Skydiving. It’s something people love or hate. You can imagine the expression of a first-time skydiver at the foot of the take-off door, facing that freefall, FROZEN! The terror of jumping into the unknown can be overwhelming. Doing it once can be exhilarating. But it’s one thing to face that open wall of air one time and another entirely for all but the biggest thrill seekers and daredevils to keep jumping, over and over.
Leap of Channel Marketers’ Faith?
I can’t help but relate this to switching channel software providers. Making that leap is just as intimidating for channel teams as jumping out of a moving plane with only a parachute guaranteeing you’ll successfully stick the landing. I can imagine it invoking the same feeling of overwhelming terror for your average channel supplier. Even the bravest and most stalwart of suppliers can be left quaking in their boots at the door. No matter who you are, that metaphoric wall of air that stands between optimizing your current channel platform versus adopting an entirely new solution can be daunting!
Got An Offer You Can’t Refuse?
It’s a wonder some companies continue to “bait & switch” suppliers with offers to migrate from one platform to another at little or no additional cost. The pain itself of retraining channel teams, not to mention the cost in terms of lack of engagement by partners that suppliers experience when switching portals or marketing platforms can be career limiting! With ZiftONE, we’ve taken a different approach. There’s no jump from point A to point B when your platform is end-to-end. Since everything an organization needs to manage its channel program and partners is under one roof, it’s like walking from one room in your house to the next. Rather than spinning wildly in a free fall, you’re standing on stable ground, with plenty of resources within reach.
Best Practices are Your Parachute
One of the most difficult aspects of the jump isn’t getting used to the new technology, as you might have thought. It’s the knowledge gap in both people and processes. Most companies take a technology-first approach. While technology can produce results, without the best practices and expertise of a great team working with you behind the scenes, you’ll never know how much better those results could be.
Channel expertise and processes supported by proven best practices are your parachute and safety harness. Your processes should take precedence over platform. Ultimately, channel know-how and following best practices will get more successes than a platform-first mentality, no matter how many times you swap-out your channel software platform.
When you work with over 80% of channel chiefs, you get to know what works and what doesn’t. We talk to a lot of channel professionals at Zift. We know the pains involved with jumping between single-point solutions like PRM or an LMS. Often, we see there are not enough resources to integrate all the moving parts, so most of the work is left to the vendor. Like a tandem team, Zift’s Channel Center of Excellence, Channel Success, and Partner Engagement Teams, as well as Creative Services, provide the support and stability even the most nimble channel programs may need as they move to through today’s complex channel challenges.
How have you handled past channel tech jumps? Get in touch — I’d love to hear from you.