Are you developing a partner-based channel distribution model? If so, there are some operational aspects that you should be considering.
Most product companies start their life with direct sales and there are many PSA systems on the market that support this sales model. However, once the ISV moves into a channel sales operation, there are a number of system considerations that must be tackled to make this work effectively.
In this blog post, I thought I would discuss the system considerations of a channel sales model and how HarmonyPSA’s unique channel sales support model can help you build your partner network with the minimum of manual intervention.
So, what do you need to think about?
Firstly, the data model is different. You no longer have a “customer”, you have two counter-parties on the order, the distribution partner and the end customer and your PSA tool needs to be able to support that concept;
Then you need the ability to decide which counterparty is your business counterparty and which your financial one is. Separating these behaviours allows you to invoice the distribution partner (financial counterparty) while being able to record tickets against the end customer (business counterparty);
Then it will really simplify order processing if your distribution partner can record orders on your customer portal. This on-line order creation ability means that your distribution partners remain responsible for recording all details of the sale directly on your system, eliminating transfer errors and saving you time;
To make this possible, you need the ability for each distribution partner to have a price book that is automatically used on any orders they raise to ensure that the right commission level is applied to their orders;
Next, you need to be able to create alerts for your operations team to pick-up any set-up or commissioning actions they need to get the end customer operational. If that alert can auto-create a ticket, all the better;
Lastly, you need the ability to invoice multiple end customers on a single distribution partner invoice so that they receive a consolidated invoice which includes and clearly references all the orders running.
Get all that right and your financial processes for order management and billing will be as automated and so scalable without incurring overheads in the Finance Dept and you can focus on feature delivery not administration.
Harmony addresses all six, making it the most automated channel sales PSA tool on the market today.
If you are struggling to scale your distribution channel business, contact us and we will explain how Harmony can automate the flows and reduce errors.
About the Author: Harmony Business Systems Ltd (HBS) is the company behind HarmonyPSA, the most complete cloud PSA software on the market. Developed with functionality to cater for even the most complex needs of MSPs, VARs, ISVs and Professional Services organisations, HarmonyPSA truly is the next generation of PSA systems. Follow HarmonyPSA on Twitter, LinkedIn or Website