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Channel/Partner issues?

I was recently brought into a Client Executive role where I was told I would be selling direct, only to find out that there were multiple partners in my territory reselling the technology. None of this was mentioned during the interview process or during our training. None of the partners accurately forecast deals and in turn I get put over the fire for it.


There are no account lists that show responsibility or ownership to which accounts I.e. partner x has ownership of this account etc etc.


This week while conducting a demo and sales presentation I reached out to a partner to loop them in and see if they were interested in working on a deal and they absolutely flipped their shit on me for reaching out to the client directly.


How can I better manage this situation? Do you worn with partners? How do you manage channel + direct sales hybrid models?


Thanks in advance,


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1
poweredbycaffeine
WR Officer
+9
Bean Juice Drinker | Sales Savant
Partner agreements, rules of engagement, deal logging, market blocking...all strategies and ops your company needs to put in place to protect the purity of the channels. Is management aware of the issue, and if so, what are they suggesting as remediation options?
Boutdamtime
Opinionated
+4
Client Executive
Management is aware and there is no suggestions from them. Management would ideally like to have no partners reselling in the first place but we as a company cannot actually do business entirely without them.Β 
CaneWolf
Politicker
+12
Call me what you want, just sign the damn contract
You're going to get absolutely fucked over in this role. Run, don't walk, away. Some partner is going to claim you stole its deal and you're going to be without recourse.
Boutdamtime
Opinionated
+4
Client Executive
Haha this is already happening my man. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve called on an account only to have a partner call me up absolutely livid.Β 

My issue is...the money is great, technology is great, and I’ve only been here for 1.5 years. Could I really walk into another CE position and make the same or better $ with less headache?Β 
ChitownHustla
Channel Sales Manager
I think you should consider this a GOOD thing. Bring a couple smaller deals to these guys, take them out to lunch, become their best friend...and BAM you now have 10x your salesforce and they will happily do all the heavy lifting as long as you're involved (obvi not that easy but become a part of their routine and watch the POs flow)

Words to the wise, test them out with smaller deals. Whatever your quota is, don't bring them a deal over 7% of that to start, and maintain control.

Have fun with it, Channel is a deadly force when played the right way.
Boutdamtime
Opinionated
+4
Client Executive
Thanks for the diverse perspective.Β 
Coffeesforclosers
Notable Contributor
+11
Director Sales and Market Development
This is a bad situation. there is no alliance manager or portal where they have to submit a partner generated lead? If they (you and them) are prospecting to the same base there is no way this can work.Β 
Boutdamtime
Opinionated
+4
Client Executive
Thank you for commenting. I have actually lost sleep over this the past few days. I also screamed at a channel partner for yelling at me about his contract (which I have NOTHING to do with). I’m a passionate individual and I don’t take shit from anyone but I’m not someone who screams at people. This whole situation has got me down. Buuuut the $ is good πŸ˜‚Β 
Coffeesforclosers
Notable Contributor
+11
Director Sales and Market Development
I think you need to push to ask for some lead management or territory/prospect assignment, or volunteer to be the Partner Channel Manager (dont ask for a raise as they dont have one now and probably cant afford it) and make it how you want to be successful now, and may lead to a whole new career in channel sales or the official promotion as you blow the cover off the ball and stop the channel conflictΒ 
Show 2 more replies
ARRisLife
Politicker
+3
Account Executive
Sounds like a mess.... on the flip side... sounds like there's a LOTTTT of room to build something.

My company is big into our partner network, they source anywhere from 40%-60% of our deals. Still has kinks here and there but there always will be with humans.

Long story short, it works pretty smoothly but all the process, ROE, agreements are sorted out and we have a way to onboard and set rules in place.

So- as crazy as it is looking this in the face, if you still feel its a good org and opportunity you could grow it into a monster and get all the cred.

Good Luck!
Boutdamtime
Opinionated
+4
Client Executive
Thanks a bunch this is helpfulΒ 
BillyHoyle
Tycoon
+11
Senior Account Executive
Def sounds like there is a need for a more formalized agreement.
UserNotFound
Politicker
+9
Mid Market Manager
As a partner who has absolutely gone ape-shit when a direct sales rep went to my client, I'll throw in my thoughts.Β 

1. Make friends with your channel partners. We bring to the table the reps we like; you don't have to buy us things, just be the best at what you do. I prefer to sell a less feature rich product if I know my client is going to enjoy the experience more than with company B who has the bells and whistles but doesn't have their shit together.Β 

2. Be upfront about who you are prospecting on your own, and if a partner is already in the deal with another vendor- tell them you're in it (or wanting in it) and you'd prefer to work it together if they can also get your company a seat at the table. It helps you build your partners up to being the 'industry expert' for the client, and should bring credibility to you if the partner is any good.Β 

3. If your company isn't defining ROE- run. You will always be in the losing position because a partner worth their salt will bring in more revenue than a single rep can, and will always win the argument at hand.


Good luck!
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