Client Challenge

Our client, the Director of Business Development was chartered with creating competitive and cost effective channels programs for a $5 Billion division of a F100 company. The division traditionally used direct sales for all of their go-to-market activities but was beginning to deliver products that were best sold through secondary channels. Recognizing that they were missing out on opportunities with customers who preferred to use resellers, they wanted to establish secondary channels of distribution that were compatible with their existing sales efforts. Principle among the challenges was overcoming a culture that was geared to taking all business direct, and teaching them how to secure, support and motivate resellers.

Figure it Out and Get it Done.  Action

Acrelic team members conducted customer and channel research to determine customer requirements of a reseller and what the reseller required of a supplier. This research was initially conducted in North America where the channel structures were better understood. Given that the client’s organization was naturally biased toward direct sales, it was extremely important to show that a significant portion of the marketplace would not buy direct and that the client was not being considered in many purchase decisions. Also critical was the finding that supporting a reseller channel requires as large an investment in marketing and support as a direct sales effort.

Based on the research, Acrelic consultants were able to help the client drive change throughout the organization through a stepwise approach. The findings were presented to key personnel in development, market and sales. This was followed by a full day of channels training conducted across the organization. Lastly, planning workshops were conducted with key product groups throughout the division, helping the client create an overall channel strategy and action plan for their channel launch.

Remarkable Results

For the first time in the division’s history, they took a proactive approach to channels of distribution, signing up resellers including Dealers, VARs and Systems Integrators. The number of resellers in the channel expanded tremendously, generating a high proportion of the overall sales volume. Also, the products that were in the pipeline were designed to be more channel friendly, making them easier to sell and less costly to support. Most important, the division’s relationships in the channel went from adversarial to being a true partner who helps its resellers improve and expand business operations.

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