Define a startup:
An early stage business that has identified a solution to a problem, and now is working to turn that solution and their assumptions into a viable business.
Explain your work over the years in local startups?
Over the past nine years, we have invested over $30 million in local startups. I’ve also had the opportunity to serve as strategic adviser on the boards of six more local startups, where I provide guidance and mentorship on successfully scaling, building out the executive team and overcoming growth challenges.
Why do you think it’s important to help local startups?
Startups are the lifeblood of any local economy. They create jobs, attract new talent and business, and help the local economy weather downturns. But it takes a great deal to successfully scale a growth company. They need access to resources and support in terms of capital investment and human capital.
Define a startup:
A company with less than $10 million in revenue.
Explain your work over the years in local startups?
Canal Partners invests in early-stage, revenue-generating software-as-a-service companies that are looking to accelerate growth. We get involved with the management team of each company, typically by taking a board seat, and partnering with founders, CEOs, and their teams to hire key employees, build and implement growth strategies, create and adjust annual budgets, and otherwise support the company as needed.
Why do you think it’s important to help local startups?
Diversifying our economy in Arizona is a high priority. Through startups, we’re able to create and participate in varying industries, and provide jobs and community support as we move forward on fulfilling that priority.
Read more here: https://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/news/2017/08/25/20-people-to-know-startups-patrick-armstrong.html
River Cities provides its portfolio companies with post-investment support including access to an extensive network of industry contacts, strategy consulting, market research and management recruitment.
Download the report and surveys here: http://rccf.com/resources/
The full version of this article was first published at: 5 Ways to Ensure Effective Channel Management vs. Micromanaging
Anyone who has ever worked, well, pretty much ever, has probably experienced micromanagement. And as many can attest, the feeling is unpleasant at best—and suffocating at worst. Being closely monitored and controlled by your boss can take a toll on not only your confidence, but also your productivity and overall satisfaction at the office. So how does micromanagement factor into partner sales? Truth is, it’s not all that different. While channel managers may interact with their partners’ reps in a way that’s far different from traditional sales, it’s still possible to fall into a micromanagement trap. To help ensure effective channel management, here are five tips. 1. Define the Scope of Your Leadership When one considers the concept of management, it’s generally in the context of individuals. And while channel management still requires managers to oversee a group of humans, it demands a much broader scope. Rather than focus solely on individual reps, managers must take a look at the big picture and outline markets, industries, and focuses to ensure that all reps are clear of expectations. Defining your channel framework gives your partners a model within which to operate. 2. Align Business Objectives With Your Partners Channel partnership is indeed a symbiotic, strategic business alliance. However, at the end of the day, each side is equally concerned with one overarching thing: its own business. Not understanding your partner’s business model and objectives can hurt your relationship from the start. While it’s not necessary to completely match your partner’s business…
Read More: 5 Ways to Ensure Effective Channel Management vs. Micromanaging
The full version of this article was first published at: The Allbound Podcast: How to Build an Agency Partner Program; Add Some Video
Dee Dee de Kenessey, Agency Partner Program Manager at Wistia, joins me on The Allbound Podcast to discuss the why behind creating a partner agency program, owning the customer relationship, and divvying up valuable time between partners. How long has the Partner Program at Wistia been in place? It started when I arrived. Wistia brought me on to develop and run this. I came to Wistia just a year ago, January 2016, and we launched the program three weeks after I started. It was pretty unbelievable. It was one of those things where I said, “I think the best way to do it is just to dive right in and build it as I go.” What that allowed me to do was to really listen to our first round of agencies that signed up. So instead of building anything in a vacuum and crossing my fingers hoping that it worked, I was able to listen to that first cohort, ask them questions, and build what they needed. So it was a hectic beginning, but I’m glad we dove right in. Why did it make sense for Wistia to begin an agency-based program? What was your executive team hoping to achieve by developing this kind of program and hiring you to come build this? Most businesses, when they set out to make a video, hire someone to do that video for them. It’s not unusual that you’ll find businesses that have internal video teams, but most of the time it’s an external…
Read More: The Allbound Podcast: How to Build an Agency Partner Program; Add Some Video
The full version of this article was first published at: Why Purchasing Lead Lists for Your Channel Is a Dangerous Idea
Buying a generic list of leads can seem like a great idea. After all, most if not all, of the heavy lifting is done already, and you just need to make sure that the leads are contacted and see the value of your product. It sounds easy, right? The problem with this is you spend hours calling and emailing through thousands of records with the hope someone wants to have a conversation with you. Doesn’t make much sense from a ROI of your time perspective, does it? I came from a world where I encouraged companies to purchase data to “fill the top of the funnel” with an extremely low cost per lead… problem was, getting the messaging right on a cold call/email is not easy so a lot of time (and money) was wasted. Now my team spends 8 hours a day having two-way conversations with inbound leads—leads who actually want to have a conversation with us. A BDR/SDR might book 1-2 meetings a day, calling into purchased lists… my team here at Allbound is booking 4-5 meetings a day calling into inbound leads. You’ll be disappointed in the long run if you end up purchasing lead lists for your channel. There’s a handful of reasons why, from the quality of the lists themselves to your own reputation: Any list you purchase will be of a fairly standard format. Email address, full name, and maybe some other contact information such as company and position title. What you can’t discern…
Read More: Why Purchasing Lead Lists for Your Channel Is a Dangerous Idea
The full version of this article was first published at: The Allbound Podcast: Train for Channel Success
Joseph Ulrich, Team Leader for US Channels at Hyland Software, joins me on The Allbound Podcast to discuss channel engagement, training partners, and what may or may not be the reason why 80-90% of Hyland’s customers are aqcuired through channel sales. You mentioned that now you’re really focused on recruitment and activities that are associated with uncovering and welcoming new partners. Has your partner recruitment strategy changed much over the years, or is the essence basically the same? No, I would say that it has probably changed quite a bit over the years. When we were first founded back in 1991, we had a need to really expand our presence fairly quickly and try and gain as much market penetration as we could. Any partners who are family we affectionately call Team OnBase, and really what we were looking for at that time were those partners that were capable of a broad range of capabilities. That was vitally important to us because again, we were just trying to expand our reach and expand the name of OnBase. A lot of these included not only our traditional partners but then some OEM organizations as well. The partners who we brought onboard at that time were growing their businesses right along with us, and OnBase became one of their primary solutions that they were selling to their customers. More recently, I would say that we’ve become much more strategic, not only from a geographical perspective but maybe more so in the offerings and the…
Read More: The Allbound Podcast: Train for Channel Success
The full version of this article was first published at: The Allbound Podcast: Aligning Systems, Processes and People for Partner Success
Keith Lubner, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Channel EQ, joins me, on The Allbound Podcast to discuss determining company readiness for building a channel, and common pitfalls to avoid once your channel exists. Is it the customers that are driving the changes you’ve seen in the channel and causing these organizations to look ahead as opposed to always looking behind? That’s a great question. Customers are a part of it, but really the root cause of it is technology itself. Technology is allowing a couple of things to occur. Number one, especially in the SaaS space environment you’re looking at a complete seismic shift in the way customers are buying now, and the customer journey is a lot different than it was years and years ago. What that is causing a lot of channel organizations to have to do is to change themselves and be more adaptable to the customer and their journey; and the journey is different than it was before. Customers are going into more pilots now and they’re going into more smaller projects and they are able to execute a lot faster. Customers are also able to get to a lot of information around a vendor and their offerings easier than before. Now that vendors have lost a lot of control they need to – especially from a sales perspective – adapt to the environment of that customer. The problem is that there’s a huge gap in skills. There’s a gap in skills from what they were…
Read More: The Allbound Podcast: Aligning Systems, Processes and People for Partner Success
The full version of this article was first published at: 3 Common Channel Marketing Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them)
When exploring your work in the channel, it’s easy to try to address things with the same strategy as direct sales. Often, you can have some success with this method. Other times, you may find yourself failing. What’s important to remember is that you need to address your channel partners differently at times. There are a few mistakes that can be made fairly easily. Here are three possible failing points and how to avoid them: 1. Focusing on Partner Recruitment Instead of Engagement While it’s important to have a comprehensive list of channel partners to work with, it’s also important to make sure those partners remain engaged. If you’re spending the bulk of your time on seeking out channel partners, that means your existing work in the channel is suffering. You don’t need to spend all of your time in the channel working on re-engaging and nurturing your partners. But you do need to spend enough time that they don’t migrate away from your partnership. By striking a balance between finding new channel partners and keeping your current partners engaged, you’re showing all of your partners that you care about the relationship. Another factor to keep in mind is that if you’re only devoting your efforts to recruitment, how personalized are any of your communications? If you are using a blanket newsletter for your sales acceleration communiques, then your current channel partners are not going to feel the love. Take a little more time and use a little more effort…
Read More: 3 Common Channel Marketing Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them)
The full version of this article was first published at: Key Elements of a Successful Channel Partner Training Program
In today’s lightning-fast business world, both channel sales staff and channel marketers have plenty on their plates. So it can be all too easy for the sales and marketing staff at even the most dedicated partner to skip past your emails informing them that your latest training materials are now available. And that’s unfortunate. Because training is a critical part of making sure that everyone across your channel partner program knows exactly how they need to position your product. With high-quality training, everyone—you, your partners, their clients, the end customer—all benefit. By keeping in mind these key elements of a successful channel partner training program, you can make sure that your channel partners see your trainings not as obligatory interruptions to speed through on their way to doing business, but as a fundamental foundation for selling your product. In fact, if you structure your training program correctly, you might even find that your channel partners look forward to utilizing your training resources. Get Face to Face and Get Creative! Technology is more important than ever to successful channel sales relationships. But that doesn’t mean that remote communications entirely replace the ever-so-critical human element. Bringing together your partners with a launch event for a given channel initiative with some all-day training workshops is a great way to make everyone feel like they’re a part of something bigger. And even if partners compete with each other in different markets, they can talk shop and appreciate what they have to offer each…
Read More: Key Elements of a Successful Channel Partner Training Program