Bridget Gleason is VP of Sales for Logz.io and my regular partner on Front Line Fridays. Special guest on this episode is Dave Taylor, Chief Marketing Officer at Impartner, the number one SaaS Solution for Managing Your Channel.
- Andy introduces guest, Dave Taylor, CMO at Impartner. Impartner recently conducted a study on the increasing difficulty of filling Enterprise sales roles. Impartner sells SaaS solutions that enable indirect channel sales.
- Over the last few years, Impartner customers complained of difficulty to find qualified Enterprise salespeople. This inspired Impartner’s study. 74% of companies are lacking qualified reps and so are not hitting revenue targets.
- Indirect channel sales are scalable. You can ramp up or scale down your team as you need. It is a reasonable approach to supplementing your sales team. Dave explains how to leverage the indirect channel reps.
- The headaches of recruiting, hiring, and training are carried by Impartner, not by the client. The scaling company trains the reps in their product and process.
- Impartner’s clients are 80-90% in tech. Some large manufacturers have been reaching out to Impartner. They were already using channel marketing. About 67-70% of B2B commerce is still done through channels.
- Dave was a field sales rep for Intel, just as they were moved to “sales force automation” (CRM). They chose Siebel and it took a year-and-a-half to implement. At the time, it was a competitive edge. Now everyone is on CRM.
- Impartner is built on the premise that if CRM works for direct channels, it should work for indirect channels. Customers tell them they have complete control over the direct channel, but their indirect channel is a black box.
- Bridget suggests that startups need to be close to the customer, so it’s not helpful to move to a channel too early. Potentially, though, scaling is easier with channels.
- Dave cites Atlassian, a SaaS company that went 100% channel from the start. That is easy with a SaaS model. For many startups, Dave recommends starting direct.
- Andy asks more about the study results. Why do companies always look outside for sales? Shouldn’t companies invest in developing their people?
- Bridget notes VPs would prefer to promote from within, but sometimes find it is not a good match when a position opens us. Andy sees we are on a slide in productivity. Dave gives examples of channel blends.
- Channel sales reps are under the control of Impartner clients. The tools make it easy to interact. Dave explains client success examples. Meaningful engagement helps all parties. However, partner loyalty is passé.