We are excited that our work has helped an important client to update their channel partner program. Last week, they announced the new program and got good press on it.
About a year ago, my client was introducing smaller, less expensive systems that were meant to be sold through the channel. Although the client already had a channel program in place, it was not geared for these new products. So, the client needed to update their channel program to better motivate and attract channel partners to resell these new systems. This client engaged Brillianta to help them with market research and strategy.
The initial market research had four objectives:
- Better understand the channel partners' existing business models and needs
- Get channel feedback on new systems and validate potential markets for these
- Get feedback on existing channel program
- Identify best practices for similar programs from other vendors
In partnership with the client, Brillianta developed a custom interview guide to address the client's needs. Then, Brillianta completed the research in two phases: first for North America and later for Europe and Asia.
We conducted structured phone interviews with client's channel partners worldwide. We spoke with ~30 of their channel partners around the world, which is about 10% of their channel partners, analyzed and summarized collected information. The research report included a summary of channel partners' business models, product feedback and likely markets for the new systems, feedback on existing channel program and opportunities for improvement. As typical of most of my projects, we had a few 'a-ha' moments.
The client clearly liked our insights and recommendations, as they asked for more detailed recommendations on defining the next-generation's program framework. We had put together a broad brush-strokes framework that included incentives (discounts, rebates, etc.), market development funds (MDF), marketing resources, training, pre-sales support, business processes, etc.
In a nutshell, we created a broad brushstrokes framework from what the research has shown to be a "best-in-class" channel program together with general staffing recommendations. At that point, the client's market strategist took the research and recommendations and worked with their channel and other organizations to turn the framework into reality.
Last week, the client publicly announced the program in the market. And one of my contacts at the company told me that they ended up heavily relying on the research and implementing a large majority of recommendations. We are glad that we were able to help!
Based on the press coverage, channel partners like the new program. We sure hope that the updated channel program leads to a substantial increase in new system sales for both the client and their channel partners!