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Linking Corporate Strategy with Field Sales

By Scott Karren

For the last few years I have thought a lot about writing the definitive book on channels. Initially I had thought to write a single comprehensive tomb. However, as I began to outline the chapters, it has become clear that I need to create two related but separate books: one for the VP or director of worldwide channels about channel strategy and management and one for the regional VP, director or country manager about field sales and account coverage.

Clients hire Channel Ventures for many different projects, but most are subsets of these four broad categories: to create strategy, to develop (or refresh) programs, to launch products and to manage accounts.

Strategy: Find Opportunities, Forecast Trends, Research Needs, Plan Budgets, Build Models, Segment Resellers, etc.

Program: Develop Positioning, Revise Incentives, Package Benefits, Template Process, Set Discounts, Create Tools, etc.

Launch: Recruit Partners, Create Demand, Open New Channels, Run Promotions, Position Products, Pilot Initiatives, etc.

Coverage: Train CAMs, Build Sales Teams, PCAP Profiles, Communicate Ideas, Facilitate Forums, Manage Accounts, etc.

Strategy and Programs are corporate issues about creating infrastructure, setting policies and allocating resources. Launch and Programs are field issues about implementation and market share and sales. One side is about leveraging process and the other is about consistently hitting a number. Neither works well is isolation.

As we document the best practices in the channel, we are working with current and former clients to explore critical channel issues. I will use the blog to clarify my thoughts, develop channel management models and connect with other channel professionals. Read about it here first, but donŐt stop there.

Participate in the conversation. Mix it up with me. Debate my positions. Bounce ideas around. Tell me why you agree or disagree with my ideas. Show me more related links. Send me an e mail and join our informal community of channel professionals.

Scott Karren is the CEO of Channel Ventures, a specialized consulting firm that works with vendors and partners to build profitable channels. Mr. Karren has led his companies to successfully complete over 1,000 channel projects impacting over $150B of channel revenue.

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