Culture dictates the vision - so alignment of stakeholders and departments is essential to set common goals.

28.01.22 04:17 PM By Jacqui

Culture dictates the vision - so alignment of stakeholders and departments is essential to set common goals.

We all know that a company’s vision and mission originate from the top and is then interpreted and executed through the departments. So, it is essential that the key stakeholders drive a channel centric vision.


However, you’d be surprised to learn how many times the CRO is striving for bigger deals with a few good partners, whereas the CMO is focused on tactical campaigns to drive cross-sell or renewals while regional sales teams are hell-bent on partner recruitment? Revenue is at the heart of all, but this is a classic case of departments working in silos.

 

When was the last time you explored and aligned stakeholder goals?

 

Most vendors will regularly dispatch a PSAT (partner satisfaction surveys) albeit one that is a rather prescriptive Q&A rather than collecting the data points while also hearing the anecdotal. Doing these PSATs on a 1:1 basis may seem excessive but taking a subset of your partners and making the effort to discuss their business and pain points is not to be underestimated.

 

However, whatever form they take, they still play a vital role in assessing and steering the channel activities. But equally important is that they are mirrored by regular depth interviews with key department heads to ensure there is alignment amongst stakeholders.

 

Data can help with the insight (i.e., what drives most revenue; is it a few big deals, more cross-sell opportunities, or new partner acquisition), but until you talk to the feet on the street you will not know how that is being interpreted in the field. There are likely to be regional differences, and since Covid has restricted travel, teams have been unable to meet in person, and so what may have been small gaps have grown into chasms. Many team members may have never met in person as restrictions have been in place since job changes, promotions and throughout several planning phases.

 

The execution of these stakeholder interviews is important and using an independent 3rd party to do this can be helpful as there is no “axe to grind” no preconceived favouritisms or preconceptions or product preferences. This isn’t a “tell-all” moan about the business (although it can sometimes seem so), but a way to understand the frustrations of day-to-day business and what is taking time and effort and not working.

From experience, the best example to demonstrate this is training and enablement. Time and again training and skills bubbles to the surface. Whether that is uncertified partners who are still allowed to be “Gold” or a lack of an easy-to-follow training journey or one that is too expensive (and frankly, gone are the days when you can charge to train your partners to sell your solution).

Cows in the mist

Being able to nail the problems by depth discussions gives vent for frustrations and when you have heard the same thing time and again from different stakeholders the key priorities emerge like cows in the mist, (well gorillas would have been a bit cliché).

But importantly, you learn where these “silos” of separation are between departments and the shared pains.

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    IDENTIFY

    1.  The “silos” of separation between departments

    2.  Shared pains.

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Now you know the problems you can do something about it as this presents an opportunity to kickstart the realignment. And having done the stakeholder interviews you have the internal evidence to back up your plans.

For instance, everyone wants training to be free, on-demand, with simple one-click access and a learning journey. Making this and other shared pains a priority for 2022 will see these quick wins and a team pulling together.