Software Executive Magazine

February/March 2018

Software Executive magazine helps software executives grow their businesses by showcasing the business best practices of our readers, executives from established and innovative software companies.

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Page 39 of 43

5 Questions To Ask Prospective Partners To Reach Revenue Objectives Before selecting channel partners, make sure you ask the right questions about a prospect's sales capacity, customer reach, marketing resources, and market segment. W A Y N E M O N K SVP of Global Alliances & Channel Sales, ASG Technologies inside sales teams can bring strong value in represent- ing commodity-based products, where the sales cycle is shorter, fewer approvals are needed, and the solution is self-discoverable — meaning there is less need for live interaction. At the enterprise level, a mix of field and inside sales is often most effective. WHERE ARE YOUR SALES RESOURCES LOCATED? It's important to uncover a potential partner's ability to develop relationships with the audiences that matter most. Customers want to buy from people they like, and this means taking the time to build relationships with prospects. This is done most effectively in person. In fact, for most channel partners selling enterprise soft- ware, nearly 80 percent of clients reside within a 4-hour drive of field sales resources. When assessing a poten- tial partner's field sales resources, you need to look at the number of team members, where they are located, and whether they are fully trained on your solution. The most valuable partner will have a dedicated, well-popu- lated sales force close to the client. Ideally, a channel partner will already have a signifi- cant sales force in your target geographies. When con- sidering which channel partner to invest in, companies should look to the highest sales capacity as the best chance at return, as there is often a correlation between sales team and revenue. If a company doesn't know a partner's sales capacity before investing, it may be hether a company wants to strength- en its foothold in an existing market or expand into new ones, it should carefully assess potential channel partners' coverage in sought-after segments. By asking five questions, software companies can easily determine whether potential partners have the reach to propel sales coverage and help them reach their revenue goals. WHAT IS YOUR SALES CAPACITY? ARE SALES TEAM MEMBERS FIELD OR INSIDE SALES REPRESENTATIVES? One of the first things organizations should ask of their potential partners is whether their sales teams are comprised of field or inside sales representatives. When dealing with enterprise software and complex sales cycles, it's important to have a field sales team that can meet with clients in person and represent the business outcomes realized by incorporating the inno- vative and unique solutions they provide. Partners who can offer field resources will more easily be able to es- tablish themselves as trusted advisers to the client. While field sales are essential for enterprise software companies, inside sales representatives can bring value as well. Inside sales teams function well as sales devel- opment resources, handling the front end of the discov- ery process. This includes fielding inbound inquiries, vetting marketing-qualified leads (MQL), and setting up appointments for field sales teams. Independently, W When it comes to selecting channel partners who will extend your reach, drive sales, and accelerate revenue, it's critical for companies to consider the "Four C's" — commitment, competence, coverage, and capital. While these four criteria are essential to identifying the most productive partners for a business, the one that typically warrants the most questions is "coverage." CHANNEL STRATEGIES Framework By W. Monk 5 QUESTIONS TO ASK PROSPECTIVE PARNTERS TO REACH REVENUE OBJECTIVES SOFTWAREEXECUTIVEMAG.COM FEBRUARY/MARCH 2018 40

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