Unlike ISV partners who sell their own products along with the ones that integrate with them, Channel partners market and sell the products and services of other companies. Example, Cloudbakers is one such company that partners with Zoho.
Why is it important?
Having a channel partner results in a lot of benefits for the company as the partners do not come in the form of distributors alone, who just co market and sell. There could also be other forms of partners such as Referral partners, Strategic partners etc. Let’s see what each one of them does:
They procure products, both hardware and software, from different vendors to come up with a customized solution to satisfy customer requirement.
Also known as Value Added Resellers, sell products offered by the company for a slightly higher profit margin. They could also choose to sell solutions and services in the form of integrations with other products or professional services in order to provide a complete solution to the customer.
They come in handy when the product company wants to shorten the time in creating a foot print in a foreign land. For example, an Indian company could easily sell in the US but not so easy to sell in Mexico. In such situations, a distributor could help connect the company to a network of resellers with local language presence and increase the chances of selling the product.
Anybody who helps the product company by promoting and referring are affiliate partners. This category requires a lot of effort around building relationships with existing customers and influencers to recommend the product to their audience.
To help with the customer’s solution and come up with customized solution if necessary, Consultants combine different elements of partnerships such as MSPs or System Integrators and provide services to bring the project to fruition.