The Doyle Report: Do Channel Programs Matter Any More?

mspmentorlogo“Precious metals. Rare stones. Platitudes a mother would only bestow upon her favorite.

I am, of course, talking about labels technology vendors give to their “best” partners. You know them by heart: “Platinum,” “Diamond” and “President’s Club.”

For a lot of people in the channel, these distinctions—not to mention the engagement programs behind them—have lost their allure. The reason? They are out of step with current trends. Partners no longer rally around the vendor with the best deal; instead they gravitate to those with superior technology and long-term financial rewards. The shift in interest—from sales rewards to customer outcomes—has resulted in a disconnect between the rewards vendors offers partners, and the things partners actually need.

This has been going on for some time. But it has apparently come to a head this early spring. See what experts are saying this week alone. On Tuesday, for example, channel consultant and occasional Penton Xpert contributor Gary Morris, CEO of Successful Channels, Inc., posted a blog on LinkedIn entitled, “Have Channel Sales Executives Forgotten Why We Have a Channel?” That same day, Larry Walsh, CEO of The 2112 Group, wrote an essay lamenting that “despite the assertions of vendors about their commitment to the channel, partners are fairly mixed on their vendors’ commitment to working with partners.””


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