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Eight-Point Strategy to Elevate Channel Partner Programs

Nitin Mathur

Channel partners, encompassing resellers, distributors, and service providers possess distinct characteristics and strengths that can significantly benefit your business. Acting as the crucial link between your company and untapped markets, they leverage their deep local knowledge, understanding of regional market dynamics, and established relationships to expedite your business growth. Add to this, they offer invaluable support and supplementary services that your company may not otherwise provide to customers.

Benefits of Having a Channel Partner

The advantages channel partners bring to your business extend beyond immediate benefits. They facilitate achieving more with fewer resources by managing specific tasks such as sales and support, thereby enabling your company to concentrate on core competencies. 

Additionally, leveraging their customer relationships, partners provide strategic insights that offer a competitive edge and may suggest new service lines and products. Furthermore, collaborating with channel partners helps mitigate business risks associated with market expansion, as risks are shared.

Operating on a revenue-sharing model, many channel partners earn a defined portion of revenue from each product or service sold with their assistance. This mutual arrangement aligns the interests of both parties, fostering faster mutual growth and collaboration.

Elevating Passive Channel Partnerships to Active Co-Selling

Elevating passive channel partnerships to active co-sell partnerships with resellers and distributors is a strategic imperative for organizations aiming to thrive in today's competitive business landscape. The shift from a passive resell model to an active co-sell approach brings about a transformation in collaboration dynamics, unlocking unprecedented value and fostering mutual success. 

Image courtesy: Channel Futures.

Speaking at a Channel Partners Conference & Expo panel of co-selling experts led by Jay McBain, chief analyst at Canalys, Amit Sinha, President and Co-Founder of WorkSpan said - “With co-selling, you are evolving from just being a reseller to an end solution provider,”

Jay McBain emphasized the importance of co-selling today. He said “if you’re not co-selling, you’re being short-changed in deals.”

Active co-selling allows organizations to leverage the expertise and reach of their channel partners, creating a collaborative ecosystem that accelerates deal closure, increases win rates, and delivers enhanced customer value. By endorsing reseller partners and engaging in co-selling activities, such as architecture reviews, proof-of-concepts, security assessments, case studies, and value calculators, organizations tap into a reservoir of collective strengths, expertise, and resources. 

This collaborative approach not only strengthens the bond between the organization and its partners but also enhances the overall customer experience. Ultimately, the transition from passive to active partnerships propels organizations towards a more agile, responsive, and competitive position in the market, ensuring sustained growth and long-term success in the dynamic world of channel ecosystems.

Why Transform from Resell to Co-Sell?

Organizations today are constantly challenged to meet the growing needs of customers seeking more comprehensive solutions. As industries become increasingly commoditized, clients are no longer satisfied with piecemeal approaches to their business challenges. Instead, they are turning to cloud marketplaces to consolidate their procurement processes and seek integrated solutions that address their diverse needs.

On the other side, there's a noticeable trend towards specialization within niche partners. These partners are not only willing to invest in but also to develop co-branded solutions that address specific customer needs with precision. This evolution reflects a strategic shift towards deeper specialization, particularly in domains like security and App Dev, where partners strive to stay relevant amidst increasing commoditization and competition from larger system integrators.

However, amidst these trends lie significant challenges for organizations. Finding, identifying, validating, and onboarding reliable partners for long-term and sustainable partnerships can be daunting. It's crucial for organizations to leverage existing partnerships to their fullest potential, making sound business decisions that drive mutual success.

Moreover, large partnering organizations such as GSIs, Cloud Hyperscalers, and ISVs are looking to incentivize existing partners to prolong their relationships. They aim to leverage their partner's existing network and capabilities to create joint value, fostering a collaborative ecosystem that benefits all stakeholders.

Eight-Point Strategy to Elevate Resell Programs to Co-Sell Programs

Organizations must embrace a strategic approach to elevate traditional reseller programs to co-sell programs.

This approach is captured in an 8-point strategy.

Strategy 1: Building Mutual Trust and Transparency

Strategy 2: Resell to Co-Sell Transformation

Strategy 3: Best-Practice Methodology and Shared Processes

Strategy 4: Ensuring a Smooth Purchasing Process

Strategy 5: Offering Enhanced Value to Customers

Strategy 6: Enabling Pipeline Transparency and KPI Coaching

Strategy 7: Enabling Multi-Partner Deal Expansion

Strategy 8: Preparing Technology and Tooling for the Long Term

At the heart of these strategies lies WorkSpan, a leading platform for channel partner management and collaboration. WorkSpan enables organizations to streamline collaboration, drive efficiency, and enhance customer experiences, ensuring that channel partnerships remain relevant and competitive in an ever-changing market landscape. 

By adopting these strategic approaches and leveraging WorkSpan as a key component of the technology stack, organizations can navigate the complexities of the partner landscape with confidence. WorkSpan empowers organizations to build and manage channel partnerships effectively, facilitating collaboration, transparency, and mutual success.

Happy Partnering!

Director, Product Marketing

About Nitin Mathur

Nitin Mathur is a marketing maverick with an extensive experience in the tech, telecom, and consumer electronics industry. As Director of Product Marketing at WorkSpan, Nitin is on a mission to revolutionize the way businesses manage their multi-partner ecosystems with WorkSpan's cutting-edge product capabilities. Prior to his stint at WorkSpan, Nitin worked at various marketing positions at some of the biggest names in the industry, including IBM, Motorola, and Philips. He is also a tech enthusiast passionate about harnessing technology's power to solve real-world problems.

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