2020 has already proven to be a remarkable year. Not just for the world at large but also for partner and reseller channels.

Staying ahead of the curve is crucial to your business success this year and beyond.

In this post, we’ll explore the seven trends changing the partner and reseller channel in 2020 and give you tips on how to adapt your partner and reseller relationship strategies.

Customer Experience is King

Forget the old customer acquisition funnel. Customer engagement no longer stops with the purchase. It’s an ongoing lifecycle with increasingly important metrics for success like usage and renewal.

Being great at sales is n0 longer enough. Instead successful partners will need to incorporate activation, adoption, expansion and renewal of the product to the sales motions. 

How to take advantage: Incentivise enablement initiatives to get partners investing in customer experience processes.

Servicing of Micro Niches

It is no longer enough for partners to specialise in generic verticals. Instead, end customers are seeking out partners with hyper-specialised skills focused on business outcomes.

Solution provider business will need to adapt by becoming more unique and specialised so as to be differentiated.

How to take advantage: Enable micro-vertical solutions which include training on adjacent technologies and highlighting potential service opportunities.

Increased Complexity

Creating a complete solution isn’t easy. There so many moving parts in an IoT solution – all the hardware, software and services involved to satisfy end customers needs.

To ensure continued success, solution providers will need to work together and merge their diverse skills and specialisations.

Some of these solution providers will transact and will join your partner program to progress up the partner levels. Other solution providers (next-generation partners) will not transact and possibly won’t even join your official partner program.

How to take advantage: Foster partner-to-partner ecosystems.

New Generation of Partners

Traditional VARs or Systems Integrators are no longer the default trusted advisors to new buyers in the era of cloud-delivered products  New types of partners have emerged, such as Managed Service Providers and cloud solution aggregators like AWS.

Financial advisors, marketing consultancies, and even insurance agencies are coming into technology ecosystems influencing customer buying behaviours.

The majority are not interested in managing the transaction but are looking for the downstream, high-margin services of implementation and integration.

How to take advantage: Pursue a low-key relationship with these influencers and create ways for them to engage in the partner ecosystem.

Focus on Services

The margins partners are making in reselling hardware and software is getting tighter. It’s difficult for this activity alone to make an impact on profitability. In response, solution providers are focusing their efforts on consulting, business process optimisation, provision, configuration, outsourced management and support services. Naturally, this can lead to conflicts with your own professional services organisations, which also vie for those lucrative high-margin services.

How to take advantage: Clarify what services opportunities partners and resellers pursue and what services only your business is to provide.

Digital is the only Marketing

68% of B2B customers prefer to research solutions online and 62% make final decisions solely through digital content. By the time an end customer even engages with sales, they are information-rich and close to making a buying decision. Pretending digital marketing doesn’t work is no longer an option.

Unfortunately, most solution providers are comfortable with traditional marketing, so are woefully lacking the skills and resources to be successful marketing online.

How to take advantage: Shift partner marketing funds and resources to only support digital marketing efforts.

Effects of COVID-19

The rapid proliferation of COVID-19 across the globe has strained business relationships. The long-term effects of this global pandemic are as yet unclear. One thing for certain is uncertainty. Therefore, a genuine shift to data-driven decision making is highly likely.

Furthermore, lockdown restrictions have seen an overnight shift to remote working. This will make regular communication via video conferencing calls between you and your partners essential to business success and improved relationships.

How to take advantage: Implement a partner experience platform to leverage data and improve communication with partners and resellers.

In sum, if you’re unwilling to adapt from traditional thinking and take advantage of these trends now you will be left behind in 2020 and beyond.

Advance Your PX Today with Follco

As we’ve covered, it’s crucial that you understand these trends and use this information to shape your partner and reseller relationship strategies.

Do you need to forge closer links with your partners and keep your lines of communication open at all times? A Partner Experience platform is what you need.

Here at Follco, we offer businesses the ability to create feature-rich communication platforms that keep your partnerships operating at peak capacity. Ready to boost your critical PX metrics? Visit our website to learn more and get started with Follco today.


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