The Partner of Today Isn’t the Partner of Tomorrow

The speed of change within channel sales comes at lightning speed. The partner of today isn’t the partner of tomorrow…truth be told, the partner of 2020 isn’t the partner of 2021!

In an Accenture survey, 76% of channel business leaders agree that their current business models will be unrecognizable in the next five years. When considering what is contributing to this change in landscape, two variables, in particular, lead the charge – technology and a new generation of sales partners.

Over the past several years, especially in 2020, companies and channel marketers have been rapidly adopting technology and software to drive sales, collect data, and support their channel partners more effectively. However, in May of this year, Forrester reported that 80% of indirect businesses operate in silos using manual management processes. 

How is this possible? The benefits of digital transformation within the channel are very evident. Companies that have transformed to a more digital landscape have experienced boosted opportunities for partners add unlocked several key growth capabilities such as making data-driven decisions. So, what’s the hold-up? The answer is quite simple — your partners.

It should come as no surprise that the track has become heavily influenced by the millennial generation. While older generations have been the backbone of the channel for the past thirty to forty years, they are beginning to phase out. It is estimated that more than 1 in 3 workers and over 46 percent of potential B2B buyers are millennials.

These are significant statistics because companies are needing to transform to better keep up with their changing salesforce. To do so, they need to integrate better technology to keep up with a younger, nimbler, and more innovative partner.

Gone are the days of simply providing your partners with battle cards, a partner portal, and promises of a spiff to entice them to sell. To motivate and incentivize the new, younger generation of sales partners, you must provide them with more innovative tools along with real-time feedback, recognition, and rewards for a job well done.  

As we all look forward to 2021 and say good riddance to 2020, it’s crucial to remember that today’s partner isn’t the partner of tomorrow. The channel is going to continue to get younger and more innovative. If you hope to continue to grow your business and stay ahead of your competition, then automating your business’ process to appeal to and support your younger generation of salespeople should be a top priority in the upcoming year.