Vendors under pressure to generate better channel data

The information that a lot of vendors have around rebate, MDF and marketing programmes is nowhere near as good as it should be

Vendors are coming under increasing pressure to adopt technologies that will improve their knowledge and relationships with the channel.

The spotlight in recent times has settled on Partnership Relationship Management (PRM) with the likes of Impartner stating that vendors need to use tools to get to grips with all of their channel partners.

There are also other areas where vendors are being encouraged to adopt technology with channel data management becoming another place where the feeling is that current working patterns cannot continue.

Chanan Greenberg, senior vice president & general manager High Tech at Model N, said that poor quality data and delayed insights meant that a lot of vendor dealings with channel partners were reactive.

"One of the problems is that things are siloed and people don't think of things as integral processes so finance can be looking at rebates and not thinking that those things should be linked [with other departments like marketing and sales]," he said.

Because many vendors used home grown tools, including Excel spreadsheets, it meant that the data that did come through from rebate programmes, MDF schemes and other marketing activities was rarely good quality.

Greenberg said that it had run its own reviews of some of the material coming back to vendors and found that 88% of the data was not usable for a sales compensation pay out.

That caused problems when vendors were trying to work out discounts and rewards and made it very difficult for real-time proactive campaigns.

"The buying process has changed and the buying journey is now so fast and the channel needs to operate at that pace as well. You want to react quicker and not be operating a full quarter behind where you think the channel is," he said.

Vendors like to talk a great deal about simplicity but the data they work with and the structures they operate can thwart that ambitions.

"The channel is pressing for claimless processes. On a rebate programme why would a reseller need to put in a claim to get it paid out if the vendor knew what they were doing? The channel is not looking to swindle the vendor but wants to have quicker processes and get paid quicker," he said.

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