A lack of information available to channel sales executives accounts is resulting in an extreme loss of revenue and potential opportunities, according to the findings of a survey of senior channel sales and marketing executives. The research, conducted by cloud-based channel management solution provider Channelinsight, revealed that incentive program performance, partner and end-customer identification and segmentation information are vital to channel program success.
The survey found inaccurate incentive payments and a lack of a simple, automated system for managing incentives were damaging confidence in channel programs, as only 33% of survey respondents are somewhat or very satisfied with their current incentive program performance. On average, respondents believe they overpay on incentive programs by 6%, and only 40% of indicate that company channel incentives are calculated and processed automatically.
“In any industry, information and insight is key to success, but when it comes to channel sales, information is at a premium,” said Mark Greene, CEO, Channelinsight. “Without quick, accurate sales data, companies experience lost revenues, overpayments and ineffective incentive programs. Today’s survey results validate the need for greater visibility into channel sales and demonstrate that companies need new tools to help them attain this information.”
The Channelinsight survey also found that although the majority of companies can identify partners — with 87% saying they can always or usually segment their channel revenue by partner type — more than half of respondents (54%) said they have no insight into market segments.
BtoB organizations are increasingly challenged to develop better, detailed iend customer and data insights. Although 68% of respondents can usually or always identify the end-customer in indirect sales, only half of those respondents have actionable end-customer data and segmentation information. Despite 66% of respondents believing it is vital to consult partner and end-customer data throughout planning and decision-making processes, only 39% expressed satisfaction with customer and partner data available within their company.
Overall, 57% percent of respondents rely on internal team research as a primary source for end-customer segmentation information, while only 28% used a third-party service.
Channelinsight surveyed 112 sales, marketing and channel operations professionals in large and mid-sized companies in the high-tech and software industries within the Baptie Channel Focus Community, a sales and marketing executive conference organizer and Channelinsight partner. Half of the respondents involved in the survey belong to companies that drive more than 60% of revenue through the channel.