Halloween Special 1 - The Nightmare on Channel Street

This is Carolyn Bradfield and you’re listening to the Convey MicroCast audio series.

This week is our Halloween MicroCast series and we’re going to give our old friend Freddy Krueger a shout out by entitling our program, the Nightmare on Channel Street. For those of you who don’t remember Freddy, he starred as a character in the Nightmare on Elm street, an insane child killer, released on a technicality and murdered by the town’s parents. He comes back in people’s dreams and continues to kill through 9 different movies.

So in honor of Halloween week, we are going to identify nightmares in the channel that keep you up at night, ruin your channel program and destroy revenue.

Our first episode in the Nightmare on Channel Street is called “the death of commissions”.

This episode of unfolds as nervous channel partners watch in horror as big companies gobble up smaller ones, creating a behemoth that lumbers through the marketplace like a zombie trying to feed itself on dwindling sales with a pack of hungry debt holders hard on their heels.

The struggling company darts into court to protect itself from hungry debt holders by filing bankruptcy and then the nightmare really begins, but not for the company, instead for partners that sold its services. A new group of characters come on the scene, the bankruptcy court judges who nullify partner contracts gasping in horror at the commissions flowing out the door to partners who stopped selling their services years ago. Judges rule, commissions begin to die and partners that depended on them start scrambling for new sources of revenue.

Episode two is called the “The Invasion of the Sales Partner Snatchers”

You used to go to Channel Partners in Vegas and there were thousands of partners in the exhibit hall, or to regional meetings full of partners. Then, all of a sudden, there was the invasion of the body snatchers and one by one those partners started disappearing, seemingly snatched away, gone forever.

Where did the partners go? Some of them got discouraged with channel sales and went back to their careers working for a company. Some of them simply aged out and retired from active duty, continuing to take whatever commission checks that were still coming their way. Or some of them just decided that it was not interesting enough to keep coming back, only to hear the same old presentations delivered the same way. And the other explanation for their disappearance is that pods from outer space have landed in the channel, snatching up the partners we used to know and depend on.

In Episode three, vendors check into the Bates Motel, hand over their MDF funds and may never have their channel marketing budget come out alive.

Your Vegas hotel, those huge greens fees at the golf tournament, or sponsorships for that expensive cocktail party have been washed down the drain with very few partners that you hoped would engage actually selling your services. Now, you wake up in a cold sweat being chased by your management team, screaming that you don’t know what the ROI result is, and which partners were converted and what revenue is going to result from your efforts.

Next it’s a cold Halloween night and you’re waiting in the Pumpkin Patch for the Great Pumpkin to arrive. But that never happens because you’re in episode 4 of the Nightmare on Channel Street.

If you worry about trying to find partners to represent you in the channel, only to have your trick or treat bag filled with rocks, then you are not alone. The channel has expanded, the number of vendors has grown, and it’s much harder to get partners to pay attention with all of the noise in the channel. Trying to get people to pay attention to you can be one of the nightmares on Channel Street.

And our final nightmare is entitled the Walking Dead.

At first everything seems wonderful for you on Channel Street. Partners are throwing deals to you right and left, asking you for quotes and submitting deals. But then the nightmare begins. You’re working way too hard preparing tons of quotes for companies that are just plain wrong for your services. It’s a nightmare because your entire channel team is totally deployed chasing deals that will never convert, frustrating partners who don’t know which prospects meet your standards and being sucked into a never-ending quoting nightmare.

So, if your channel program is caught in one of the Nightmares on Channel Street, what should you do? Hide in the graveyard of other channel programs hoping Freddy won’t find you? Run from the people trying to suck the blood out of your marketing budget? Or hope that the budget chainsaw won’t cut through your team when the results aren’t what management expected?

Remember that in all horror movies, the bad guy always loses in the end. The nightmare is over, and the main characters live on to fight another day. So, what about the Nightmare on Channel Street? Well this is what we call in the MicroCast world, a cliff hanger. You’ll have to tune into this week’s Halloween MicroCasts to find out how you, as the main character in your channel movie, makes it past the partner snatchers, out of the Bates Motel, and avoid the Walking Dead to keep your channel program alive and well.

This is Carolyn Bradfield and you’ve been listening to our MicroCast in the Convey Channel Partner special Halloween series.