Can you remember a time in your life when you’ve received what you perceived to be bad service (and perception is reality), and rather than discuss it with your service provider, you terminated the relationship? Maybe it was a hairdresser who gave you a bad cut. Or a restaurant you frequented who gave you bad service.
If you’ve been an ISV in the mid-market ERP space for any length of time, you’ve experienced partners who have suddenly stopped referring leads to you. You might have the best service, margins, and technology, but sometimes you’re going to inadvertently upset your partners for one reason or another. The key is knowing about it so you can resolve it.
Are you analyzing the trends so you can identify partners who may be at risk?
Sales reps tend to work off anecdotal evidence when it comes to determining who their top partners are. They remember closing a lot of deals with them for a few years, and may not notice when it’s been six months with no new activity.
Some partners will tell you exactly what you did to alienate them, while others will avoid confrontation and just tell you they’ve been “busy” or “focused on other things”.
Years ago, I worked with a partner who would take my calls and tell me all the things I wanted to hear. Then one day, after realizing that something was amiss because the leads still weren’t coming in anymore even though the relationship seemed to be fine on the surface, I went on site with him. I did a presentation for his team, and then we all went out to dinner. That’s when he laid into me, telling me that we had mistreated several of his customers. At least that was his perception.
Well, we worked through the issues (now that I knew about them), and he agreed to commit to being honest with me moving forward. I learned a pretty powerful lesson. Ever since then, I’ve welcomed complaints from partners with open arms. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like to have unhappy partners, but miscommunications happen, and I’d much rather know about it than not!
Are your partners being completely honest with you about the partnership?
In addition to services to help you grow and strengthen your channel, DAB Partners is pleased to offer independent partner program reviews. We’ll contact your partners as an independent, neutral third party and find out how you can do better – in their perception – which is reality!