All companies want to thrive. No company just wants to just “exist”. It’s “business nature” to want to grow, to become better…..to thrive.

We wrote about Rising channels (see the previous blog) and discussed how vendors are well-intentioned when developing their channels.

They invest in the way they believe is best and they get their channels to a point in time where the channel is producing. But, the channel may:

  • Become stagnant, that is “level off” in growth rates
  • Experience intense competition for their partners’ attention
  • Experience higher attrition rates
  • Miss market opportunities
  • Not absorb new products as easily as before

This is normal, but those vendors that “thrive” easily overcome the above challenges. And, these are the vendors that are taking unique and proactive approaches to the market place.

They are taking initiatives that few companies consider but which more companies should, like:

  • Creating programs that enhance the human-to-human connection in the channel. As a whole, and because of technology, we have seen a shift away from connecting on a personal relationship level, building trust with our partners, and increasing the likeability on a personal level between the channel manager and the partner. Vendors investing in these sorts of programs are blowing away the competition. They are experiencing phenomenal growth rates and they are creating a channel that is “sticky”, that is a channel which is very difficult to break a partner away from.
  • Creating an environment of executive, mid-management, and front-line personnel TOTAL buy-in. Buy-in from all levels is crucial. In fact, it’s mandatory in those channels that are thriving!
  • Manage by consequences. I don’t mean this in a negative way but what we are referring to is that everyone associated with the vendor understands the ramifications or “consequences” of decisions they make. For example, if a vendor’s direct salesperson chooses to “take a deal’ from the partner, the salesperson needs to understand the effects of this un-natural act – inside and outside of the organization. Think partner loyalty issues, think more acts of poaching, think nothing but bad!
  • Going mobile with their enablement, especially with the programs mentioned in bullet point 1 above. This creates continuous and engaging momentum and more importantly it speeds up the pace of change. We have seen this first hand and it’s AMAZING.

The best channels across all industries have put in place the above initiatives and many others. It’s this “continual improvement” mentality that allows them to keep moving forward – to keep thriving. We call it Adaptive Partnering.

About the author

Keith Lubner

Keith Lubner is Chief Strategy Officer at Sales Gravy and acts as an advisor,…

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