After 12 years in channel journalism, I've heard the same line from vendors a few times over. Certain sells and arguments have simply grown tedious. However, this is by no means an anti-vendor rant - we wouldn't have an industry without them. This is a light-hearted take on those vendors who seek publicity by a means so well trodden, very little is said to distinguish the firm. So here's a few lines vendors should avoid when speaking to journalists or resellers themselves.
"Actually, we don't have any rivals"
OK, obscure security start-up, I can't think of any other anti-virus vendors either. When we ask vendors "who are your rivals?", vendors often answer by arguing that its particular product does something unique, therefore there are no rivals. You literally don't understand what the word rival means, then. A rival is another vendor an end-user picks instead. It might be that your products do something slightly different, but if you are losing business to that other vendor, it is your rival.
"We have a new partner portal"
It's a website. Because you need a login that simply makes it a website with a login. 'Portal' is an attempt to make it sound like a Stargate to a realm where margins are over 50 per cent and marketing support is limitless. You have a website, the reseller has a login for it, end of story.
"We want quality, rather than quantity, with our reseller base"
As opposed to 500 resellers operating out of a broom cupboard in the Cotswolds? What a hot take. To seek resellers that are actually good at reselling products and adding value? Wow, that's such a crazy strategy it might just work.
"We're a channel-friendly organisation"
The term "channel-friendly" is so woefully vague that it is pointless. What does it mean? The vendor will help you move house? Send a card on your birthday? 'Like' your obscure Facebook posts? It basically means it wants more resellers to sell its products and then you'll be mates. Hardly a friendship. A sub-set of this point is the vendor claiming "we're fully channel committed". Great, we say, so how much of your business goes through the channel? "We don't disclose those figures." Oh, sorry we asked what you meant by the thing you just said.
Using any of the following phrases: synergy, market leading, world class, ecosystem, thought leadership, unprecedented growth/success, evolution of, revolutionary, complementary service, growth explosion, end-to-end/holistic offering, single point-of-sale, product cross-over, first of its kind, best in class, solution focused, growth potential, enablement piece, channel upselling opportunity, measurable value, natural fit, milestone achievement, multi-year commitment, digital future, expansive portfolio, exciting appointment, enlarged footprint, growth operations, continue to grow, broad customer base, exciting market, enterprise play, ongoing commitment, robust, signal of intent.
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