Strategic Alliances and Channel Management Services
Services to help you define a strategic alliance or regional sales channel strategy, form and manage a partner or value-added reseller network and successfully manage these relationships to achieve sustainable business growth.
Why use my services?
The experiences that formed a new approach to regional business development and channel management
“Phil is really great to work with. When we were seeking advice how to set up a reseller network abroad, he came highly recommended. Now we know why. He is a real expert and an asset to every business. Entrusting him to represent your company abroad and design expansion plans is one of the best things you will do.”
- Vladimir Budejicky
CEO, EForms BV, Netherlands
Between 2003 and 2008, as the senior manager responsible for strategic alliances for Sony Business Europe and then as VP Sales in OmniBus Systems I worked directly with some of the best performing value-added resellers in EMEA (each achieving market-leading sales for multiple technology manufacturers). In this time, I observed that reseller relationships grew best from developing a close personal relationship, understanding and acting on their business needs as well as the technology suppliers, and developing a way of working that best positioned us all for success. I achieved some notable sales successes through partners, including the sale of a GBP £1.5 million program of projects to a national broadcaster.
Building on this experience, in 2008 I formed a new company, The VAR Network, to provide technology suppliers with part-time services to build and strengthen their channel to market in the EMEA region. Together with a full-time business partner, the business grew to have a portfolio of clients, to whom we provided between 2 and 6 days services per month each as a cost-effective and low-risk approach to open this region. During this time, we developed close relationships with a strong network of value-added resellers across EMEA. We learned what best to do, and what not to do, to successfully bring a new proposition to market. We built reseller networks and achieved sales in the EMEA region for these clients.
At the end of 2013, one of our clients was so happy with our development of their business in the EMEA region that they made me an offer to join them full time to run their global sales and marketing. So I returned to the world of being an employee again for a number of years, directing sales and business development for several technology suppliers. In these roles, I recruited, managed and worked closely with some fantastic channel managers and value-added resellers in EMEA, APJ and the Americas. Together with them, I continued my journey of awareness and understanding of how best to develop regional business through reseller networks supported by a well-managed program. In one of these companies, the revenues from the reseller channel grew from almost nothing to 60% of the total revenues in the EMEA region.
In September 2019, I started lababoo, initially as a vehicle to finish my PhD research (developing the PATRIAS™ methodology). With that now drawing to a close, I have been reflecting on the above experiences and together with input from another highly experienced channel manager, developed a new program of services to aid companies define strategic alliance and sales channel strategies. prepare plans, identify and appoint partners, and manage relationships to drive sustainable, profitable sales growth .
A new regional business development program built on experience and contacts
The program has been systematically developed, breaking down regional business development into twelve well-defined steps from initial viability investigation and planning, through to consistent revenue growth. Each step has a clear objective, deliverables, and metrics/goals built from an analysis of common channel management mistakes and successful approaches - both observed and from cross-industry sector research.
My services are delivered as a part-time service, typically between 4 to 6 days a month of services, to aid new entrant or smaller companies to cost-effectively build and manage a regional sales channel. As with any sales activity, the 80-20 rule applies - administration and documentation is no more than 20% of the time, with 80% spent actively engaging with partners and customers, with regular reporting to keep you aware of progress. The following summary provides a very high-level overview of the program:
Steps 1 to 3 - Planning: Before planting a seed and expecting it to grow, we need to be sure that it is in an environment to succeed. In this first step of the program, we take your current product offering and test it in the EMEA market with a few sample resellers. A report is produced that includes an analysis (customer, competitor and internal capability), strategy (criteria, options and recommendation) and action plan (offering, marketing, channel and support). With this, you can make informed and timely decisions on how best to enter or grow your sales in the EMEA market.
Steps 4 to 6 - Formation: Once we have confidence that the seed and environment are a good match, we plant, water and give sunshine to it. This starts with developing the product offering messaging for the regional audience, preparing a sales enablement framework and initial regional promotional material. We agree on a channel partner profile for your business and approach suitable companies across the region. Once appointed, we learn more about their strategy and business needs, then work with them to ensure that your product offering is prioritised in their sales activity. and identify initial customers to approach. By the end of this stage, you should expect your first EMEA channel partners to have been appointed.
Steps 7 to 9 - Development: The seed germinates, roots begin to grow, initial shoots appear and early leaves begin to unfold. We set SMART development goals for each channel partner and help them achieve them, including training their sales executives on how to use the sales enablement material to sell the value of your product offering. The first customer interest should be observed and, depending on the type of product offering you have, either an initial sale or some qualified leads be in place. By the end of this stage, you should have an embryonic sales pipeline forming.
Steps 10 to 12 - Revenue Generation: The plant grows strong from receiving care and attention, more buds form and flowers regularly bloom. These steps are focussed on developing the capability of each partner to identify and qualify their own leads, progressing opportunities through sales stages and regularly winning deals. This includes on-going training and communication, consistent support (sales, delivery and on-going), sensitivity to the partner needs, and recognition of success. These steps become business-as-usual, generating revenues, customer satisfaction, and achieving sustainable, profitable growth for your business.
Contact me now to discuss how I can manage and grow your network of value added resellers, helping your organisation drive sustainable business growth in a timely manner.