Are you making these mistakes when you partner with managed service providers and IT service providers? If you are, it will hamper, damage or kill your success with sales. Here's what you need to avoid.

May 5, 2015

3 Min Read
10 Mistakes to Avoid in Channel Sales Development

By Donagh Kiernan 1

Great businesses work hard to learn what it takes to sell their products. Great businesses exercise constant efforts in trying new and different things adjusting their product, how they market and sell and what types of customers they should target. Building and leading a great business is constantly pushing for more and better all the time. Staying the same is falling behind, resting is losing. The market is constantly changing and every business needs to change to keep ahead or even to stay in the game.

The faster growing businesses learn faster. They try more things more smartly and focus in what is working best. Having the right expertise can save you time and money in learning faster.

The following is a list of some of the mistakes that hamper, damage or kill success with sales channel initiatives for companies. OK, maybe a few more than 10.

1. Building a Partner Program in a back room for months before engaging the market

2. Spending time and money preparing ‘standard’ legal contracts before engaging the market

3. Ignoring your partner company’s priorities and blatantly and inappropriately trying shove your interests to the top of the list

4. Instantly agreeing to partner with a company in a far off market without the proper evaluation

5. Spending 2 years or more in partner discussions with SAP, IBM, Oracle, Microsoft, Accenture or any other big global top-of-the-market potential partner when it’s a long shot that the partnership will work in the first place

6. Allowing, or even thinking of, Direct Sales People to manage partners

7. Investing too much time and money with single opportunity partners

8. Spending too much time trying to find a partner who can do everything

9. Unrealistic revenue forecast timelines through sales channel partners

10. Ignoring a potential ideal partner because you view them as a direct competitor, and they’re not

11. Expecting a partner to be able to sell and get results without training

12. Managing the partner with a stick while not supporting them through the sales process

13. Not seeking to understand your partner’s business while being too rigid or ‘standard’ in your model

14. Talking about technology and money details too early and ignoring partner fit

15. Exclusivity: blindly awarding it or refusing it without really understanding why

16. Making an agreement with partner CEOs and not talking to their sales team

17. Failing to understand how your partner currently markets and sells

18. Not being ready to support your partner in sales and/or product delivery

19. Not having clear validated objectives in selecting partners in your chosen markets

20. When finding a suitable partner then spending months fighting over legal agreements before you know there is a real opportunity in working together

21. Selecting a partner company that doesn’t work for you then thinking that partnering is not for you.

Tenego Partnering has seen many of these mistakes in our role as an architect and manager of sales partner channels for software companies across the world. We can help organizations avoid them. Tenego acts as part of a software company’s team providing services that include partner strategy, recruitment and management, among many others.


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