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Partner communications

Paul_Toffis ‎07-24-2013 01:24 AM - edited ‎06-26-2015 03:15 PM

Clearing the channels of communication?


 “It sounds deceptively simple, but in my experience of channel partner management, communications is the critical success factor for a relationship which flourishes
 – or not!”

Roger Stocker, Director of Intuitive Business Intelligence Limited


I love working with the channel.  I know it’s my job and I’m very fortunate that I love doing what I do for a living but the channel for me never fails to amaze, excite, interest and yes, at times, challenge me!


HP Software recently ran two events – the first of which was predominantly aimed at our customers and prospects, but to which partners were invited to sponsor and be present.  Our partners were invited to join so that they would get to hear the business content, latest updates, business strategy etc.  The second event, the next day, was a half day event at the same location, aimed purely for our partners (resellers, distribution and alliance partners) so that they would then have an update on the latest programs, incentives, campaigns etc that they could benefit from.


So, guess which one was best attended by the partners?


  • 65% of partners who registered did attend the partner event
  • 81% of partners who registered did attend the customer event


What was also interesting was the number of comments from non-exhibiting partners who claimed that they hadn’t been made aware of the sponsorship opportunities.  (Subsequent checks have confirmed that this was not the case.)  So this really gets me thinking (and sometimes quite animated!)…  How can we, as vendors, better communicate and be better received by our partners to ensure that they’re aware of the latest and greatest?  How can we clearly and consistently communicate to our partners, deliver the right content to them, as well as the right business opportunities.  And how can our partners maximise on the programs that are available to them, especially if they’re not aware of them…?  It’s a very tricky balancing act; getting the right content, in the right, appealing format, so that it gets the right attention and response.  I don’t have the answers and, to a degree, I guess that’s why I love the channel so much! 


It strikes me that it’s very much a chicken and egg situation – partners seem to (quite rightly) want business opportunities, but don’t necessarily maximise on them as they haven’t got the full understanding of the programs, portfolio etc available to them.  There’s only so much time we can ask of/expect from our partners.  So which one should come first?


If you’ve had some great experiences or examples, I’d love to hear from you!



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