Regardless if you are 100% channel or part channel, it is times like these where great channel leadership is required. Many people don't understand that a channel are businesses in their own right, with people, cash flow and leadership needs.
Covid_19 has thrown up unprecedented challenges and opportunities and this blog covers three things:-
1. Segmentation and Coverage.
2. Products and Services
3. Sales Management
Let's dive into segmentation and coverage.
Segmentation and Coverage.
Each company at the start of the Financial Year (FY) will have created a coverage model. Sales people will be allocated against accounts, channel partners, multiple channel partners etc.
If your FY started in January, then your go-to-market will have impacted, if your FY is part year, then you will have time to plan for this new normal.
It's important to have clear segmentation discipline and this is based on
Who as a brand you are
What customers you are serving
In what geography
Where do you have the right to win?
Often this will be documented in your ideal customer criteria and / or your brand ladder. You will then plan your go-to-market around this.
Covid-19 will have required you to be dynamic, with you balancing the need for you to serve clients, versus the need for you to serve busy clients. What do I mean? Some verticals such as travel may have dropped in terms of the current Covid19 situation, such as travel and hospitality. Where as other, such as Healthcare and Education may have surged. In both cases you must understand that this isn't just about following the money.
You must support and help existing customers, whatever sector they are in.
Products and Services
The current economic situation, may require you to look at your current product stack and be entrepreneurial again in terms of your go-to-market. What do I mean by that?
You might need to "unbundle" some products. Some people are upgrading people to a premium edition for free, for example. Key thing here is to be responsive.
Following on from the above, you may find that the deal flow changes. It maybe that you require to get sign off higher, than you did before.
While I would always recommended that you lead with a business case, in the current economic climate, this is a 10% certainty. My advice is to run with this upfront and not wait to be asked.
You also need some great hygiene decision, for example, making sure your leadership team and sales people are on social media an active.
Here I'm not talking about a tactic, I'm talking about you taking social media as a strategy and driving this. Both in the direct sales team and in the channel.
It is times like these where you need clear leadership with social media and social selling and a methodology that has been used many times before.
We know that things have changed, our clients are on social and we must be there too. Creating, engaging and being part of the conversation.
There is no choice to this forced innovation.
Finally, your business needs to make sure that there is collaboration around Account Receivables (AR) and shared terms. It is (always) wrong to think that people should do work for free. One of our clients, for example, have insisted that we get paid for a piece of work. And have reduced their normal 45 days payments terms. It is their view (which I agree with) that suppliers need to be paid.
Many business have cash concerns and it's important that you are playing here for the long game and doing what you can to keep your suppliers with the cash flow and liquidity they need.
If anything in here resonated with you and you fancy a chat, contact me on social here
Well-established tech companies have typically developed a large, multi-layer partner ecosystem that they rely on. For a sales leader in this environment, problem-solving, and having shared responsibilities with these channel partners is the only way to succeed in moving the GTM strategy forward.