Channel readiness is an approach to assess why your partner channel sales are performing at the current level and what the inhibitors may be to accelerate sales performance. While understanding all the elements that impact your channel sales performance can be difficult, having an approach to ensure the key elements are in place for your partner channel to perform is critical.
Launching a new product, a new partner program, expanding to a new market, or assessing performance of your channel sales are all great opportunities to make sure everything is in place for your channel to deliver the sales results you need. Think of channel readiness in terms of a launch pad. Is everything in place for your channel partners to be successful? Are you ready to launch that new product? Are you ready to enter that new market? Having a channel readiness checklist will at least ensure you are asking the right questions.
Following is simple ten point channel readiness checklist:
- Partner Profile - do you understand the profile of a successful channel partner?
- Channel Capacity - how many partners, how many salespeople, how many transactions are needed by region?
- Economic Model - does your channel program provide a profitable business model to your partners?
- Product Enablement/Access - do partners have access to the product and know how to use it?
- Skills & Education - are you providing the right level of training to your partners and do you know who is and is not trained?
- Sales Support - do you have the resources in place to support your partners throughout the entire sales cycle, including post sales?
- Marketing - do you have a channel marketing plan in place to deliver the lead volumes needed to achieve the sales targets?
- Order to Cash - is the infrastructure in place to register leads, place orders, ship products, and complete sales transactions?
- Partner Payment Systems - can you pay your partners in a timely and clear manner?
- Management System - do you have the data and tools to understand the performance of your channel and make decisions to improve results?
This simple checklist gives you a starting point to assess the channel readiness of your partner program. If you have questions or would like to discuss how to apply a channel readiness methodology to your business, please let us know.