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Autumn: by far my favorite time of year! The leaves are changing daily to some of the most brilliant colors in nature. The weather is crisp but not too cold. Football is in the air, and two of my favorite holidays (Halloween & Thanksgiving) are right around the corner.
It also happens to be a wonderful time of year for the channel marketing industry. Like the leaves on a tree, the ever changing channel landscape impacts our positioning, our solutions, and how we move business through the channel. And through change comes a wonderful opportunity to grow our channel business with the proper strategy and execution.
The months of October and November are also a great time to start planning for 2015. At this point you probably have a pretty good idea of what went well this past year, and what needs improvement. Well now is the time when you should start to develop your plan for next year and start trying to secure and allocate marketing dollars to initiatives that are likely to Move the Channel.
Move the Channel’s Marketing Guide and RIMES Chart can help you organize your strategy during this planning process. As a broad-stroke checklist for all of your channel requirements and future goals, this guide can only offer a general blueprint for channel success; it is incumbent upon you to decide which programs, resources, and benefits are appropriate for your 2015 approach, and which are not.
As 2014 draws to a close, I challenge you to be as bold as the many colors of the trees you see on your lunch break today. Take a look back at the MTC Marketing Guide and try to figure out what is missing from your channel strategy. Are there certain components—even small ones—that your channel partners are currently lacking? Remember, being bold doesn’t always mean taking a big gamble. Sometimes it just means avoiding the same old status quo, creating that little extra separation between you and your competitors.
Are you aggressively guiding your channel partners? Do they have all of the resources they need? Are you communicating, enabling, and training them to be more self-sufficient? Have you properly allocated or invested in a Channel Incentive Program that influences and incentivized your partners’ salespeople and technical sales folks?
As always, shoot me an email with your ideas and any questions.
Move the Channel,
About the Author: Travis Smith is the Founder and Chief Writer for Move the Channel, a worldwide network and community of channel marketing & sales Chiefs and channel thought leaders. He also is a leader at HMI Performance Incentives, a business improvement company focused on sales & channel incentive strategies. Travis helps some of the most respected companies in the world design, implement, and manage their domestic and global channel incentive programs.