When I want to know what’s happening or going to happen in the channel, I turn to Forrester’s Principal Channel Analyst, Jay McBain. In this year-end special episode of Channel Journeys, Jay shares channel lessons from 2020 and makes his predictions for what we need to plan for in 2021.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

Here are five channel disruptions we need to prepare for in 2021:

  1. Incentives. Instead of front-end discounts and back-end rebates, partners will be most interested in your multiplier effect. How much can they earn for every dollar of software that the vendor sells? Professional services the partner can deliver to drive customer success is the biggest and fastest growing multiplier, dwarfing the transactional incentives.  Take whatever you are spending on partner incentives and spread it out like peanut butter. One third of the money should be spent before the point of transaction on the influencers. One third should be spent on the transaction. And one third for driving adoption, stickiness, cross sell and upsell forever. 
  2. Influencers. The average business technology buyer will use five different people as influencers. The battleground for 2021 is finding out who are sitting in those five chairs around every one of your buyers and making sure they are endorsing you and driving influence towards your solution. 
  3. Marketplaces. Marketplaces will continue to play a bigger and bigger role. There are 20 marketplaces that you have to strongly consider for 2021. This includes the hyper-marketplaces like AWS, Azure and Google for infrastructure and SaaS marketplaces from companies like Salesforce and ServiceNow. 
  4. Co-innovation. 825,000 new products are going to be built in the next 10 years. You’re going to build some of them, your partners are going to build some of them, AWS is going to build some of them. What can you build together so that 1 plus 1 equals 5? Think co-innovation with your partners. The talent to drive this co-innovation likely sits in your alliances organization. 
  5. Channel Managers as Community Marketers. Channel managers will still have their 10 or so dedicated accounts like they have in the past, but how they spend their day must change. Channel managers need to learn how to influence the influencers. Becoming one of those top 100 people in their territory becomes all important. How you spend your day and how you become visible and carry your brand to be visible every day in front of your target partner audience is going to be the measure of success for channel account managers in the future.

SHARE THIS

If you're not selling digitally, if you're not selling socially, if you're not really looking at your early customer digital moments, you're losing deals without ever knowing there was a deal. - @jmcbain Click To Tweet Think co-innovation with your partners. 825,000 new products are going to be built in the next 10 years. You're going to build some of them, your partners are going to build some of them. - @jmcbain Click To Tweet How you flip between podcasts, keynotes, associations, and social groups to be visible every day in front of your target audience is going to be the measure of success for channel account managers in the future. - @jmcbain Click To Tweet

LINKS & RESOURCES

Enjoy the show? Subscribe to Channel Journeys Podcast and get notified of each new episode.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Share this episode:

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email

Subscribe and listen to the Channel Journeys Podcast on your favorite platform:

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Enter Your Name and Email Below To Get a Free SaaS Channel Course

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.