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Channels (Indirect Sales)

Channels, partners, distributors, agents, OEMs, systems integrators, VARs, ... all a mystery to many young organizations. Selling indirect is not always applicable so choosing the right sales model is something you have to consciously do. Once chosen, the implementation strategy can vary -- the end result can generate a great deal of business momentum for a young company, something that can easily drown it.

The indirect route is very common when taking North American products to Europe (EMEA) and the Far East (APAC). Young companies typically can't afford to open sales offices overseas nor do they have the expertise and knowledge of the various local markets (to say nothing of command of the local languages). The indirect partner community in each of EMEA and APAC is very mature, perhaps more than their counterparts in North America. Success comes from picking the partners who understand your market and ultimately your products. Operating indirectly is not a free ride by any means, perhaps more frustrating at times than sales operations in your home country. If the right partners are chosen, the right business planning occurs, the proper amount of investment in time and money can make an indirect model your best ally for gaining needed market share.

This section looks at a variety of indirect paths a product can take to get to market, some of the key challenges that arise as well as the core processes that need to be put in place to make them all work. (Channel Topics)