Technology channels still tend to operate like it’s 1995 with spreadsheets dominating the management of everything from deal registration to MDF.
In the competitive market conditions of 2018, vendors managing their channels from spreadsheets know how costly and inefficient it is to do so and are looking to Software as a Service (SaaS) to automate their channel functions. For this, they are turning to Channel Mechanics.
Cloud-based software enables vendors make quick changes based on informed decisions as the market dictates, in real time, instead of waiting till quarter-end to understand what happened. For instance, is it time to offer added incentives to motivate certain behaviors?
In its five years of existence, Channel Mechanics has helped countless tech vendors, large and small, move into the 21st century and away from spreadsheet channel management. Companies can start with the automation of a single part of their channel, for example deal registration, and grow from there by simply adding SaaS functionality. Or go all-in for an end-to-end automated channel, significantly improving productivity and revenue acceleration immediately.
So what is Channel Automation?
Simply put, channel automation is the process of automating all the processes that are necessary to running a profitable partner program. Here are just a few examples of how Channel Mechanics can automate your channel:
Partner Tiers - If you have 1000’s of partners broken into tiers such as bronze, silver, and gold, you need to be able to adjust your partners based on whether they meet the criteria for each level. This can involve not just their total revenue, but revenue by product, certifications, completed training, participation in marketing plans, and much more. The same logic applies for companies with small numbers of partners that need to determine how best to incent and motivate each level of partner investment. The task can be daunting. With the Channel Mechanics platform, you set up your criteria once, and your partners are automatically put in the proper tier. No more spreadsheets.
Promotions - The average time it takes to roll-out a product promotion is 80 hours. You have to segment which partners will receive the offer. Determine all of the pricing breaks based on volume, percentages, total sales, etc. Notify your distributors and partners. With the Channel Mechanics platform, this entire process takes less than 4 hours. And more importantly, all aspects of the promotion success, or failure, are tracked in real-time, and available on a unified dashboard.
All of this just scratches the surface of what Channel Mechanics can do. The platform allows you to automate your entire partner ecosystem: Online Catalogs, Bundles, Packages & Solutions, Multi-Vendor Solutions, Marketing Collateral, Software Licensing Solutions, Partner Pricing, Customer Try & Buy Programs, Trade In & Trade Up Programs, Deal Registration Programs, Partner Demonstration Programs, Distributor Back End Credits & Rebates, and Partner Profiling.
All of these are managed from a single platform, and when combined, they not only save thousands of hours in implementation and planning, but they ensure that you are always delivering the right programs to the right partners.
One large and well-known tech vendor asked Channel Mechanics to automate their front-end discounting to better incent two-tier partners. Because the overall business operation was so complex, it was essential that Channel Mechanics work with the vendor’s IT organization to integrate APIs to transfer critical pricing and discounting information. Channel Mechanics accomplished this in just a few weeks, and at the same time, significantly improved ease of doing business for the vendor’s distributors and partners through simple transaction interfaces.
The result has been a significant reduction in the overhead the vendor used to employ in spreadsheet management, an acceleration in revenue thanks to the targeting, tracking and measurement functions of the SaaS, and an increased stickiness between the vendor and its partners attributable to business simplification.
Managing a 2-tier channel in 2018 means having to deal with a complex, fast-moving and competitive environment. Time and human resources are too scarce and valuable to tie up working with spreadsheets. By the same token, waiting for corporate IT groups to dedicate the time and money to do in-house builds of channel functions is not optimal.
The smart money is on specialized business solutions for the channel available as SaaS. That’s where the leading edge of channel management is in 2018. So talk to Channel Mechanics today and transform your channel tomorrow.