Channel management executivesoften come to the discipline through field or inside sales roles. As a result, many people that are new to channel management struggle with the whole concept of creating a compelling joint value proposition with their channel partners. One of the most effective ways to help channel management professionals overcome this obstacle is to introduce the joint value propositioncanvas during their channel sales training.

The joint value proposition canvas is a tool used by channel managers and the channel partners that they manage to bring everyone together in terms of messaging with potential customers. The canvas leads both parties on the sales and marketing roadmap together, helping them to consider what is unique and compelling about the joint solutions which they can offer in the marketplace, and how they can differentiate these offerings from the competition.

The value proposition canvas is often used in channel training as it is a helpful way to interpret the manufacturer and partner joint offerings in language that describes a customers’ needs. The model is typically split into two sides: on the left are aspects of the manufacture and partners joint solutions and on the right is everything to do with the customer’s needs. The object is to find the optimum match between the two sides.

The left hand side describing the joint solutions includes:

Products and Services: Obviously these are the offerings from the manufacturer and the channel partner that jointly come together to provide unique solutions for customers. They are the basis for the gain creators and pain relievers that the customer is seeking.

Gain creators: This describes how the joint solution will generate added value for customers, and deliver them with “gains”.

Pain relievers: These are the elements of the joint offerings that will enable customers to reduce or eliminate challenges that are causing “business pain” for them.

The right hand side outlining the customer needs includes:

Gains sought: These are the benefits and value add that customers are seeking in order to successfully drive their business forward.

Pain relievers sought: Pains are obstacles within an organization that are holding them back from achieving their true potential, or which are in some way causing conflict. The organization requires solutions that will minimize or completely eliminate these pains.

Jobs to be done: The various tasks and activities that customers are attempting to achieve. From an organizational perspective (as opposed to consumer) these tasks may be mission-criticaland lack of attainment may provide an existential threat to the organization.

The challenge for the channel management team and the partner sales team is to analyze all of these factors and come up with a “best fit” between both sides of the equation. This means that the most valuable parts of the left hand side (joint offerings) match the greatest needs of the right hand side (customer). Part of the goal is to try and come up with a joint value proposition that is:

  1. Compelling to the customer i.e. interesting and provides significant and relevant value.
  2. Plays to their (the manufacturer and channel partner) unique differentiators and core competencies.

The ideal joint value proposition will thereby be unique in the market and will form the basis of a competitive advantage for them. It is important that all stakeholders understand the importance of this, and it may require some investment in channel management training for both the channel sales team and the partner sales team in order to ensure clarity.

The joint value proposition canvas has great potential for enabling channel partners and their manufacturing partners to work together more successfully. Engaging it with a formal channel management training process is essential for making sure that it is fully understood and that all stakeholders are clear on how to use it to grow sales.

About the Channel Institute:

The Channel Institute is the only training body in the world that provides business training and certification specifically for the channel profession through a syllabus validated by a vendor-independent Industry Advisory Council. The Institute currently offers three certificate courses supporting channel managers, channel marketers and channel resellers:

  • The Certificate in Channel Management
  • The Certificate in Channel Sales
  • The Certificate in Channel Marketing
  • The Certificate in Digital Co-Marketing