For many years, determining the success or failure of channel partnerships has all boiled down to a single benchmark: profit. However, the landscape is beginning to change. Today’s businesses are broadening their definition of what makes a great channel partner, pursuing collaborators that offer more than just a boosted bottom line. This is according to Richard Eglon, Chief Marketing Officer at Agilitas.
A recent study conducted by energy management firm Schneider Electric has found that sustainability is currently the top focus for partners - with 75 per cent of partners having dedicated ESG resources. Modern channel leaders are measuring their partnerships against more complex criteria and benchmarks that go beyond healthier balance sheets. As a result, the way in which channel partnerships of the future are being measured is changing, but what is driving these new alliances?
The changing perception of ‘quick wins’
The problem with sticking rigidly to financial criteria when choosing a channel partner is that any success is ultimately finite and misleading. Higher-income will not be sustainable in the long term when the partner does not tick any of the other important boxes and the relationship does not stand the test of time, meaning fresh resources will need to be poured into finding a new collaborator.
A real Return on Investment (ROI) from a channel partnership involves the enhancement of brand reputation, customer satisfaction, company footprint, and profit margins. But to uncover a channel partner that prioritises this, a significant shift in mindset is required: a move from profit-obsessed partnerships to purpose-guided equivalents.
Prioritising purpose-driven partnerships
Healthy channel partnerships are about so much more than just the product, as they prioritise sharing values and ideas, and visions for the future. There is a new era of eco-focused channel partnerships built on shared views for improved sustainability, an example of the purpose and profit working hand in hand so that neither must be compromised.
The future of channel partners
Gartner research estimates that over 85 per cent of organisations will embrace the cloud-first principle by 2025, with Channel partners integrating multiple services to build complex ecosystems that contain sustainability as a core pillar. Channel partner metrics are already starting to include team engagement, research and analysis, and carbon footprint records.
Aligning with a partner is crucial as strong collaboration empowers companies to offer multiple services and increase efficiency - all the while fostering a thriving business culture that enhances engagement. The future of Channel partnerships will involve more scrutiny than ever before, and it will benefit the entire industry in the long term.