Report

defining your partner program23
Defining Your Partner Program
  • SaaS Specific Issues
    • Reseller margins (% paid)
      • 60% pay 1-15% margin
      • 19% pay 16-30% margin
      • 21% pay more than 40% margin
      • The margin for desktop/enterprise is typically 20-50%
        • Note: Even though they get a higher % discount off MSRP, they often discount their bids
        • “Street price” is discounted—at their expense, not the vendors, so the margin they get is actually less (depending on how aggressive they bid)… helps you to “sell” a lower margin

* Percentages are from SoftLetter Report

defining your partner program24
Defining Your Partner Program
  • SaaS Specific Issues
    • Even with lower “guaranteed” margins…
      • VAR, Integrators and Consultants still expect to make a majority of their revenues via professional services (better be some)
        • Training, configuration, integration with backend systems
      • Don’t assume they aren’t as technical as your team (mistake)
        • Often MUCH more technical and can integrate better & on-site
    • Concerns of resellers with SaaS
      • Who “owns” the account?
        • SaaS vendor owns account activity (need to make it transparent to partner)
        • VAR should still make revenue off training, integration, support
        • Need to have some feeling of ownership, or won’t support their sale
      • How do they get paid?

* Percentages are from SoftLetter Report

defining your partner program25
Defining Your Partner Program
  • SaaS Specific Issues
    • How are resellers paid?
      • Issue – same internal and external (should be alignment)
      • Question:
        • If a sales person needs an extra $1,000 to make a house payment and he has the option to sell a $10,000 desktop application ($1,000 commission) versus a $12,000 SaaS application ($100 per month)
        • Which is he going to push?

* Percentages are from SoftLetter Report

defining your partner program26
Defining Your Partner Program
  • SaaS Specific Issues
    • How are resellers paid?
      • That’s a fundamental problem with selling SaaS—it is like the car insurance industry and takes awhile to build residual income
      • So… the transition to adding SaaS products to the resellers line card usually occurs alongside traditional sales (or sales “may” starve)
      • The sales person (where the rubber meets…) can’t cash flow the company – via the SaaS product
      • So… the SaaS product often get’s undersold
      • However, an advantage of SaaS is that the sales and implementation cycle (with associated pro services) should be shorter (because of the lower initial payment), so it is a HEDGE product and brings in quicker and more stable income—so it should be part of their mix (period—makes good business sense)
defining your partner program27
Defining Your Partner Program
  • SaaS Specific Issues
    • How are resellers paid?
      • An advantage of SaaS
        • The sales and implementation cycle (with associated pro services) should be shorter (because of the lower initial payment price, plus much of it is pre-configured remotely)
      • Reseller’s may not know the advantages– it has not been their model
      • Part of your challenge and messaging is to educate them
      • Most of my SaaS companies contribute to the overall SaaS market development – have presentation slides that show the advantage of SaaS along with product specific slides
defining your partner program28
Defining Your Partner Program
  • SaaS Specific Issues
    • How are resellers paid?
      • Since selling SaaS via the channel is a similar problem to selling SaaS internally, let’s look at the approaches
      • Rule: Align your commission with your sales objectives
      • Current “inside sales” practices (SoftLetter SaaS report):

* Won’t equal 100% (balance is a combination)

defining your partner program29
Defining Your Partner Program
  • SaaS Specific Issues
    • Appears the more revenue, the quicker the sales people get paid (cash flow?) (Salesforce is an exception—but we can’t always follow them (unless we create similar brand preference))
    • We want sales people to sell it – so we have to compete with desktop (align commission with desired behavior)
    • Also want them to have advantages of residual, and service the accounts residually (more integration, keep accounts satisfied, sign up more users) – or they won’t want to talk to or help manage the accounts (like a car insurance agent)
defining your partner program30
Defining Your Partner Program
  • SaaS Specific Issues
    • Creative options? Recommendations?
      • Dependant on YOUR financing and cash flow
      • Dependant on your residual cancelation rate
      • Depends on how long existing resellers have been selling SaaS products (can they cash flow the delayed pay)
salesforce com
SalesForce.com
  • Largest SaaS company (over $1 billion). Interviewed Steve Lucas, SVP of Force.com & Alliances
  • Two programs
    • Referral
    • Consultant
  • How many?
    • 6,200 global (3,500 US) referral partner companies
    • 550 consulting partner companies (these are typically VARs and System Integrators). Do integration services and training
    • Thousands of independent consultants
salesforce com1
SalesForce.com
  • Comparisons
    • Salesforce.com has 6,200 referral, 550 VARs/SI’s (1 billion company)
    • Intuit has 36,000 referral partners ($100 million revenue (out of $1 billion company)
    • Microsoft claims over 20,000 resellers
  • Referral is their Affiliate program (tried to differentiate—not much difference)
  • How much do they pay?
    • Consultants – most are also referrers
salesforce com2
SalesForce.com
  • How much do they pay?
    • Pay referrals 10%
    • Justified it as, “Guaranteed” margin. Any discounting would come from the company’s portion (but would only make 10% of sales price)
  • How do they pay?
    • Based on whatever revenue comes in over the FIRST year only. Said they were always looking to change that.
      • Complex: Month to month, year to year, multiple year (challenge)
    • Didn’t ask payment method (check, direct deposit, PayPal, etc.)
salesforce com3
SalesForce.com
  • How do they pay? (cont…)
    • Didn’t ask about who closes for second year
    • Referrers have to REGISTER a referred deal within their partner portal to get credit
    • Didn’t ask if they also track links via cookies, etc.
  • When do they pay?
    • 45 days after the end of the QUARTER
      • Could be as long as 4 ½ months later for deals referred at the beginning of a quarter
    • Pay on whatever is paid to them within that time frame
salesforce com4
SalesForce.com
  • How much do they pay inside sales?
    • Wouldn’t say 
  • How often do they pay inside sales?
    • Wouldn’t say exactly, but said that it is aligned very closely to how, when and over the same time frame as the channel
  • They “double pay” (but don’t consider the lead sold)
    • Pay the affiliate (referrer) for the LEAD. Some come hot, some come colder—only pay for closed deals. Dependant on Salesforce to close (even if you could do a better job)
    • Pay inside sales per SALE (closing the lead)
assessment
Assessment
  • I see a LOT of mistakes
    • Larger companies can make these mistakes (i.e., Microsoft packaging, ads, etc.)—but you can’t afford to
    • They already have momentum and brand preference—you may not
    • Leaving themselves open to a more competitive partner program
      • I have taken down similar players that had better products, by recruiting away their resellers with a better program (make more money—go figure!)
    • Standard “affiliate” fee is 10-15% so that is not too far off (for an affiliate)
    • Don’t reward partners that could close the deal themselves (and make the inside sales commission—wouldn’t cost them more). Paying for just a referral—neglecting some good closers (some that have great existing relationships in corporate accounts)
assessment1
Assessment
  • I see a LOT of mistakes
    • Paying up to 4 ½ months later—that is SIMPLE, but it is also not the way to motivate the channel (sales)
      • Doggy does trick, doggy gets bone (4 ½ months later?). You’re kidding!!
    • Most affiliate programs pay every 30 days on whatever has come through by that time
    • The closer the pay is to the results—the more motivated the sales rep is to produce more sales
      • One of my companies said, “My sales reps are not motivated by the commission.” They paid almost exactly the same way (4 weeks after the quarter (not 6). We switched it to payment 2 weeks after the check arrived—and they were HIGHLY motivated!!
assessment2
Assessment
  • I see a LOT of mistakes
    • They only pay over the FIRST year
      • Simple, easy to understand, but…
      • Does not encourage ANY localized “service” the first year (i.e., don’t call me with how slow your system is—call them (I don’t get paid for anything past the first year so I can’t support you)
      • Does not encourage mult-year deals (pay for behavior)
      • Does not follow the insurance industry residual sale model to encourage partners to stay with you for years (so they don’t loose future revenues)
      • Unless more is paid up front (not in their model), then partners have deferred pay by “selling” SaaS—with the hopes of making more over the long haul. Partners are not aligned with the companies model—interesting to see the results
assessment3
Assessment
  • Overall
    • Said they looked at a lot of other partner programs but wanted to be innovative and simple
    • Innovation for its own sake is not always the best model
    • I’ve seen “simple” sales comp plans, and the sales team (channel) has to understand it—but some simple options can make it MUCH, MUCH more motivating--which equals more sales
update
Update
  • New VAR Program – Very basic, needs refinement
  • Pros
    • Residual revenues on new accounts, plus existing “if” they setup new accounts
    • Residual for ongoing renewals
    • Reseller portal (sales and marketing tools)
  • Cons
    • Auto approval – competitor’s can step right in, need to qualify
    • No levels (no minimums) – no loyalty, no segmentation (who do you give leads to)
    • Not capturing enough profile info during registration
    • Requires certification ($5k barrier to entry)
phase two recruiting
Phase Two: Recruiting
  • Process
    • Profile reseller type
      • By vertical market, geographical region (US and International), by technical capability, plus more (takes about15 to compile)
    • Obtain list (strategy)
      • Competition is my 1st Source – Competitive counterstrike. Pulled over 800 off one competitor’s website (recruited over 150 of them in 6 weeks)
      • Alliances. Similar customers, non-competing vendor. Know exactly which of there are best and can help you recruit them. Formal alliance will give you list—otherwise hit their website
      • Specialized list. CMP, SoftDatabase, The VAR City.
phase two recruiting1
Phase Two: Recruiting
  • Process
    • Obtain list (cont…)
      • List brokers by SIC code (but want e-mails to start)
    • Create prospecting and management database
      • Salesforce.com (seem to have mixed reviews), Goldmine, Act!, Interspire
    • Start contacting to recruit
      • 3 part initial e-mail campaign (I have samples at Chanimal.com)
      • Incentive is often an NFR copy/access (if your software can help them)
      • Phone calls
      • National road shows (with alliances (recruited 800 in 6 weeks)
      • CRN reviews, Ads, direct postcards, etc.
      • Hire rep firms
    • Last campaign – recruited 792 resellers in 8 weeks
phase 3 enablement
Phase 3 - Enablement
  • On-boarding
  • Training
    • Materials (sales scripts, presentations, templates)
    • Product
    • Support
    • Sales
    • Marketing – promotions
  • Systems
    • Need leads, approaches, prospecting tools
  • Motivating
reseller channel
Reseller Channel
  • A 100% commission, indirect sales force
    • They take all the risk
    • They cover their own expenses
    • Often provide their own leads
    • Can sell multiple competitor’s products
    • Must build loyalty to increase “reseller recommendation”
  • So… should you treat them worse or better than an inside sales employee?
reseller channel1
Reseller Channel
  • Don’t complicate it – channel management “is” sales management
  • The same rules apply for managing a channel as for managing a sales force. For example:
    • Would you hire a new sales person and then…
      • Not train them on your product
      • Not provide any presentation material, sales scripts, demo script, phone dialogs, or have no model calls, no coaching calls
      • Not provide leads, no systems
      • Have no contest, provide no motivation
      • Have no contact (for weeks/months at a time)
    • No. So how come you treat your “outside” sales force with so much neglect?
how come
How Come?
  • I hear it time and time again, a vendor signs up hundreds of resellers and then says, “My channel isn’t selling anything.”
  • Yet your internal sales team is selling. Why?
  • You are not doing anything with your outside channel sales team. They are 100% commission and take all the risk, so you neglect them.
  • If you paid them all salary and commission—you would not neglect them at all.
  • Do the same thing as you do with your internal sales team, and you will get similar success. Sounds obvious, but…
phase 3 enablement1
Phase 3 - Enablement
  • On-boarding
    • Approval e-mail (then CALL quickly – would you e-mail a new sales rep, or talk to them?)
    • Portal Orientation
    • Product Overview (sales presentation (model call), not product training)
    • Explain 90 day promotions (tied to Plan of Action)
    • Follow-up

(Sample Chanimal On-boarding Checklist)

phase 3 enablement2
Phase 3 - Enablement
  • Training
    • Same as you would do with inside sales and inside support
    • Product. Detailed product training (videos, internet, webinar). Start of certification.
    • Support. Known problems and issues and resolution. Part of certification.
    • Sales. Sales scripts, sample presentations, public webinars, sales training (prospecting, presentation skills, overcoming objections, closing)
    • Marketing. Regional promotions that work, SEO with your product, joint promotions.
phase 3 enablement3
Phase 3 - Enablement
  • Motivating
    • Contest (weekly, monthly, quarterly, annual)
    • Recognition (monthly newsletter)
  • Do ALL the same things with your channel as you do with your own sales team—and you get similar results. Seems obvious—but companies get lazy, don’t assign resources, and are negligent… yet somehow think it is fine to just hang them out to dry once they bring them on board.
  • Then they tell me that the channel doesn’t work for them—when they don’t work to help their channel.
  • “This” is ChannelManagement – not channel neglect.
channel management
Channel Management
  • Do ALL the same things with your channel as you do with your own sales team—and you get similar results. Seems obvious—but companies get lazy, don’t assign resources, and are negligent… yet somehow think it is fine to just hang them out to dry once they bring them on board.
  • Then they tell me that the channel doesn’t work for them—when it is the opposite--they don’t work to help their channel.
  • “This” is ChannelManagement – not channel neglect.
  • It is the same thing as “good” sales management (which is NOT passive)—just with an external 100% commission sales force.
  • I ran a 350 person 100% commission sales force. Many were my friends. I didn’t dare let them fail—they were taking a risk and trusting me—not to let them fail.
  • We need to do likewise with reseller partners that trust us, to help them succeed.
summary three phases
Summary: Three Phases
  • Definition Stage
    • Determining the elements of your reseller partner program
  • Recruiting
    • Finding enough of the right kind of resellers
  • Enablement
    • Ensuring they have everything they need to sell & support
      • Training (product, market, competition, resources, certification)
      • Sales tools (presentations, demo scripts, e-mail templates, etc.)
      • Systems (content/lead portal, forum, deal registration)
      • Leads, model calls, coaching calls
      • Motivation (contest, recognition, news)
free resource
Free Resource
  • Chanimal.com – The Ultimate Resource for Software Marketing
    • Over 500 pages of software marketing and channel content
    • Over 15,000 unique software and channel visitors / month
    • Has templates, examples of most everything – all FREE!
  • Plus, if you are not signed up yet—stay a day and sign up for the Channel workshop. This presentation is a small FRACTION of what you’ll learn in the most comprehensive channel workshop ever condensed into a single day. Learn in a day what took over a decade to learn from building channels for over 270 high-tech companies.
  • Leverage the channel and increase sales!
ted finch president chanimal marketing www chanimal com1
Ted Finch

President, Chanimal Marketing

www.chanimal.com

Thank You…

Building a SaaS Channel:

A Step-by-Step Approach