Today, Kaspersky is sharing new insights regarding how to best work with channel partners following the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The research has found that overwhelmingly, 76% of IT channel partners, resellers and distributors in North America said they plan to go back to pre-pandemic models for generating sales once the pandemic begins to decline. This and other findings are a result of Kaspersky’s recent channel report, Redefining Channel Relationships: An analysis of working with channel partners amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a channel driven company, the challenges facing the reseller industry as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic were a main concern for Kaspersky when discussing sales strategies in 2021. As a result, Kaspersky commissioned a survey of 252 IT channel partners, resellers and distributors based in the U.S. and Canada to gauge their sentiments on top concerns and channel needs this year.
According to the survey, the main challenges partners faced when working with vendors during the pandemic include the ability to make fast purchasing decisions (42%) and adapting to the fast-changing landscape (40%). In addition, geography was a factor with partners in the U.S. saying organization downsizing was their biggest hurdle (62%) when working with vendors, whereas Canadians said the shift to remote work (69%) was the main challenge.
While the results revealed an appetite for going back to “business as usual” in the year ahead, there is a realistic point of view that a hybrid approach of in person and virtual ways of conducting business will be necessary. When asked what resellers will do differently from pre-COVID sales models, 73% said more video calls, 63% said less in-person meetings and 33% said more telephone contact. Due to this approach, partners also responded that they expect to see more virtual platforms (55%), financing flexibility (54%) and more training opportunities (49%) in 2021.
“When looking ahead to where we thought the channel sales landscape would be this year, it made the most sense for us to speak directly to resellers to get their direct feedback,” said Matt Courchesne, head of channel for Kaspersky North America. “This survey reveals that while we are all eager to return to doing business as we did prior to the pandemic, it will be more important than ever for vendors to understand that channel partner needs are still evolving, and their channel programs must evolve with them. In doing so, this unique partnership can remain profitable for both resellers and vendors to conduct a healthy level of sales despite the challenges of COVID-19.”
“In general, we feel it is important to work with vendors that are focused on our success,” says James Range, CEO at White Rock Cybersecurity. “We want to see investments in training and sales support to get us off the ground and become self-sufficient as quickly as possible. We also prefer to work with vendors to have separate sales and channel roles. Vendors must have deal registration programs and incumbency protection programs to protect the investments we are making in our customers.”
Cassandra Faro Kaspersky 781-503-1812 [email protected]