Channel News

Selling to SMB - it’s not about the product

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Author: Sean Murphy
As more and more vendors look for ways to reach the SMB market, our business - a small/medium VAR in the IT industry - has gone from relative obscurity to being one of the key “go-to-market” strategic partners for many of our suppliers. And while some of our vendors have worked out how to work with us and grow our business together, the majority still think SMB is just like Enterprise, only smaller.

Ask any vendor about what motivates a partner, and they will give the same (correct) answer - that we need to be able to sell the product and make money out of it. They may even go so far as to say that we don’t care about what product we sell (which certainly isn’t true for a VAR like ourselves). And yet we still have vendors coming to our office and deluge us with features about why their product is the best, without any acknowledgement that the relationship between a smaller VAR and an SMB customer is very different to that of (say) a national integrator and an enterprise customer.  ...Read More

A New Look At SWOT Analysis

Friday, July 06, 2007

Author: Cam Wayland
SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) is a simple, proven and well used method of assessing a business, its resources, and its environment. However, most partner account managers would not think of using it as the starting point in a partner or distributor review, nor in the account development process.

This paper takes a fresh look at this simple yet effective tool by using two different approaches. The first is to do the exercise from the perspective of the combined vendor/partner offering (ie. a "Collective SWOT"), rather than the traditional internal management perspective. The second is by adding a “vertical focus” across the tool to create two sets of action items - "MAX" activities (to maximise Strengths & Opportunities) and "MIN" activities (to minimise Weaknesses & Threats). ...Read More

Partner Profitability

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

ARN brought together six vendors and six channel partners for a discussion on profitability. Moheb Moses was invited as a 3rd party industry expert to provide his observations and feedback.

What follows is an edited transcript of the conversation with a number of breakouts focusing on major discussion points of the day. They include lead generation, deal registration and rebates. We also tackled the contentious issue of vendors recruiting from within the channel.  ...Read More

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