Channel Sales

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

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    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 โ€œall revenues in Year 1โ€ 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, etcโ€ฆ)

    Need to assess:

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

    TODO expand on Channel Sales playbook.