Customer obsession can give you a competitive advantage in sales.

Edward Gately, Senior News Editor

March 21, 2024

20 Slides

What does it take to be a channel sales superstar?

Salespeople are dealing with constant changes in strategy, rapidly evolving technology and a shifting customer demographic. And what works for one might not work for another depending on their role.

Our latest CF20 features 20 tips for channel sales success in various roles. The tips are directed at vendors and a variety of partner types.

Three experts in channel sales provided the tips:

  • Jay McBain, chief analyst at Canalys.

  • Michael Schmidtmann, peer group facilitator and business coach with Trans4mers.

  • John Buttery, senior business development at NCTech Imaging.

Three megatrends are happening in channel sales, Schmidtmann said. They are: more specialization, fewer people selling more, and far more automation. 

Trans4mers' Mike Schmidtmann

“It used to be that salespeople did everything,” he said. “We did our own prospecting, we did our own designs and quotes, we did the proposal, we even helped install stuff, and we'd do support calls. And now you have inside salespeople and outside salespeople. You get vertical market specialists, business development people, you've got technical overlays, you've got senior account managers; there are at least 10 flavors of salespeople, so it's more specialized.”

There are fewer and fewer outside salespeople who have bigger and bigger numbers, Schmidtmann said.

Related:CF20: 2024's 20 Top XDR Providers You Should Know

“When I was running my sales organization, a good number was $1 million a year in gross profit; that was an A,” he said. “Now junior salespeople have to do $1 million or $2 million. I know people making $10 million-$15 million in gross profit, so fewer people are selling more.”

More Automation in Channel Sales

In addition, things are getting more automated with customers doing self-service, especially with Microsoft and SaaS, Schmidtmann said.

“They don't even want a salesperson,” he said. “And a big part of what's going on now in sales is how we automate it more. So I think all three of those trends will continue."

Reflecting on the journey through countless sales channel optimizations, the importance of nurturing existing relationships while strategically driving performance has never been more apparent, Buttery said.

NCTech Imaging's John Buttery

“Each [reseller] holds untapped potential that can lead to exponential growth when aligned with the company's vision through comprehensive support and strategic incentives,” he said. “My experiences have taught me that the path to remarkable sales records lies in a partnership that values continuous improvement and shared success.”

Scroll through our slideshow above for 20 channel sales tips from the experts.

Related:CF20: 2024's 20 Top CPaaS Providers You Should Know

About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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