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A Channel Glossary
Account Manager
Vendor representative in charge of specific customers or channel partners.

Shortened term for Web Log, a Web site that is updated on a regular basis, structured in reverse chronological order so that the most recent information is listed first, typically with a strong personal perspective.

Marcom activity to the channel or end-user. Less formal or comprehensive than a program, campaigns may still have membership requirements. To be effective, marcom must work directly with field sales management to align the message with partner business needs.

A system used for extending sales beyond a company's internal resources, using partners such as resellers and retailers.

Channel Captain
A channel partner who is given a leadership role to help organize the channel and prevent conflict.

Channel Conflict
Dischord in the channel, which can be due to a number of factors. Some varieties include Horizontal Conflict, involving partners on the same channel level (such as 2 retailers) and Vertical Conflict, involving members on different channel levels (such as wholesaler and a retailer).

Channel Length
A description of the size and number of levels in a channel.

Channel Strategy
The senior level, essential idea for accomplishing an objective. A good channel strategy has several attributes: it matches strengths with the competition's weaknesses, it is consistent with company culture, it can be implemented, it is clear and simple to communicate and it is comprehensive. Most importantly, it has to work.

Channel Tactics
Specific activities that support the strategy, mission and objectives. Channel recruitment, training, programs, tools and events all can be effective tactics is appropriately aligned and managed.

Going to market with multiple brands tied to a product or service.

Marketing effort, such as advertising, in which the vendor shares the cost.

Design Win
When a product is incorporated as part of another company's sales model.

The reselling of a product by a partner without agreement from the vendor.

Grey Market
An unofficial market in which products are bought and sold at prices lower than the authorized prices.

Short-term goals for channel productivity. Frequently set around product launches, product awareness, program recruitment and program requirement compliance, initiatives have set metrics and time frames, usually less than a year. The initiative may be a formal, named project, a pilot project or an informal executive directive.

Acronym for Internet Service Provider. A company that provides Internet access.

Acronym for Independent Software Vendor. A company that develops and sells software.

Acronym for Market Development Funds. Money spent by a vendor to support the channel initiatives, such as advertising, direct mail, trade shows, customer events, seminars and sales incentives.

A key step or milestone within an objective. Like the objective, the mission also is a high-level goal, but usually short to medium range in nature. Unlike the objective, the mission almost always is quantitative and clearly measurable.

This is a long-range, high-level goal, often qualitative in nature and frequently with a time frame of 2 to 3 years. In addition to unit sales and revenue quotas, the objective often is stated to include market share, account coverage and channel loyalty.

Acronym for Original Equipment Manufacturer. A company that manufactures a product and sells it to a reseller.

Company which has an official recognition in a channel and provides extended sales reach to a vendor. Also known as providers, members and middlemen.

The vehicle to take a plan to the channel, a program is a contractual relationship between a vendor and the channel. Designed to reduce the costs of channel administration, a program is a collection of support, training and benefits available to qualified members. Programs are frequently tiered to support account coverage across broad, tele-managed and managed accounts. The best programs are based on provider business models, not vendor product lines.

Targeted marcom event designed to drive sales. Unlike advertising, promotions answer the "Why now?" question.

A company that provides reach to the vendor as part of the channel. For legal reasons, some vendors prefer the term provider rather than partner. Also known as partners, members and middlemen.

Solution Provider
Widely applied term, which typically refers to a channel partner that combines products or services, such as a VAR.

A practice used by a vendor to inflate sales and earnings figures, by delivering products to the channel ahead of schedule.

Acronym for Value-Added Reseller. A company which sells products made by another company after adding something of value.

A company which provides product and organizes a channel to sell it.

Channel Terms
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