Trends Report

Being Strategic Does Not Guarantee Partner Loyalty

Landscape: The Channel Partner Loyalty Playbook

May 1st, 2013
Tim Harmon
With contributors:
Peter O'Neill , Tyler Otte


Every few years, channel partners reassess their vendor portfolios and determine how much to invest in each of their relationships. The tech industry ecosystem is now in that state, and tech vendors are vulnerable to channel partners' shifting investments and loyalty. Most channel partners hinge their loyalty on two factors: the length of time they've had a partner relationship with a tech vendor, and the profitability that that vendor relationship represents in their bottom line. The thing is, a significant number of channel partners don't consider their primary vendor to be their most profitable. Channel professionals' initial reaction might be to reevaluate their discount/incentive model. But getting into a discount war for the loyalty of partners is a "road to zero" (as in zero margins). There are many other levers of channel partners' profitability that channel professionals can pull to effect increased partner loyalty.

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