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Channel managers — the people you deal with at your suppliers — are frustrated and unable to track which activities lead to increased revenue, a new survey finds.

On the other side of the table, several solution providers attending last week’s XChange Solution Provider 2017 conference predicted their companies will enjoy double-digit sales growth this year.

Here’s your solution provider’s update on both.

Channel managers survey

Nearly 70 percent of channel managers don’t track both revenue and partner activities. In other words, fewer than a third are aware of which activities can lead to increased revenue.

So finds a new survey of channel managers — the people you deal with at your vendors and suppliers.

The survey was commissioned by Relayware, a UK-based supplier of partner-relationship software. Two other companies, March Insight and Precision Sample, conducted it. In all, 319 channel managers from several industries (including IT, energy and auto) were surveyed. The results of the survey were released today.

Here are some of the top survey findings:

> At least 20 minutes: That’s how long it takes the average channel manager to calculate the revenue of their largest partners from the past 6 months.

> Wasting time: Nearly half the channel managers surveyed (47%) said they spend a lot of time on tasks that may not make their channel partners more productive.

> But also busy: Channel managers have a full load of responsibilities. These include: measuring channel partner engagement (cited by 74% of respondents); identifying upsell opportunities (cited by 69%); maintaining or improving channel partner retention (67%); collaborating, supporting and providing materials for existing channel partners (67%); setting partner sales objectives, strategy and milestones (66%); and identifying, recruiting and securing channel partners (62%).

> How they get evaluated: When asked which criteria they’re evaluated on, channel managers mentioned target-meeting (cited by 66% of respondents); revenue generated by their channel partners (64%); channel partner retention and churn (58%); and the amount of up-selling they do (54%).

Optimistic solution providers

Several channel partners at last week’s XChange Solution Provider 2017 conference were feeling optimistic. They predicted that bets they’ve made on both cloud and security services will pay off this year in the form of double-digit sales growth, reports CRN.

Take Ken May, CEO of Swift Chip, an MSP serving the greater Los Angeles area. He told CRN his company expects a new managed security service to help boost sales this year by 20 percent.

Similarly, Luis Alvarez, president of Alvarez Technology Group, is predicting a sales increase this year it the 15 to 20 percent range. That’s because his company, a solution provider based in Salinas, Calif., is seeing such rapid movement to the cloud. “Customers,” he told CRN, “want to migrate off legacy systems as fast as possible.”

So is the channel a happy place? Seems the answer may depend on which side of the table you’re sitting on.


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