How Advanced Channel Analytics Are Transforming Channel Management
Once upon a time most of the strategies employed by vendors to manage the channel consisted of little more than a hope and a prayer. Channel chiefs would set up plans they hoped would achieve a quarterly goal. In truth, most of them had no real way of knowing whether that plan was having any material impact until long after the quarter had ended.
IT vendors in the channel are always trying to gain market share at the expense of rivals, while protecting margins in segments of the market from which they generate the most revenue. Today, channel executives at large vendors are taking advantage of a plethora of advanced channel analytics to affect sales outcomes on a daily basis. Point of sale data, which is collected in real time, allows channel managers to easily comprehend where they need to press an advantage or respond to a competitive attack. Most of the time that competitive attack comes in the form of discounts and rebates in a specific geographic region or vertical industry segment.
As a result, vendors that have access to fewer analytic resources are immediately at a distinct disadvantage. Our goal at Channel Mechanics is to help level the channel playing field by making it easier for channel managers to both access advanced channel analytics and, equally as important, be able to act on that intelligence in real time.
Achieving that goal requires an ability to navigate a decision tree concerning what specific benefits to make available to any given partner within a very specific allotted amount of time. Compensation always drives behavior. The challenge and opportunity facing channel executives has always been finding the most effective means of wielding compensation to drive very specific behaviors. That’s where advanced channel analytics come into play.
Channel Mechanics has created a channel management platform that uniquely enables channel managers navigate a decision tree to deeply segment channel partners. A channel manager, in an extreme example, can narrow a specific set of rewards and incentives down to one partner with the click of a few buttons. Based on analysis of current purchasing trends, the channel manager can decide for how long to make those incentives available. The days when channel managers had to wield channel incentives like a blunt instrument are over. It’s now possible to leverage a whole range of channel analytics to manage the channel as a fine instrument.
Obviously, there’s no substitute for channel experience. But all too often channel managers are making decisions based on gut feelings rather than facts. In many cases, however, it’s hard to distinguish between a valid instinct and a simple case of indigestion.
Channel Mechanics is dedicated to the proposition that whenever possible, channel managers should be able to make better fact-based decisions, faster. That requires a lot more than a basic partner relationship management (PRM) application that typically provides little more than a list of partner records. Modern channel management requires access to advanced channel analytics that surface new opportunities and identify potential competitive threats. Channel managers armed with real-time insights can now impact outcomes in the channel with unprecedented surgical precision.
We all know that managing channels is a complex endeavor. There are now more types and classes of partners than ever before. Multiple tiers of distribution often make it harder still to see the proverbial channel forest, much less appreciate what might be happening in any one corner of it. With advanced channel analytics, you can now shine a light on even the darkest corners of the channel.
Clearly, advanced analytics are transforming how every modern business is managed. The challenge and opportunity for channel managers now is in finding a way to apply those same capabilities within the context of their specific channel ecosystem. With this in mind, we invite you to take a look for yourself by requesting a demo of our channel enablement platform today, and see how advanced channel analytics can transform your channel tomorrow.
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