The Channel Sales Enablement Imperative

In optimizing your company’s ability to effectively market to, sell to, and service customers in the global economy, selling through channel partners needs to be at least part of the discussion, if not a critical part of the success equation. Take the technology industry as an example, where 60% to 70% of sales in the world are generated by channel partners.

The idea of leveraging the marketplace credibility, geographic reach, implementation expertise, value-add services, etc., of channel partners is compelling to most sales executives. But any of us who have been in channel management understand that between the step of you promoting products and services via channel partners, and checks coming back to you, a lot of hard work needs to be done. So what can/should companies do to help their channel partners generate more sales out, so that they in turn get more sales in?

To begin to answer that question was the fundamental goal of the CSO Insights 2016 Channel Sales Optimization study. This was our third biannual research project to assess the challenges facing companies that sell through channels, understand why those problems exist, and more importantly understand what can be done to leverage people, process, technology and knowledge to overcome those issues.

The study found a wide disparity of results in terms of channel sales success. On one end of the spectrum 6.7% of the channel management professionals survey reported that more than 65% of their channel partners met or exceeded revenue expectations over the past year, while on the other end 26.7% of the study participants reported that less than 25% hit their sales goals.

Through a deeper analysis of the 57 metrics collected as part of the survey, insights emerged about what best practices, services, and behaviors provide the foundation of an effective channel management strategy. Today, CSO Insights is releasing the result of that analysis in the form of two deliverables. The first of these is the 2016 Channel Sales Optimization report. This 27-page report initially overviews the study demographics, channel sales revenue results, and projected changes in partner networks going forward. The report then focuses on the following areas:

  • Process used for supporting and engaging channel partners
  • Level of relationship that companies have achieved with their channel partners
  • Sale enablement services being offered to channel partners
  • Assessment of the various types of training services provided to channel partners
  • Assessment of a company’s visibility into channel partner’s pipelines
  • Assessment of core channel management fundamentals
  • Assessment of the ability to affect channel mindshare
  • Assessment of company/channel partner communications
  • Assessment of overall channel partnership development
  • Assessment of channel coaching effectiveness


The second deliverable is the complete chart set with all the answers to all the questions from the latest study that is available to members only. To access the report, click on the following link: 2016 Channel Sales Optimization Study. Members can access this report immediately. It will be available to the open market January 16, 2017.

CSO Insights advisory services clients looking to optimize the performance of their channel partners in 2017 will find value in reviewing the findings of this study. But we also encourage you to set up a briefing with your CSO Insights analyst to not only discuss the findings in more detail, but also brainstorm the specific courses of action that your company should be considering to turbocharge channel sales success going forward.

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