Poor performing partner programmes rife

Too many channel partner programmes are failing to deliver on expectations because they are unfit for purpose, claims research by Investec.

According to the study those businesses that deem their channel programme to be ‘highly successful’ are grossing £50m from their top five channel partners per year, compared to just £16m for unsuccessful programmes.

While IT companies have forecasted an average annual growth of 8% over the next three years, too many are missing their potential to achieve scale-up growth of 20% or more with poor channel performance a major contributing factor, reckons Investec Associate Director Junya Iwamoto.

"Having a dedicated research and development team hardwired into the channel programme is essential," stated Iwamoto.

Just 32% of responding companies hit or exceeded their channel sales target while 52% expressed frustration, expecting to have to significantly change their channel partner network in the near future. 

“Too many tech companies only view the channel as a means of distribution, and this is seriously damaging opportunities for revenue growth," added Iwamoto. 

"There needs to be a cultural shift of listening and taking action on the advice that channel companies provide. 

"We know from working with technology leaders that they spend time and energy building a vision, developing intellectual property and getting viable products to market. 

"Once they have that laser-like focus on strategy it can be hard to shift their mindset and accept feedback from third parties. That doesn’t just hamper scale-up opportunities it can hurt existing business."

Investec commissioned independent market research company Vanson Bourne to survey 250 IT leaders across the UK. Companies ranged from SME to enterprise scale businesses with an average of £106m in annualised revenue.

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