Challenges: The Accelerator Group was engaged to review the under-performing Channel for this Software Products’ company, which was their primary source of revenue since 2005. Our goal was to fully understand why their Top 10 Channel Partners had declining sales (approx. 30 %+) for my client’s premier Performance Management product over the past 18 months. These Channel Partners were primarily Professional Services firms that embedded my client’s product into their ultimate solution for maximum value to the Fortune 1000 market.
Our Assessment provided their Sr Vice President of Sales/Marketing and Executive Management with our Findings, as well as a series of ‘high impact’ Recommendations to breakthrough these challenges. These included:
1. The Channel Partners, across the board, had declining top line revenue of approximately 25% over the same period, due to the economic downturn.
2. The average project size for our Channel Partners had been reduced by 25-40%……they were in survival mode.
3. Our client was not engaged early in the process with Channel Partners to craft the solution that created the most value for the respective company. For both parties, “value-based” selling was significantly reduced during better economic times and carried over into these challenging economic times.
4. Our client’s Performance Management Solution became an after-market sale and was replaced in the initial solution with a lower cost & lower value product.
5. In general, our client was not proactive enough with their Channel or the overall marketplace.
- Stratify the Channel Partners to align with those that are diligent in consultative/solution selling around value and the total solution…..focus on a smaller number of Partners and build a business plan with each, including performance metrics.
- Create a “proactive” Channel Management program that would engage earlier in the process with our Partners and their respective clients.
- Develop a more comprehensive & integrated Marketing program that would educate the market (both Partners and Fortune 100 companies) on the ‘unique & compelling’ value proposition that our Solution provided.
- Initiate a “Demand Creation” campaign to the market and involve key Channel Partners….this will provide a new business pipeline to the Channel Partners, which should keep their focus on our Performance Management Solution across their Global Practice.
Benefits / Results of our Recommendations: Our recommendations were fully implemented by our client, over a 6 month period, which resulted in top line growth of approximately 25%; stronger Channel Partner business relationships that are being measured via the business plan process; Sales Pipelines that increased by nearly 50%, including our effective Demand Creation marketing efforts; and a repeatable & sustainable “value based” selling approach with our Partners.