Channel Excellence | The book

Building global high performance sales channels

Channel Excellence describes, step by step, how to design, manage and accelerate a partner and alliance network.

In my past as distribution manager by a large US high tech manufacturer, I had the privilege to manage some of the largest distribution channels. Experiencing the friction, channel conflicts and in-transparent cost and margin structure – I decided to completely disrupt the channel business and growing it from zero to the third largest tech distributor in the world.

Key topics in Channel Excellence cover

  • The base structure of a well run partner organization
  • Selecting, on-boarding and developing a partner channel
  • Understanding the channel economics and why an indirect sales channel is always more effective and less costly than a direct sales force, unless the average product price is above $100,000
  • Inheriting a channel and where to start
  • Comparing direct and indirect channels and its advantages in the various situations
  • Methodical channel development
    • Channel Strategy development
    • Channel sizing
    • Channel creation
    • Partner recruiting
    • Channel conflict prevention
    • Partner Marketing
    • Partner Programs
    • Demand Creation
    • Lead management
    • Collaborative project management
    • Deal registration
    • Channel based forecasting
    • Channel segmentation
    • Compensation challenges
    • Going from local to global
  • Social Media leverage in channel management
  • Creating a special SaaS channel (Recuring Revenue)
  • Partner portala, PRM and other systems

1st Edition
The book was first published in 2007, based on experiences building a large global channel and a Pan European Channel.

2nd Edition
The second edition was published in May 2019. A completely new chapter in this second edition is yet another disruptive model: “Zero Margin Distribution”. It addresses the age old hopes from vendors to circumvent distribution all together and saves the margin a distributor is keeping. A second new chapter deals with “Channel Economics” why well run indirect sales channels will always outperform comparably well run direct sales organizations.

The most leveraged sales force

More than 75% of the world’s trade is conducted through sales channels, in accordance to the World Trade Organization. The most successful product sales is done through powerful and well organized multi tier sales channels. Laptops, Servers, Printers, Routers, Network Infrastructure, Security Solutions, Software and so forth is sold through several hundred thousand  independent sales partners such as system integrators, VARs, reseller, retailer, and similar organizations around the globe.

Most product vendors hope to avoid distribution and sell direct to their customers or at least accept only one tier and selling to reseller. That hope is approximately 5,000 years old. It started with trade flow in Egypt where potteries sold their pots to traders who brought their goods with their caravans to towns and over time understood that it was more effective to let local dealers sell those products than themselves. The two tier distribution was born.

The author

Axel Schultze is a visionary and very successful entrepreneur. He is a published author, patent holder, was named one of the globally most influential startup accelerators in 2015, won the SF Entrepreneur Award in 2008, chaired the SaaS Channel Committee at the SIIA, was an early adviser of LinkedIn in 2003 one of the first executives authoring a blog, a beta user of Twitter.

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(C) Copyright - Axel Schultze, 2018 - Beginning @ Nothing