By Peter Ganza, Director of Marketing, Magentrix
I always suspected there were basic questions about the channel which continue to be asked. So at Magentrix we took it upon ourselves to discover what those questions are. We commissioned a report from one of the top search query firms on the most commonly asked channel questions on Google, Bing and Quora. The results were eye-opening. Here are the three most frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the channel.
Out of almost 300 FAQs, the number one channel query on Google is ‘What is channel sales?’. That exact query represented almost one third of the almost 3,000 total monthly search volume. If we include all the variations of the question, channel sales on its own would be closer to almost half of the entire search report.
For most channel chiefs the aforementioned and subsequent FAQs may seem basic in nature. But despite the fact that almost 70% of global transactions are supported by the channel, there is a surprising level of misunderstanding or lack of knowledge about what the channel is – and its importance to global trade.
The second most frequently asked channel question on Google is ‘What is a channel partner?’. While that question represented almost 25% of the monthly search volume, the total number of variations would easily surpass the top-most FAQ.
The third most frequently asked channel question on Google is ‘What is channel management?’. That query was just over 10% of ‘channel’ related queries. If we include variations across the dataset, that number jumps to almost one third of the total search volume.
Here’s how our resident channel coach, Paul Bird, answered that question. “This is the process of managing all of those agents or resellers that are representing a product or a service. One of the challenges is that very much like a real estate agent doesn’t sell one house, a technology partner or someone in the technology channel likely doesn’t sell one product. So part of channel management is actually being top-of-mind, getting mindshare, encouraging them to represent your product and service, so the channel management process can be direct where channel management directors are in the field helping or online portals that help resellers access the tools they need to sell products.”
From a quick look at the top three questions regarding ‘channel’, we can see two things: where the majority of the confusion in the market lies and the opportunity to change that. We all know the value of the channels we work with and through as well as the litany of vendors helping in the many areas of ‘channel’. Disruption and transformation of channels is well under way and shows no sign of slowing down.
I see an interesting theme across these top three FAQs. Stripping out the word ‘channel’ leaves us with sales, partner and management. I listen in on just a fraction of our daily discovery calls and demonstrations with prospective clients and can say with certainty those three words are the most often mentioned when someone is looking for a partner portal to support their channel.
These prospects all want to manage partner sales and a portal is the logical place to start. Removing barriers to your channel partners, facilitating their experience to be as easy and intuitive as possible is required to onboard, train and keep your partners happy and selling.
Peter Ganza is the Director of Marketing at Magentrix.