In the not-so-distant past, it was common for vendor organizations with channel selling networks to go-to-market through two-tier distribution models organized around a traditional tier structure. But as digital innovation and globalization has expanded the ways businesses and their channel partners collaborate and offer integrated value to customers, outdated methods are being modernized. In search of innovation, businesses are shifting from organization-centricity to ecosystem-centricity and channel ecosystems are becoming the new norm. Healthy ecosystems involve a complex web of interdependent enterprises and relationships that create and allocate business value together. Yet, truly supporting the go-to-market needs of the vast and varied ecosystem partners represents several challenges for organizations.
Here’s a glimpse into today’s channel landscape and how ecosystems differ from traditional markets requiring different enablement activities.
The development of the channel ecosystem has created a tenfold increase in partner types across industries who need to collaborate in order to deliver customer solutions across influencers, referral, selling, integration, fulfilling and servicing. With this collaboration comes a vital prerequisite for ‘all ingredients of the pie’ to successfully mix – across the customer’s buying journey – to add support and value to the ecosystem solution.
Supporting the go-to-market needs of a channel ecosystem comprising of multiple resale, hybrid, cloud, transacting and non-transacting businesses and partners represents several challenges for vendors.
A recent Forrester study of more than 400 channel strategy and partnership decision-makers found that leaders are looking to improve channel ecosystem visibility and management, enhance and non-complicate the partner experience across the ecosystem and improve their incentive programs to work within the new landscape.
Convergence and Integration
Vendor organizations must work with partners to converge around customers to deliver more comprehensive solutions and exceptional integrated experiences across evolving buyers’ journeys, the rise of subscription and consumption models. There is also the realization to recognize they cannot navigate the future alone and must embrace the concept of mutuality with a level of formal or informal collaboration with interacting and interdependent relationships around shared ideals, standards, and goals.
The development of new tri-fold channel programs and activities that build, enhance and support for mutuality and combined value are in the cards. Are you ready?
To further understand how the channel landscape has shifted, how channel ecosystems differ from traditional markets and what new channel activities and incentives will help you nourish your business – take a look at this insightful paper: Nourish Your Channel Ecosystem: How to apply fresh strategies and solutions for healthier partnership growth.