Closing the “Enablement Gap” in Channel Operations

Every day, thousands of companies sell their products or services through independent channel partners such as franchisees, agents or financial advisors, dealers or distributors, and value-added resellers. Many kinds of companies – including insurance companies, financial services firms, technology companies, and manufacturers – derive a significant portion of their total revenues from indirect channel sales.

The importance of indirect channel revenues has led channel vendors to implement a variety of tactics and programs designed to boost the revenues produced by their partners. For decades, channel vendors have used financial incentives such as sales performance incentive funds, market development funds, and co-op advertising funds to motivate their channel partners.

More recently, channel vendors have turned to technology to improve channel partner performance. Over the past several years, a growing number of channel vendors have implemented software applications designed to facilitate the marketing activities of their partners. These applications can be called distributed marketing automation, local marketing automation, and through-partner marketing automation, but regardless of the name, they are all channel marketing enablement solutions.

It’s important to recognize that these channel marketing enablement solutions primarily enhance the marketing capabilities of channel partners. They are designed to be used by marketers to perform marketing activities. They aren’t typically designed to be used by sales reps, and they don’t usually provide support for the kinds of interactions that occur between sales reps and potential buyers. Therefore, channel marketing enablement solutions can leave a significant “enablement gap” in channel operations, as the following diagram illustrates.

The lack of support for channel partner sales reps can be a significant issue because of the important role they play in the revenue generation process of many channel partners. A growing number of channel vendors are now recognizing the importance and value of improving the effectiveness and productivity of their partners’ sales reps. As a result, many channel vendors are beginning to implement channel sales enablement solutions to close the enablement gap and drive increased channel partner sales.

We’ve recently published a white paper that describes how a channel sales enablement solution can boost channel partner performance. You can access a free copy of our new white paper by clicking here.

About the Author

Tami Marek-Loper, President and Chief Visionary Officer for The Marek Group, Inc., a visionary thinker, pushing the envelope of what is possible in order to achieve greatness for both her company and her clients. "Thinking outside of the box is where you will find the ideas that change the world", is a living and breathing mantra found everywhere inside the company she helps to lead.

Field Sales Enablement is where her 20+ years of printing, marketing and technology have culminated. Providing frontline sales people with the right content, at the right time and in the right medium to maximize outcomes. By using data and predictive modeling, The Marek Group's Field Sales Effectiveness Platform can recommend to sales the exact piece of content needed to move the sale forward.