Channel Data Management Channel Enablement Channel Partner Marketing

Aligning the Partner Experience: A Journey Towards a Strong Ecosystem

The following information was sourced from Ansira’s The Channel Effect client summit that took place in February of 2023. For more information about The Channel Effect, click here.

In the ever-evolving business landscape, the concept of partner ecosystems has emerged as a game changer for companies. What was once considered a buzzword has now become a key focus for organizations worldwide. As we reflect on the transformational journey that encompasses creating a strong ecosystem of transacting and non-transacting partners, we recently sat down with one of our high technology clients to discuss their shared journey with Ansira to align their partner experience to create a thriving ecosystem. The essence of the conversation centered around their approach that focused on the short-term, mid-term, and long-term objectives that needed to align within the organization to ensure a seamless transition for their partners, foster collaboration, and unlock the true potential of the partner ecosystem to drive revenue and market growth (for both the enterprise and the partner). 

Short-term Objectives: Smooth Transition and Minimal Disruption 

When the client announced the decision to embrace an ecosystem-driven approach, they did not do so without recognizing the importance of minimizing disruption for their valued partners. They understood that introducing a new program could be met with resistance if not executed thoughtfully. With a clearly stated short-term objective to make the transition as seamless as possible, they carefully assessed the metrics, qualifications, and requirements for the program and considered the unique needs of different partner types. They involved their partner community from the onset by providing clear visibility and inviting them to participate in focus groups to gather valuable feedback to fine-tune the approach. Although some manual processes were still involved, they remained committed to automating wherever possible to streamline operations. 

Mid-term Objectives: Leveraging the Ecosystem and Incentivizing Collaboration 

With the successful implementation of a new ecosystem framework, they were ready to enter the mid-term phase, where the focus shifted to leveraging the power of collaboration. The primary goal in this phase was to optimize partner performance and facilitate partnerships within the ecosystem to deliver holistic solutions to their customers. By recognizing the specialties within their unique ecosystem (no two channel partner ecosystems are identical) and evaluating the need for additional partners, the client saw a path to a differentiated and impactful partner landscape. Through continuous improvement initiatives, they seek to fine-tune the partner marketing ecosystem, addressing any gaps, whether they be in partner types, quantity, or capabilities. By maximizing the strength of the partner ecosystem, clients who rely on distributed sales can enhance their ability to deliver tailored solutions and provide exceptional value to shared customers. 

Long-term Objectives: Maximizing Partner Potential and Differentiation 

As we look towards the future, we’re working together to help them strategize and set in motion program changes and enhancements to achieve their long-term objectives and all the opportunity that they present. Having achieved a seamless transition and optimized collaboration within the partner ecosystem, they are now poised to incentivize and maximize their partners’ potential by further recognizing and rewarding their contributions. Evolving or including partner incentive programs helps high technology companies, and all channel partner marketing enterprise organizations, ensure the continued motivation of their partner ecosystem and illustrates dedication to the ecosystem’s success. Through data-driven insights, the aim is to highlight the unique differentiators among partners, ensuring they stand out rather than blending into a sea of sameness. By leveraging this information, the client team and Ansira as their strategic advisors can make informed decisions on the types and number of partners needed to bolster the ecosystem in the months and years ahead. 

Thinking about partners as people and focusing on the partner experience, fosters a thriving ecosystem. Through an approach where both the client team and Ansira team remain committed to continuous improvement, embracing feedback, and adapting to the ever-changing needs of the market, the partner experience is on a transformative path that is shaping the future of the client ecosystem and modernizing their partner MDF, incentive and rewards programs globally. 

By Karlyn Bentley

Karlyn Bentley has been supporting channel partner marketing clients at Ansira for over 20 years. In that time, she has served in different roles across the company including in channel program operations, channel partner marketing product development, and sales and client account management now as SVP, Client Partnership. These experiences give Karlyn a unique perspective to not only help our clients, but also peers serving clients with a distributed sales model and beyond.