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Channel Futures Quarterly Agent Survey: Economy, Customer Demand Confidence Hold Despite M&A Concerns

Agents' reported biggest source of competition? Other agents.

James Anderson

March 3, 2023

10 Slides

Industry consolidation and more erratic customer purchasing priorities are keeping technology advisors on their toes in 2023, according to the latest survey of agent leaders.

Those conclusions come from the Q4 Technology Advisor Market survey, whose findings Channel Futures released on Thursday. The data, stemming from the responses of three-dozen customer-facing partners, points to a relatively confident group of entrepreneurs. Despite a global recession that has hit the vendor community hard with layoffs, agents are growing their teams. Moreover, customer appetite remains substantial as ever, despite a noted shift from the third quarter.

In Q3, only 7% of agents reported that customers’ willingness to spend money had dropped. Now that number is 26%. However, that still pales in comparison to agents who think spending is going up (32%) or staying the same (41%).

Q: From your perspective, how did customers’ willingness to spend money on technology in the fourth quarter of 2022 compare to quarter a year ago?

Q2

Q3

Q4

Increased

37%

43%

32%

Stayed the same

43%

50%

41%

Decreased

20%

7%

26%

Channel Futures Q4 Technology Advisor Market Survey

“Our fourth quarter was extremely strong, but we also saw deals push,” one respondent wrote. “Personally I think the sales cycle will be longer, but the deals will happen. We are seeing a tremendous amount of interest in the first six weeks of 2023.”

Looking Within

At the same time, a somewhat noticeable downward shift did occur in how agents reported feeling about their own industry. Thirty-one percent of advisors reported average confidence in the health of the industry, compared to 18% last quarter.

Q: What is your company’s level of confidence in the health of the industry? 

Q3

Q4

Excellent

18%

14%

Good

57%

49%

Average

18%

31%

Poor

7%

3%

Terrible

0

3%

Channel Futures Q4 Technology Advisor Market Survey

Industry consolidation is rising in the minds of agent leaders as a challenge for their business, as advisors and distributors come together. Moreover, other agents emerged as agents’ most common source of competition.

The slideshow above contains 10 key data points from the quarterly survey. It tracks which TSDs and vendors are increasing partner relationships and which technologies are gaining in partner sales.

You can also check out the Q3 agent survey results.

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email James Anderson or connect with him on LinkedIn.

Read more about:

AgentsChannel Research

About the Author(s)

James Anderson

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

James Anderson is a news editor for Channel Futures. He interned with Informa while working toward his degree in journalism from Arizona State University, then joined the company after graduating. He writes about SD-WAN, telecom and cablecos, technology services distributors and carriers. He has served as a moderator for multiple panels at Channel Partners events.

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