Do you find yourself guessing what the revenue contribution from your channel partners will be at the end of the month or quarter?
Do you look at historical performance and “hope” it continues or even increases over time?
For companies that sell through channel partners, separation between financial forecasting and a channel partners’ actual performance has long been difficult to align.
Why does accurate forecasting and deal tracking matter?
Traditionally in the indirect sales model, the time lapse between what you hope will happen and what actually happens can have significant costs associated with it. You might be saddled with too much inventory and forced to incur the associated carrying costs for an anticipated demand that doesn’t materialize . Or, you might experience lost sales because low inventory prevents you from fulfilling an unexpected sale.
When visibility is limited across your channel partner network, the result is an information gap that strains financial reporting and forecasting, not to mention the operational impact of running an efficient channel-revenue business.
Stop flying blind
Closing this information gap is a critical step to better understanding and managing the channel sales process.
To take the guesswork out of channel revenue requires clear and timely pipeline visibility. When leads are shares with distributors, do you they fall into a black hole? Or, are they easily tracked during every step of the buyer’s journey?
Enabling revenue-related information to flow back and forth seamlessly between a company and its channel partners requires an integrated approach. In the past, integration has been complicated by the fact that distributors and channel partners are working from different systems, making it impossible to actively share and update the status of a deal in both directions (from manufacturer to channel partner and from channel partner back to manufacturer).
But the ability to do this is absolutely key to accurate and timely forecasting and opportunity tracking mentioned above.
How to anticipate your needs
Channel revenue visibility allows you to anticipate your needs — whether that be inventory, revenue planning or revenue estimates for shareholders. To do this requires a shared platform that provides a unified view of distributor performance as it happens. Rather than hope or guess at what is taking place among your partners, a connected network of channel partners communicating easily via the same platform around deal status, action items, and opportunity tracking allows you to accurately track, manage and plan.
Armed with deal tracking data in real-time, you’ll know instantly:
- whether you need to ramp up inventory or pull back,
- if you are on course to meet quarterly revenue targets, and
- whether your future revenue estimates are accurate
The bottom line is that you can’t improve what you can’t see. And the ability to quickly respond to needs, demands or changes generates revenue and saves time.
See how the LeadMethod platform creates connections that increase revenue visibility across the partner network.