SOURCE: CMO Council

April 01, 2008 10:05 ET

CMO Council Scorecard Rates Vendor/Channel Performance and Partnerships as Deficient Across Six Major Channel Sectors

Resellers Give Vendors Poor Marks on Lead Value, Volume and Marketing Campaign Effectiveness; Lack of Collaborative Team Selling and Account Conflict Remain Issues

PALO ALTO, CA--(Marketwire - April 1, 2008) - The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council today released a scorecard and findings from its new Channel Performance Outlook Study that many might view as a failing grade for how vendors drive business performance through some of the most critical avenues of customer engagement, purchasing and service worldwide.

Topping the list of channel complaints were lean lead rates, unqualified opportunities, and lackluster marketing campaigns which failed to connect with the customer. Lack of cooperation between the channel and field marketing groups also surfaced as a significant issue, as well as the perennial problem of key account conflict with direct selling groups inside vendor organizations.

Sponsored by BLUEROADS (www.blueroads.com), the Channel Performance Outlook 2008 report includes insights from over 500 dealers, resellers, and distributors across six industry sectors: Information Technology, Physical Security and Surveillance, Telecommunications, Consumer Electronics, Office Products, and Professional Audio/Visual Equipment. The combined revenue for these business partners is expected to exceed $5 trillion by 2010 based on aggregated data from vertical channel publications.

Despite billions of dollars spent on lead generation programs and branding campaigns, the CMO Council reports a significant portion of these expenditures are not driving channel performance or product sell-through. In some cases, marketing and sales activities may well be alienating the channel, reducing trust, confusing the customer and reducing overall productivity and effectiveness.

Key findings from the study reveal that:

--  Less than seven percent of resellers say vendors are their most
    valuable source of leads
    
--  Only 19 percent said vendor leads were highly actionable
    
--  A surprising 70 percent of resellers said vendor marketing campaigns
    were ineffective or only somewhat effective in driving their business
    
--  When it comes to partnering, a disappointing 46 percent say vendor
    field marketing reps never or infrequently team with them in cooperative
    selling
    
--  Nearly 80 percent of resellers say they experienced significant, or
    some, conflict or competition with vendor sales organizations
    
--  On a positive note, despite the economic downturn, a surprising 57
    percent of the channel expects substantial increases in business
    

"With as much as 80 percent of business leads languishing, lost or ineffectually handled, there is a big top-line revenue benefit for vendors seeking to increase yield, productivity and accountability throughout the channel," commented Donovan Neale-May, Executive Director of the CMO Council.

"All too often, organizations overlook the value of channel input and customer data on product development, messaging and marketing program design, and lack the visibility into where and how opportunities are being delivered, executed and realized. What we found is that vendors across multiple important industries are earning at best a 'C' grade in vendor-channel performance. They need to add an O to the 'C' and embrace the process of co-operative marketing, selling, product development and problem solving," Neale-May adds.

The findings of the Channel Performance Outlook study are in line with similar results of a Customer Affinity Index report released earlier in the year by the CMO Council, which reveals further vendor-channel disconnects. In this poll, only 3 percent of channel partners indicated that their vendors are extremely well aligned around the end customer, and only 8 percent of vendor marketing respondents said they do an extremely good job of teaming with the channel to build stronger customer affinity. In addition, vendors are not in sync with their channel partners to instill trust with customers, the study shows.

"In today's complex multi-level market, vendor revenue and margin is driven by the channel's ability to quickly act on opportunities, as well as cultivate, up-sell and close deals," notes Charles Watson, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sales for BLUEROADS. "Engaging effectively with the channel can improve the relevancy of messaging and better focus and direct marketing spend. Building a relationship of trust and a system of accountability and reward is critical to optimizing channel performance," he states.

To download a free abstract of the Channel Performance Outlook 2008 report, please visit our website at: http://www.cmocouncil.org/resources/form_cpo.asp. The comprehensive report is also available on our website and can be purchased for $199.

About the CMO Council

The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council is dedicated to high-level knowledge exchange, thought leadership and personal relationship building among senior marketing and brand decision-makers across a wide-range of global industries. The CMO Council's 3,000 members control more than $70 billion in aggregated annual marketing expenditures. Companies represented on the CMO Council have combined annual revenue of over $600 billion. Visit the CMO Council web site to find out about the initiatives geared to address executive marketers' challenges at www.cmocouncil.org.

About BLUEROADS

BLUEROADS Corporation delivers proven enterprise Partner Opportunity Management solutions that help organizations with complex, multi-dimensional channels market and sell more effectively. Customers like Avaya, Polycom and Juniper depend on BLUEROADS' unique closed-loop system which empowers individual partner representatives to actively participate in sales and marketing processes. BLUEROADS strengthens the bond between vendors and their partners, achieving the mutually beneficial goals of increased conversion rates, revenue and market share. BLUEROADS is headquartered in San Mateo, California and is financed by ArrowPath Venture Capital, Cardinal Venture Capital, El Dorado Ventures and The Halo Fund. For more information, please visit www.blueroads.com.

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