What a silly question, right? I mean, isn’t the answer obvious? Actually, for many companies, not really—and this confusion can make the difference between a successful channel partnership and one that only complicates your business.
A channel goal often involves numbers. For example, you might want to acquire 1,000 partners; this is a goal, not a strategy. A strategy is the feasible, well-analyzed explanation as to how you’ll acquire the 1,000 partners and for what reason. For example: “To increase market share by demonstrating to our number one competitor’s partners that we have a superior product, provide better support, and enable them to provide additional services to the end customer.”
This channel strategy defines your target (your number one competitor’s partners), how you will win it (by demonstrating a superior product and better support, while enabling them to provide additional services, etc.), and why (to increase market share).
When you have determined both a channel goal and a strategy, it’s essential that you share both with the entire company and ensure comprehension. After all, if your executives and employees don’t understand the strategy, it will be almost impossible for them to execute it. Worse, they could inadvertently work against it. This harms both your relationship with partners and company morale… not exactly a good way to achieve your goals.