More than $500 billion in IT goods and services is sold and delivered through North America channel partners-solution providers, managed service providers, systems integrators, custom systems builders, ISVs and VARs. Most vendors are dependent upon solution provider and reseller partners to reach and manage segments of the IT marketplace that they simply can’t reach with a direct sales organization. For many of them, increasing channel revenue is a product of both increasing existing partners’ sales and expanding the size of the partner base to increase volume of sales. The latter half of that statement is the reason why nearly every vendor is perpetually recruiting new partners.
The perpetual vendor recruitment machine presents a daunting problem for solution providers. Vendors are constantly calling and looking for meetings. Vendors sponsor industry and media trade shows to meet new solution providers for inclusion in their portfolios. And solution providers are often asked by customers for new technologies that necessitate exploring new partner and supplier relationships.
Solution providers, on average, will join two to three vendor programs over the next 12 months. Amazingly, they will regret that decision more than half the time. In most cases, it can take up to a year or longer for a new partner-solution provider relationship to take root and pay benefits.