The Power of Channel Partners in Technology Business
From a macro perspective, technology vendors always love to talk about the importance of channel. They say things like, "Channel means everything to us," "We run 100 percent of business through the channel," "The channel partners are an extension of their company." From a micro perspective, sometimes what people say and do can be much different. Think about it, is everyone a team player? Does everyone like to work in groups? Do some people have control and trust issues? These are all things that can lead to a single person not wanting to leverage the channel for support. To help showcase some of the values of a channel from both a macro and micro level, I listed three reasons why you should leverage channel from each level.
- Raising an "army" – Look at a company like Cisco. They have essentially raised an army. They have provided the army with information on how to use Cisco products and why Cisco products are the best. Cisco has thousands of channel partners all over the world and hundreds of thousands of certified Cisco sales and engineering people. This makes it very hard to compete with them.
- Branding – When one organization partners with you, they typically market and advertise by leveraging your brand. This can give you increased brand awareness as partner numbers increase.
- Contracts – When dealing with Government, there are hundreds of contracts. When you dive into the state, local and education levels, the number increases dramatically. Why try to figure these out on your own? Leverage partners and this becomes somewhat easier
- Partner relationships – As an individual at a company, building great relationships with partners can last through many jobs over many years. By building a partner community, you already have partners that you trust. You can leverage these long lasting relationships when you move on to a new job.
- Customer relationships – It's hard to know everyone. Many channel companies have strong customer relationships that you can leverage to help get market penetration.
- Finding your next job – Everyone knows the best way to find a new job is by leveraging a relationship you already have. A partner company you did good work with might be able to make an introduction to a company you would like to work for.