As manufacturers continue to unveil subscription services, they often find themselves inadvertently straining important partnerships with their channel partners. The point of contention: Who owns the customer experience?
That’s because distributors and value-added resellers often have longstanding, fiercely protected relationships with buyers that are built on familiarity and trust. Forward-thinking manufacturers who are pushing to become more customer-centric through connected products, bundled services, and regular touchpoints with end users are driving growth for the entire channel ecosystem. But if they don’t properly manage their partnerships within the channel, manufacturers are likely to encounter negative consequences, including:
Delayed launch. If channel partners aren’t clear about their role in the go-to-market strategy, new subscription offerings may stumble at launch and create opportunities for competitors to get in first.
Loss of trust. Manufacturers who push out pricing constraints without context or warning will likely alienate partners, who may lose faith in the value of the partnership.
Impeded innovation. Manufacturers rely on their channel partners for insights and data on customer satisfaction, needs, and preferences, and if they lose that visibility, they lose the ability to innovate from that information.
To avoid these pitfalls, manufacturers should take proactive steps to ensure their channel partners make a smooth transition to the as-a-service model. For manufacturers looking to win the channel experience, five key levers can mean the difference between success and failure.