Channel marketing combined with PR is your best channel to profit. This should be a no-brainer. But I’ve known CEOs who think otherwise. They believe a direct sales model is the only way to go. When it comes to selling software or services, this is a narrow strategy akin to tying your sneakers together and running a marathon. You are never going to win; or meet ambitious sales quotas.
You are hurting for sales, who isn’t? Having a direct sales setup severely limits your ability to go national and beyond. Smiling & dialing can only go so far. What you need, if you are an IT software or services vendor, is feet on the street. You need to cultivate a reseller channel. You need an army of arms & legs that will do the lion’s share of selling, training and deploying of your IT solution. The big boys have thousands of channel partners spread worldwide. They get the picture. They know they can’t go it alone. Yes, you give up profit margin but you make it up in volume in return.
Why more vendors don’t go this route beats me.
PR needs to be an active player in any channel partner program. PR must reach out to the many pub outlets that cater to this association-rich world of service providers, VARs, MSPs, and MSSPs. But most vendors fail to do the minimum with respect to PR and partners. They forget to publicly announce their multi-tiered partner programs, or cite margins and support options. Partners will jump through rings of fire to get publicity for themselves. Partners give vendors credibility. I believe in exploiting partners, and treat them like reference customers. The better they do, the better your company will fare.