A channel partner can be defined as a company that partners with a manufacturer or vendor to market and sell the manufacturer’s/vendor’s products, services, or technologies. This is usually done through a co-branding relationship. Channel partners may be distributors, vendors, retailers, consultants, systems integrators (SI), technology deployment consultancies, and value-added resellers (VARs) and other such organizations.
The channel partner is part of the vendor’s indirect sales force, meaning that they sell the products and services on behalf of the vendor but they are an independent company. They may also sell products and services produced by other vendors as well as items they develop themselves.
Benefits of a Channel Partner Program
Without question, partner programs create significant growth in sales and distribution of a product or service. The best part about partnership programs is that both sides benefit from the increased revenue. For the vendor each new partnership not only generates revenue for your company, but it also grows your sales footprint. At the same time, the vendors’ partners can also grow revenue for their businesses.
Drive International Growth Through Localized Channel Partners
As well as driving sales, international Channel Partners can help decrease time to market and provide access to new competitive markets. Partners local to the region can help with language barriers, local customs and international business law and taxation
Reduce Cost of Sales
For all manufactures, reducing the cost of sales is important but it is especially important for start-ups and small businesses. Establishing an indirect sales channel rather than employing an in-house sales team can save on employee salaries and benefits as well as travel costs to visit prospects and the time wasted on unqualified leads which never convert to sales.
Take Advantage of Additional Expertise and Resources
Channel partners can give smaller vendors the resources they need to succeed. Vendors can use their partner’s team of IT professionals to deliver technical support and training to customers as well as their marketing team and budget to develop campaigns.
Companies utilizing partners for selling their products depend on distributors to provide information that can help improve the product. High-level intermediaries may offer their suppliers real-time access to sales data including information showing how products are selling by such characteristics as geographic location, type of customer, and product location (e.g., where located within a store, where found on a website).