Fail Your Partners

And while you’re at it, why not discard some channel partners too.

That’s the prescription from Geoffrey James as well…


“You want to increase your sales through indirect channels. However, you’re going about it the wrong way. Your plan is to increase the number of channel partners and then spend money on demand creation to create pull-through. That’s going to be very expensive and very high risk. My recommendation is to do the opposite. I think you should DECREASE the number of channel partners and pay MORE attention to the channel partners that remain, so that they become more effective at selling your product.”

The ‘less is more’ prescription is all about ‘quality over quantity’. In the spreadsheet driven world of business, it’s all about the numbers. But ‘bigger’ numbers are not always ‘better’ numbers. The ‘bigger is better’ mentality really got cemented in the Industrial Age of big scale enterprise of the 20th century. In the Industrial Age model, large scale meant driving down the costs of production for competitive advantage. And the mentality behind it became embedded in the DNA of most of last century’s business luminaries – Ford, GM, GE, Microsoft. But twenty-first century business is less ‘brute force’ and more refined than that.