If you grew up in the 70s, like me, you learned, “3 is a Magic Number” watching Schoolhouse Rock on Saturday mornings. Hip hop trio De la Sol carried the same lesson via song into the 80s as did alternative rockers Blind Melon in the 90s. The mystic trinity reveals itself once again in Zift’s latest webinar: Driving Higher Channel Performance through Integration.
Three channel experts from Forrester Research, visual analytics leader Qlik® and Zift joined forces to share their insights on integration. We’ve talked about integration a lot here in Channel Chatter. That’s because Zift believes strongly that integration is absolutely vital to channel success. In this new webinar, our experts took a deeper dive, exploring three key elements of integration: Function, Process and Technology.
Step 1: Integrate Functions to Boost Performance & Results
Toni Adams, SVP of Partners and Alliances at Qlik, was up first to talk about function. Toni emphasized how integrating critical functions, like sales and marketing, can boost channel performance and results. He noted that the key to unlocking the true potential and value of channel partners is an integrated extended team, with coordinated interplay between sales and marketing teams. Organizations must align and integrate functions to ensure every phase of a partner’s sales cycle is supported with simple, predictable, and profitable action.
Step 2: Integrate Processes to Create a Seamless Partner Experience
Next up, Zift’s Laz Gonzalez spoke to the importance of integrating key processes to create a seamless channel and partner experience. Far too many partners feel like they’re working with different companies as they are moved through the processes of recruitment, onboarding, training and activation. Laz stressed that if channel organizations can’t move partners through all of these processes within 90 days, the likelihood of success over their lifecycle is very low. Channel leaders must integrate all of these processes to create one seamless, consistent partner experience from initial interaction through demand creation and beyond to really push the needle on partner performance.
Step 3: Integrate ChanTech to Stay Ahead of the Curve
Forrester Principal Analyst Jay McBain then took the ball to discuss how and why channel technology must work together to improve adoption, productivity and ROI. He pointed out the average channel manager is attempting to oversee a vast array of activities and partners every day. To get a handle on everyday functions and processes, they are cobbling together a variety of disparate technology solutions. And they are failing. Jay stressed that it makes much more sense to have a robust set of integrated tools that address challenges across the entire channel lifecycle and also work with the legacy systems and infrastructure in place today. Because your channel is growing, influencers are changing and buyers are evolving, an integrated approach to channel technology is the only way to stay ahead of the curve.
I encourage you to watch the on-demand webinar to learn more about these three distinct branches of integration from three true channel experts, each of whom brought a unique perspective to the discussion. Far from a crowd, I think you’ll find that, when it comes to integration and channel success, three is indeed a magic number.
Originally posted on Channel Chatter, by David Buffaloe, Zift Solutions VP of Marketing