One Expert’s Opinion: What Makes Partner Motivation a Challenge?

The rise of the cloud, line of business (LOB) buyers and non-traditional partner types have been disrupting channel alliances left and right. In the midst of such chaos, partner motivation has become a big focus for a lot of vendors and distributors.

Channel Marketing Journal recently had the opportunity to get perspective on the partner motivation issue from Larry Walsh, founder, CEO and chief analyst of The 2112 Group. Here’s his take on the problem:

“The problem isn’t that partners aren’t motivated; It’s that their motivations don’t always align with their vendors.’ It would be so much simpler if technology partners followed a car dealership model and only worked with one vendor. But to have market relevance, partners have to work with multiple vendors — seven primary vendors, on average. Therein lies the problem.”

When I asked Walsh to sum up the problem in one statement, he quoted this line from Dante’s Divine Comedy, “Abandon all hope, all ye who enter here.”

The meaning here is that as long as vendors continue to put their own business first, partner motivation will continue to be a struggle. If you follow Gary Vaynerchuk (he’s is a great listen, by the way), you know he often talks about the power of giving, and how it creates affinity and motivation. The takeaway is vendors that want to motivate partners need to start by helping their partners’ business succeed.

What do you think? What is your perspective on the challenges of motivating partners to participate in your channel programs and/or make selling your solutions a priority? Contact us to share your thoughts.