The channel landscape is evolving quickly and so’s the lingo! That’s why we’ve created an easy reference for all topics and terms channel-related. Check it out below and share it with your network.
Channel Account Manager (CAM)
Responsible for developing and supporting relationships with channel partners, enabling them to use co-marketing content, distribution, and analytics to gain visibility into the channel pipeline.
The process by which a vendor (solutions originator) partners with resellers of various types to promote their brand, reduce marketing outlays and drive sales for both the vendor and partner.
The use of platforms that manage and integrate the channel marketing activities and track results, providing customized interfaces for both vendor and partner to create content and communications, ease distribution and provide analytics to accelerate sales, build brand and maximize vendor and partner ROI for Channel Marketing.
A reseller of a supplier’s or manufacturer’s products and services expands vendor sales opportunities by utilizing the location, expertise and additional services that partners can provide. Typically, partners will receive access to marketing collateral, campaigns, tools, and training. “Channel partner” can be a collective name for value-added resellers (VARs), consultants, system integrators (SIs), managed service providers (MSPs) and distributors.
Content Syndication (or syndicated content)
The process of distributing useful, interest-driving information from the vendor, who originates the content, through the partner, who is able to co-brand the content, leveraging their brand with the vendor’s.
The implementation of the Channel Strategy, most often with an emphasis on recruiting partners, increasing partner adoption and improving profitability through such practices and applications as Market Development Funds, Channel Marketing Automation platforms, CRM’s, and Concierge Services
Indirect sales by a manufacturer or supplier to an end customer. Manufacturers will use the channel as a method of distribution in order to reach and sell to their market via channel partners.
The publication of information of interest to drive prospects down the Pipeline in any medium through any communications channel. Examples include blog entries, articles “placed” in industry media, video and slide presentations on sites such as YouTube and SlideShare, white papers, case studies, newsletters and infographics.
See Managed Services
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Typically a software tool that allows companies to manage all aspects of a business relationship with potential and current customers. The technology allows you to associate data and communications with a specific contact in a single, accessible place for employees.
When two or more brand names function together on a product, document, web page or event in order to reduce cost, increase exposure and lower risk. Automated channel marketing solutions can lower the cost and complexity of content by enabling channel partners the opportunity to co-brand with their supplier more easily, efficiently and effectively.
A vendor plan that governs the decisions and management of marketing and sales through a partner network, a uniquely configured channel set that is designed to maximized sales and profits for the vendor’s products and/or services. Channel strategy includes choosing the numbers, types, locations, expertise, market segment, and scope of channel partners–shaping the structure and function of the network, which may include Value-added resellers (VARs), managed service providers (MSPs), consultants, systems integrators (SIs), original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), retailers, wholesalers and distributors.
A form of promotional allowance similar to MDFs but an accrual-based program that allocates dollar credits to partners based on performance, usually on a percentage basis.
A person or company that’s been given permission to sell a product or solution on behalf of a manufacturer or supplier, usually associated with both B2B and retail sales and services but a term that also has many different, company-specific parameters defined in the contract between a vendor and dealer.
A person or company that’s been given permission to distribute a product or service on behalf of a manufacturer or supplier, usually associated with the wholesale of consumer goods, customizable systems, heavy equipment and electronic hardware, but a term with many different, company-specific parameters defined in the contract between a vendor and distributor.
A company’s full set of marketing programs that creates interest and drives sales, including integrated push/outbound marketing (e.g., email and other direct marketing, offers, promotions) and pull/inbound (content marketing, advertising, social media marketing programming).
Embedded Access Apps
A suite of vendor and partner marketing and sales tools integrated (embedded) in one interface to facilitate collaboration between vendor and partner and thereby reduce partner marketing outlays, and increase partner adoption and loyalty, while reducing vendor outlays for channel management and sales growth. Embedded apps include such tools as MAPs, CRMs, CMSs, PRMs, social media schedulers, major email clients and access across multiple devices.
The planning and execution of a partner incentive strategy that, ideally, touches the pocket books of key stakeholders working for partners, from owners to sales reps to through MDFs, segmented and tiered contracts rewarding improved performance, promotions and offers, sales force rewards and other primarily financial incentives for partners to favor the vendor’s products or services.
The process of the vendor transmitting lead data to partner’s with solutions and products likely to match the lead’s interests and needs, often automated distribution to tools such as CRMs and processed/sorted according to integrated parameters such as partner and lead business classification, location, expertise, and scope of services and/or product expertise offered and needed.
Lead Distribution Management (LDM)
An application-based process used by vendors to evaluate, distribute, and monitor leads to accelerate sales and optimize profits by matching leads to partners.
Strategy and processes used to identify and elicit a response that presents a Lead Nurturing opportunity, often with both outbound and inbound marketing communications and activities.
The strategy and process of driving a lead from initial interest down the pipeline to sale, sometimes counted as progressive “touches”–email, a submitted form for content download or viewing, social media activity, Content Marketing–all leading to sales touches and a close.
The process of assigning a “score” to a lead based on the digital body language in which they have shown. For example, assigning x number of points to someone for visiting a particular page on a company’s website.
A set of à la carte marketing services supplementing a core solution–for instance, providing a channel partner a custom email template with associated landing pages and content for a particular offer or to suit the interests and needs of a specialized market.
Marketing Automation Platform (MAP)
A platform or technology for marketing organizations that automates intelligence, activities and workflows, allowing measurement and distribution on multiple channels online (such as email, social media, websites, etc.). Examples of these platforms include Eloqua, Marketo and Hubspot.
Market Development Funds (MDF)
Funds or credits given to dealers, distributors, VAR’s and other channel partners to encourage their marketing activities and increase channel sales. For example, the vendor sponsoring the use of a Channel Marketing Automation platform for co-marketed, co-branded, value-added products and services.
Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs)
A technology provider that distributes a product produced by another company under its own brand name.
Services or initiatives in order to generate enthusiasm, drive registration and increase engagement with your channel partners.
Partner Demand Center (PDC)
A central platform that allows channel partners to easily engage in co-marketing programs and access customizable resources.
The strategy and provision of application-based tools, content, training, MDFs, partner adoption programs and other activities a vendor can sponsor that accelerate sales and add value to the vendor-partner relationship.
A gated section of a vendor’s website and/or systems that is designed for partner use in doing business with the vendor. Usually, one important function of the partner portal is to aide partners in marketing and selling the vendor’s product or service.
Partner Relationship Management (PRM)
An application-based process that allows organizations to manage channel partner relationships often using SaaS-based software applications.
Partner Business Manager (PBM)
Vendor representative responsible for channel business planning, partner relationships and through-channel marketing and sales, usually for a segment of vendor partners.
Sales Force Automation (SFA)
Represented by a number of players and flavors, SFA provides rich information, real-time tracking, lead distribution and sorting of contact lists by various criteria to share information and to nurture, drive and close leads.
People and companies specializing in combining an organization’s business processes and applications into an integral, coordinated whole that shares and processes information more effectively and efficiently.
The strategy and process of the vendor producing social media templates ready for co-branding and distribution by or through partners, most often containing Calls to Action or content links related to the post/Tweet topic.
When a vendor and partner share selected real-time analytics of automated marketing activities and results, improving the responsiveness and time-to-sale of both.
The process of vendor establishing co-marketing programs with partners, usually involving co-branding, to adapt to the increasing share of vendor sales through channel networks or clusters. A collaborative model of channel marketing.
An application-based solution that manages Through-Partner Marketing by integrating partner and vendor marketing activities and analytics to result in accelerated sales and lower costs for both channel players.
An organization that enhances the value of a product that it resells as part of a package by adding “value” with complimentary features or services. For example, in the software industry, a VAR may combine their suppliers’ product with proprietary software – as well as training and implementation assistance.