Your Gut or Your Data?

By Greg Davey posted 05-17-2021 11:02 AM


How do you make crucial business decisions?

Trillions of dollars of revenue globally flow into manufacturers through indirect sales. Let’s face it…channel partners comprise a critical chunk of the sales funnel, and their contribution is too big to ignore—and too big to fail.

Untimely, poor quality data from your channel partners leaves you wondering and guessing. That’s no way to run a business. But with a solid channel data model you get the visibility you need to discover new opportunities, take action in a timely manner, and ultimately sell more product.

A channel data model defines the data and relationships needed to deliver a 360-degree view of your channel. It’s like a blueprint for a house–you need to get it right so that your home is laid out in the way you want to use it. When implemented correctly, a channel data model creates a solid foundation, differentiates you from your competitors and lays the groundwork for higher growth and profitability. As an automated single source of truth, your channel data model also prevents you from missing cross-sell and upsell opportunities, wasting resources on manual tasks, and overpaying on partner programs. According to CRM Magazine, companies that adopt strong CDM processes typically experience a 5 to 10 percent increase in total sales.

In data we trust

Channel data is crucial to providing visibility into valuable channel information such as sales, inventory levels, market penetration and new markets.

According to Forrester’s Jay McBain: “Our research found that the effective use of real-time channel data improves a vendor’s speed-to-market, provides actionable insights for making in-flight adjustments, develops a new level of location intelligence to better understand their customers, opens up data accessibility to reduce payment errors, and helps quantify the return on invested capital (ROIC) in the channel.”

How do you spend your time?

Managing your channel is less complex (i.e., less expensive) when it is data-driven. With decision-grade data right in front of you, guess what? You spend your time passing leads and progressing opportunities rather than chasing down partners and wasting valuable time in the sales cycle.

Here’s an eye-popping stat: An estimated $1.5 trillion worth of unsold products are sitting with channel partners around the world at any given time. Let that sink in. This is an enormous opportunity for sales teams. With timely, quality channel data, you can discover new ways to boost product sales, potentially leading to millions of dollars in additional revenue.

No one said it was easy

There are multiple barriers to collecting and using channel partner data. Everyone in the channel keeps their own version of data, with varying levels of detail. Each partner likely uses different systems and collection methods. The rise of cloud computing means more channel partners are reselling more products—and these partners may not have the ability nor the motivation to report back precise information. With scant data (of questionable quality) from the channel, sales leaders are unable to make agile, intelligent decisions about strategy and tactics.

The big payoff

Collecting and managing your channel data is no easy task, but it comes with huge benefits. Decision-grade channel data helps your sales teams better understand end customers and improve closure rates. When you no longer have to go with your gut to make important sales and marketing decisions, you can boost performance immediately and in the long term.

Author Bio: Greg Davey has more than 15 years of experience working with semiconductor manufacturers and serves as high tech industry principal at Vistex. He has held various sales operations roles at Micron, Numonyx, and STMicroelectronics including managing global ship and debit programs and the deployment of revenue management systems for leads, opportunities, rebates, and forecasting. Greg holds a BS from Arizona State University and an MS in International Business from Queensland University of Technology.