As many followers of these posts may already know, I have a background that spans both sides of the Vendor-Reseller divide. And believe me, it can be a very broad divide at times.
Having lived life from both sides of the fence and currently with one foot in each camp, it never ceases to both amuse and to frustrate me - in almost equal measure - when I come across a potential "Vendor Partner" who wants access to increased sales revenue via resellers but who simply doesn't get the fact that effective "Reseller Development" is in many ways directly analogous to effective "Packaged Software Development" in that it requires not only focus, knowledge & commitment but also an initial investment of time, effort and - invariably - money to get to the point where you have a viable and committed reseller on board and producing ongoing business for you.
Every vendor on the planet understands that they have to invest time and money - on software development - to get their packaged applications to the point that they are actually available for sale, so why don't they get that it takes a similar investment of time and money beyond that - on sales development - to actually sell them?
Oh, that's right, good products sell themselves .... right?
Well, many of the vendors that I come across and to whom I extend my organizations services as a Value Added Reseller have some absolutely excellent products available for sale, which - for some mysterious reason - simply aren't selling or aren't selling as well as they should.
Many of those vendors are very receptive to my approach and accept that they need assistance with their sales and marketing efforts - even if only to more effectively reach new geographical markets - but others respond to me by saying something like "bring us a deal and then we'll talk".
What makes me smile when I hear that is that I know those very same vendors -almost within the same breath - will bemoan the fact that they have engaged with a large numbers of resellers in the past who produce very little in the way of ongoing new business and that they are therefore very wary of investing time and money in engaging with and supporting the efforts of any new reseller until they can actually demonstrate capability and bring them a deal.
But hold on a second ... isn't that exactly the kind of "flawed vendor thinking" that breeds large numbers of resellers who write very little in the way of new business beyond that very first deal?
Doesn't that approach actually encourage the opportunistic dealmakers out there to simply wait until they find a potential deal, take it to whichever vendor has a solution that best fits the bill, sign themselves up as a reseller, do that one deal, make a little money and then move on to the next "opportunity" with no commitment or intention whatsoever of promoting that same vendor solution anywhere else ... unless of course an opportunity so to do falls right into their laps?
As far as I'm concerned, any vendor adopting that approach is merely filling the channel up with what they themselves don't actually want and what I call the "One Deal Reseller".
Unfortunately, our industry appears to have spawned a large number of vendors who are simply not even on the same planet, let alone on the same page, as precisely the kind of reseller that they actually need and should be engaging with.
"Bring me a deal and then we'll talk"... Sure. Next.