Vendors working with several channel partners know that no two are exactly alike—which is probably one reason why these vendors chose to partner with them. However, these vendors also probably recognize that some partners do share similarities with one another, ranging from geographical region to buying patterns to specialties. Recognizing which partners share commonalities and what those commonalities are is the first step in implementing a successful channel management program.
It’s because no two partners are alike that you should segment the ones that are. After all, a channel management program that works effectively with one partner may not translate as well to the next. So, group your partners together based on shared characteristics; refer to your partner profiles and scorecards for detailed information that will help you with segmentation. Then identify and define goals for each individual segment. Consider your objectives for acquisition and retention. And remember: Just because your partners are segmented, don’t neglect to define goals for your channel as a whole.