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Recent Posts by Phil Mickey

What Is Channel Management?

The poet John Donne famously wrote, “No man is an island.” Donne was talking about the human condition, but he could have been talking about sales and marketing. No organization can successfully deliver goods and services in isolation; every business requires strategic partners with whom it works as a team to close new sales and handle customer fulfillment. That’s why “the channel” was created and why effective channel management has to be a strategic aspect of any successful organization.

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Four Tips for Sales Productivity


The primary goal of every sales executive is to maximize sales productivity. It takes time to research new prospects, make cold calls, and do sales prospecting. In today’s business climate, more leads are coming in through the internet, which means sales representatives also need to react to sales queries—whether they’re qualified or not.

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How to Empower Your IT Channel Partners to Adapt to the Rise of the Cloud

It’s no secret that IT channel partners are an essential component of the cloud. However, for vendors with new cloud-based offerings, or those looking to fully embrace the cloud, it’s important that they lay the necessary groundwork to ensure that their partners are set up for success—and that they make the cloud work from both a financial and operational standpoint. Vendors must understand how partners’ business models are constructed and have a strategy for rolling out a new cloud-based program across their channel sales model. They must be able to ensure that partners can respond to this evolution and support the success of the channel. Otherwise, they run the risk of spending time and money missing the mark.

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3 Essential Steps to Successfully Managing Customer Success

In today’s subscription-based economy, the value of a customer is fully realized over time, rather than up front. As this model becomes the norm in B2B sales, it’s ushered in the “age of the customer,” in which customers are now largely in control of their business relationships. What does this mean for your business? That the duration of a customer relationship now has a greater impact on the overall health of your company—and that it’s up to you to successfully manage customer success.

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You’ve Heard of SaaS—Now Say Hello to PaaS

By now, you’ve heard of software as a service (SaaS), the most popular form of cloud service for consumers. SaaS products are hosted on a remote server and are always accessible through a web browser. For users, SaaS is straightforward, as they don’t need to worry about hardware, software updates, or patches. These applications are managed from a central location, and any integration with third-party applications is done through an API.

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The Rise of the Technical Sales Rep in the Channel

As the sales industry continues to evolve, future reps will need a higher level of technical competence. Not only is technology changing how teams operate and interact with their customers, but products are becoming increasingly complex. On one hand, technology has simplified and automated certain aspects of modern life—and selling these solutions is an exciting prospect for channel partners. On the other hand, technology has created a demand for sales teams and their partners to stay up to speed on the wants and needs of their customers and the pulse of the industry at large.

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Sales Outsourcing for a Competitive Advantage

Reading the news this past week, it was interesting to see that Microsoft is making a move and reorganizing its sales force. While the reports offer a number of possible reasons for this, it’s certainly about Azure becoming the centerpiece of their future. It’s hard to say what will come from such a lofty reorganization, but it’s fair to say all options should be on the table–including an outsourced element.

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Finding the Best Resellers for Your Channel

Whether you’re ready to go to market or looking to extend your current capabilities, adding partner resellers can shorten and improve the process. Partners offer low upfront costs and bring established customer relationships to your organization.

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Quick and Dirty Tips for Successful Channel Partner Marketing

By now, you’re all very much aware of channel partner marketing and its many benefits. We’ve covered it extensively on our blog. From little-known secrets that can boost sales productivity to partner management best practices that will revamp relationships, our in-depth articles cover the spectrum of this highly-skilled sales and marketing processes. While it’s certainly helpful to read detailed examinations of specific topics, sometimes, it’s the little things that count. 

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3 Things Your Channel Partners Wish You Knew

Depending on how you configure it, a channel-partner program can be an efficient way to grow your business—or a huge drain on your resources. If you have an active channel, enabling your partners is the first key step in creating sustainable relationships. However, finding the resources and the time to provide consistent enablement can be difficult.

It’s easy for managers to get caught up in the daily minutiae of managing a multifaceted sales team. If you’re managing both direct and indirect sales forces, it can be tough to strike a balance between the two. And far too often, this results in operating both on autopilot. 

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