I had the distinct pleasure of reconnecting with an ex-colleague, Maria Chien, who is Service Director of Channel Marketing Strategies for SiriusDecisions. Maria and I joined forces to record a new on-demand webinar detailing how to align channel technology with best practices to support program growth, partner engagement and ROI.

Maria and I worked closely together when I was Group Director of Channel Sales and Marketing Strategies at SiriusDecisions. So, rather than your typical formal webinar, this webcast sounds more like two friends bouncing ideas off one another – great perspectives that I think provide real value and insight you can put to good use overcoming today’s channel challenges.

Top 5 Priorities for Channel Leaders

Maria kicked off our discussion by sharing the top five channel marketing priorities for B2B channel leaders, which are published annually by SiriusDecisions  As programs evolve, new growth initiatives such as entering new markets require these priorities to adapt to reflect overarching company goals.  During the webcast, Maria stressed that the value channel marketing drives can be measured by its degree of impact on a channel organization’s top priorities. Moreover, channel organizations require real skills, processes and specific tactics to achieve their priorities across the channel business.

I don’t want to give everything away, but I will tell you that the five priorities required to build, manage and grow a successful channel business encompass:

  • Strategy and Planning: To develop and align channel marketing programs with go-to-market activities, corporate strategy and growth goals.
  • Channel Demand Creation: Forming demand creation strategies for channel partners that increase channel marketing’s contribution to pipeline.
  • Partner Program Design and Optimization: Designing a best-in-class channel partner program and optimizing existing programs to improve partner experiences.
  • Partner Enablement and Engagement: Imparting skills partners need to be successful and building a holistic partner engagement roadmap that goes beyond onboarding.
  • Functional Design and Development: Transforming channel marketing to drive better partner performance and contribution.

Maria does an excellent job detailing exactly why and how organizations should dig into each of these priorities, complete with best practices and use cases, to deliver an exceptional partner experience and drive better channel performance overall.

Aligning Channel Technology with Best Practices

Building on Maria’s insights, I explored the multiple technologies required to fulfill demands across channel sales, marketing and operations, as well as the integration challenges often standing in the way of channel program success.  

Instead of a siloed approach to channel program management, Zift recommends a truly integrated approach with Channel as a Service (CHaaS). We feel strongly that integration should not be left up to suppliers or vendors of the disparate software solutions they are using to automate an array of critical processes. In large part, that’s because integration goes beyond getting software applications to speak to each other, which I discussed in this recent Channel Chatter blog.  

Suppliers don’t have time to weave technology, processes and channel best practices together – and with CHaaS, they don’t have to. You’ll see why and how CHaaS spans all of the distinct phases channel programs must manage, along with how to operationalize the best practices Maria indicated are priorities for channel leaders today, when you watch the webinar. I encourage you to take 30 minutes to see how channel programs can win big by aligning technology with best practices. Watch the webinar now.