Today, many companies that try to do business globally, including world giants such as Microsoft, AWS, SAP, develop business partners and channel programs
Channel, also known as business partner management, is a subject that global companies are very familiar with. Today, many companies that try to do business globally, including world giants such as Microsoft, AWS, SAP, develop business partners and channel programs and try to expand it. On the other hand, when we look at domestic software and technology companies, the subject is limited. This may be due to the small size of the relevant market and the product, as well as not knowing the channel management or the company culture and business model.
As being someone who started his business life in a software distributor company by working with business partners, channel management and business partners frankly appealed to me more than direct business development and sales operations. Because working with a business partner and channel means acting together and establishing friendships in a sense. On the other hand, there are difficulties such as the measure of friendship, the written and unwritten rules of the business partnership system, and the sensitive management of the competition between business partners.
For the companies producing corporate software and having the motivation to do something nationally and more globally, it is almost indispensable to define a channel program. As you expand the operation across countries, regions, will you assign sales managers, technical experts to each country? If you have power, it will be a plus, but it is not an easy matter. On the other hand, customers often look for local support. This leads to the issue of establishing a team in every country, which is often not directly provided by the manufacturer, but carried out with local business partners. According to the service agreement, customer support is provided by the local partner, manufacturer or hybrid model. Of course, you need to find customers before providing maintenance services 😊. Again, business partners represent existing local contacts, know the culture and represent you as your company's representative and earning partner in their own geographies and carry out business development and sales activities on your behalf.
The fact that the business partner is developing business on your behalf without you is sympathetic, but finding a business partner, onboarding and orientation, training, and following the processes together are issues that require effort and need to be worked on. Business partners trying to participate in the same projects, competition and conflicts of interest among themselves are also issues that need to be managed sensitively and followed fairly and with confidence to protect the ecosystem.
I have come across companies that have not made or failed to make a plan regarding channel management in the past and currently, and I continue to encounter them. As I mentioned above, there are market or product-related reasons for this, but there are also reasons related to company culture and business model. We can say that the reasons arising from the business model are that software companies give the image of a service company rather than a product company, and that scalable business models are limited. Another important factor is company or managerial culture. Business partnership means sharing in a sense. The sharing logic here is sometimes difficult to accept by the company. If you are making a short-term and limited plan, it is acceptable, but as I mentioned above, if you have a national or global plan, you should create a channel program and update your strategic plans accordingly. (Strategic planning is the subject of a separate article).
As a summary, channel/business partner management is important for companies that want to take their company to the next level, it is an exponential topic that I enjoy for myself, requires effort, and returns in the medium and long term. In the next article, I will try to share the types of business partnerships. Welcome to your blog post. Use this space to connect with your readers and potential customers in a way that’s current and interesting. Think of it as an ongoing conversation where you can share updates about business, trends, news, and more.