A channel partner is a person or organization that sells products or provides services on behalf of a manufacturer. It could be original equipment manufacturers, consultants, distributors, system integrators, managed service providers, or a value added reseller. Companies like AMD, SAP, IBM, Microsoft, and Oracle have their own set of technology channel partners for them to work closely with their respective distributors.
This system gives opportunities to both the manufacturer and the partner to sell and promote products more. A partner might receive trainings, product information, discounts, lead generation tools, product prototypes, and technical support for their business. While the manufacturer can gain new customer acquisition, customer management, customer service, logistical support, marketing support, debt collection, and value added selling from its partner.
Most manufacturers look for certain qualities before they accept technology channel partners. A few examples of those qualities are:
- The partner should have access to target customers and should have large territory coverage.
- The products, which the partner sells, should complement the manufacturer’s product line.
- Technical expertise on the manufacturer’s products is required.
- The partner should have a solid support services, and should have a good professional impression.
- The business strategies of the partner must supplement the manufacturer’s business plans, and the partner must have vast experience on the line of business it is handling.
- It is also important that the partner is financially stable and have a good credit rating.
- The partner should be easy to talk and work with, and language barrier is definitely a no-no.
However, the manufacturers need not all of those qualities. Those are mere ideals and guidelines on what manufacturers might look for a partner, but most of them are qualities that a working business relationship needs.
The process of becoming a channel partner may vary. In some cases, a reseller can just call a market leader from a company and set an appointment. Usually, the market manager will visit the store of the caller. He will discuss the product line and tell how the product works. Then he will interview the caller and examine the shop. After that, he will then decide on whether the caller can be certified or not. If the manager decides that the reseller should be certified, he will provide the certified reseller the information needed to start the partnership.
Those are most of the important stuff one needs to know on what technology channel partners are and how to be one. If you want to start collaborating with a manufacturer as soon as possible, you had better keep in mind the qualities that most of them check before accepting a partner. After that, call a manufacturer in case that you are ready to be one.