Guest Column | April 28, 2014

3 Steps To Improve Partner Communication

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John DeSarbo and Erik Long, Principals at ZS Associates

By John DeSarbo and Erik Long, Principals at ZS Associates

Manufacturers rely heavily on their channel partners for business success. This is especially true in the high-tech industry, where two-thirds of all sales flow through indirect channels. IT vendor-partner relationships thrive when lines of communication are open in both directions. Many vendors implement formal Voice of Partner (VoP) programs to enable effective communication with their channel partners and gather insights on the needs, perceptions and preferences of these partners.

Yet, a new study by global sales and marketing consulting firm ZS Associates shows that not all channel partners in the high-tech industry feel that vendors understand or listen to their concerns. Why? Innovations in cloud computing, Big Data analytics, social media, and mobility are rapidly transforming the IT channel. As a result, partners’ needs continue to change, and vendors struggle to keep pace.

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