CCC RECAP: Partners Say Programs Are Too Complex

Ease of doing business is more important than profit potential for most partners.

New Channelnomics analysis confirms what we’ve been saying for years: When it comes to partner engagement and program participation, ease of doing business (EODB) trumps revenue potential. In other words, if you want to be a preferred vendor for channel partners, it’s more important to make your programs and policies understandable than it is to tantalize them with promises of rich rewards.

During the Channelnomics Community Call in October, CEO Larry Walsh and Vice President of Professional Services Bryn Nettesheim walked attendees through our latest analysis of data, culled from more than 200,000 partner satisfaction records. The results of our work are showcased in a new Channelnomics report, Ease of Doing Business: A High-Value Influencer. This report delves deep into the factors that underscore the importance of ease of doing business as a foundational objective for shaping partner behavior and performance.

“While financial considerations are undeniably essential in the partner relationship, money isn’t the sole driver of partner behavior,” said Walsh. “Partners seek healthy vendor relationships that don’t overburden their resources, don’t impose costly program requirements, and enable them to service customer needs effectively and expeditiously.”

Echoing Walsh’s comments is this: Channelnomics analysis finds that 73% of channel partners say vendor channel programs are too complex. Moreover, partners say that EODB affects their growth outlook. Where there’s no friction, there are great growth opportunities, partners say.

Channelnomics has developed a methodology to help vendors take complexity and inconsistency out of their channel programs. Our EODB improvement cycle includes five steps:

      1. Define a problem, obstacle, or failure impacting your channel operations.
      2. Measure the scope of the problem and impact with facts and data.
      3. Analyze the depth of the problem and its cascading impact.
      4. Improve processes and create new, simple, and rational approaches.
      5. Verify the changes to confirm their effectiveness.

Rinse and repeat.


Several new content deliverables await CiQ subscribers at They include:


AI Steals Spotlight From Cybersecurity: For the past several years, cybersecurity has dominated the agenda for partner events, research projects, and vendor communications. But now cybersecurity is sharing the limelight (literally) with AI — generative AI in particular. It’s a major sea change in terms of communications, business priorities, and partner focus.

Nutanix Expands Partner Incentives, Resources: While many vendors are looking to shave a few points here and there from their channel compensation schemas, Nutanix is going in the opposite direction after discovering that its discounting and incentive policies dampen its partner profitability — particularly when selling hardware and software bundles.

How MSPs Use AI: As you consider how to put AI to use for your organization, take a moment to learn how your channel partners are already leveraging it to advance their businesses.


The Difference Between TSBs and IT Distributors: On the surface, their businesses appear quite similar, but on a deeper level, they’re very different. Understanding their respective strengths and weaknesses is vital for developing a competitive go-to-market strategy that leverages the capabilities of each.


A Guide to Understanding and Evaluating PRM Vendors and Systems: Partner relationship management (PRM) platforms have become indispensable for organizations to efficiently manage large, complex partner ecosystems. In evaluating six leading PRM vendors, Channelnomics has teased out more than 20 critical capabilities to establish criteria for selecting the ideal PRM platform. We share those criteria in this guide.


Be sure to check out our website for new content in the coming weeks and months.


Laws Governing Channel Sales: The technology industry is often seen as one of the last remaining Wild West zones of American business. In key tranches of technology, few regulations apply. Perceptions aside, there are many laws, regulations, and court cases that influence or govern doing business with partners in the United States. To help channel and partner practitioners familiarize themselves with these legal frameworks, Channelnomics has assembled the following overview.


How to Win Your First Six Months — And Beyond: To get you started properly on a new job in the channel, Channelnomics is creating a guide that breaks down the important tasks and milestones of your first six months, whether you’re a channel newbie or a seasoned veteran.

The State of AI in the Channel: Channelnomics is working with Dell to define and assess how AI is influencing channel sales, partner programs, and channel engagements.

Channel Forecast 2024: As we do every year, Channelnomics will be polling the leading channel chiefs and partner influencers on the trends, changes, and technologies that impact them most. If you’re wondering what’s foremost on the minds of channel partners and your peers — be it marketplaces, AI, new business models, or changing customer buying habits — be sure to get your hands on the Channelnomics Channel Forecast 2024 report.

The Channelnomics Community Call for November

Join us next month for another insightful discussion on all things channel. Watch for an invite to our Nov. 16 event at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT.

Channelnomics Community Calls are open to any channel professional and practitioner. If you’re a Channelnomics iQ subscriber looking to request your monthly one-on-one call or schedule your annual channel program review, send an e-mail to Maddie Frank at

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