Here’s the dilemma: Vendors need resellers to sell their products, as resellers are the last link between the product and end-user. But resellers often need support from the vendor to properly market the product and, thus, get it sold. Whether you’re a vendor or a partner, you’re likely intimately familiar with the frustrations of this situation. The real rub, though, comes at the close.
A common (and sales-breaking) fumble in the partnership occurs when vendors chime in at the wrong time. Say the partner has generated a highly promising lead, either with or without the vendor’s marketing expertise and support, and the sale seems almost certain. Then, either believing that he is truly helping or simply wanting to seal the deal, the vendor jumps in and contacts the lead, attempting to close the sale outside of the reseller’s processes. Why is this a bad move?
Vendors and resellers obviously play very different roles in the channel, which means that their processes are also different. If a vendor jumps in to close an opportunity that the reseller started, it complicates the situation (at best) or completely jeopardizes it (at worst). The end-user wants consistency and reliability in a product and a sales team. Unless the vendor can be certain of providing the exact same information in the same way as the reseller did, it’s a disaster waiting to happen.
Vendors, make sure your sales rep hangs back unless the reseller has explicitly requested assistance. And resellers, avoid the dreaded overlap by clearly defining the role of the sales rep throughout the entire process.