SiriusDecisions Says New TRED Model Removes Dread from Channel Marketing Management

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SiriusDecisions has now developed a unique framework that enables channel professionals to better allocate resources and programs to achieve corporate goals.

drawing on a very expensive canvas with crayons

It aligns business objectives to channel activities, drives demand creation, boosts productivity, ramps up ROI, tracks spending and monitors results. If you're expecting to hear "but wait, there's more," no one would blame you. However, while it may sound like a nice fit for an "amazing product" infomercial, the new SiriusDecisions TRED model specifically created to support channel marketers really is designed to deliver all of the above.

Collecting data from customer benchmark surveys, a channel survey and 2009 corporate marketing budgets, the research and advisory firm has constructed the TRED model to address the following four most common -- and critical -- layers of b-to-b channel investment:

  • Technology. Focuses on a series of underlying applications (as well as the ancillary services that surround them) that enable the channel in a systematic, repeatable manner.
  • Recruitment. Includes the activities and supporting tools required to identify, enlist and onboard new channel partners.
  • Enablement. Includes the training, certification and skills transfer required to assist partners in generating demand for a supplier's products and/or delivering value-added services.
  • Demand creation. Focuses on activities that generate demand for the supplier's products. They range from reseller incentives and marketing activities conducted at the distributor level, to customer stimulus offers used to accelerate pipeline opportunities.

At each TRED layer, there are three core options that channel leaders have at their disposal to deploy appropriate operational and demand creation activities. These options include:

  • Supplier-to-partner. Includes programs designed and executed by the supplier for the specific benefit of partners.
  • Partner-to-customer. Includes programs created by suppliers specifically for execution by their partners. This route allows suppliers to take advantage of the relationships -- and the lists -- that key partners have built within the geographical or vertical markets they serve.
  • Supplier-to-customer. Involves suppliers' efforts to generate bottom-up demand from target audiences, a necessary complement to the top-down approach taken in the first two options.

"By categorizing channel marketing activities across our TRED demand creation layer, b-to-b companies looking to align these activities with sales goals can gain better insight into how their investments are dispersed across channel tiers and balance their efforts for maximum sales effectiveness," notes Laz Gonzalez, SiriusDecisions' research director and head of its new Channel Management Strategies (CMS) advisory service. "Our research reveals that 58 percent of the overall channel budget is now going to demand creation activities, while the vast majority (40 percent) of the spend is being pushed out to field marketing initiatives -- with an emphasis on supplier-to-customer programs over direct investments in partner awareness."

B-to-b organizations lacking a uniform method to track channel expenditures and align tactical activities with strategic goals are basically "drawing on a very expensive canvas with crayons," says Mr. Gonzalez. He notes that for years, "far too many" channel executives have failed to track the direct result of their actions with third-party partners. However, the economic downturn has now mandated that these leaders become much more disciplined, aligning efforts behind best practices and activities they can measure against strategic initiatives.

Concludes John Neeson, SiriusDecisions' managing director and co-founder: "As programs evolve, they often reflect a series of disconnected activities which may have worked in the past but may not apply to new initiatives or goals. By using a tool like the TRED model, organizations forge fundamental agreement on the core areas of potential activities (and corresponding spend) that the organization should consider. By then applying a variety of 'what-if' scenarios, they can examine how spending and activity should change accordingly. In a channel world that continues to be much more art than science, such clarity should be more than welcome."

To learn more details about SiriusDecisions' CMS service and how your organization can optimize the TRED model, please contact Laz Gonzalez at lgonzalez@siriusdecisions.com.

This timely topic will also be discussed with delegates attending SiriusDecisions' annual Summit flagship event from May 13-15 at Arizona's Fairmont Scottsdale resort. To register or obtain more information about the Summit, which brings together the best and brightest from the b-to-b sales and marketing world, please go to http://www.siriusdecisions.com/conference.

About SiriusDecisions
SiriusDecisions is the world's leading source for business-to-business sales and marketing best-practice research and data. SiriusDecisions Executive Advisory Services, Consulting Services, Benchmark Assessment Services, Learning and Events provide senior-level executives with the sales and marketing operational intelligence required to maximize top line growth and performance. The unique combination of thought leadership, benchmark data, analytic tools, best practices and access to a peer and analyst network allow SiriusDecisions clients to quickly receive the critical insight they need to make decisions effectively. For more information about SiriusDecisions, headquartered in Wilton, CT, visit http://www.siriusdecisions.com.

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