Channel Sales

aka Indirect Sales or Partner Sales or whatever you want to call it.

Table of Contents

    22 Mar 2023

    Channel Sales is when you sell to your end customer via a channel, ie a partner, a reseller, a distributor, a retailer, etc.

    It is complementing Direct Sales, ie selling directly to your end customer.

    I have spent the most part of my early career building Channel Sales for both hardware & software organisations.

    The leverage potential of Channel Sales is huge, and mostly undertapped, ie with sub-par execution.

    I think Channel Sales is vastly underappreciated, underutilised and often plain misunderstood.

    Investing properly & executing well in Channel Sales is a great way to grow quickly - and to expand in regions where it would be difficult & costly to do so with Direct Sales only.


    • referral only: introduces us, we do the work, gets X if we close the deal
    • closes deal, but on our papers, gets X
    • closes deal, buys from us, signs on his papers (reseller)
    • VAR (Value-Added Reseller) buys from us, sells a package to client including their service and our platform

    For small fishes, 1) is the easiest as 2-4 comes with quite a bit of work to support partner adequately to close, else can lead to frustration or below par results.

    X can be:

    • % on closed deal (or “all revenues in Year 1” from that client if you want to be generous and include growth in account beyond first deal signed)
    • discount on his own product use
    • or other carrots (buy something from him, donate to charity of his choice, Amazon gift cards, etc…)

    Need to assess:

    • what drivers are / incentive threshold
    • channel sales potential
    • support required/expected

    TODO expand on Channel Sales playbook.