Channel vs. Partner: benefits of building a partner program



In today’s global business environment, it’s easy to lose focus on the importance of building and maintaining strong partnerships. Traditional channel programs are often transactional, without any real emphasis on working together to impact the market. A true partner program is authentic, built on relationships, with a focus on open and honest conversations.

Transactions in the Channel

Many organizations that have channel programs are driven by a simple question — How many transactions can we make? Transactions, goals, and other key performance indicators (KPIs) are of course important in any business relationship, but this simplified view of a channel program can often lead to only a surface level interaction. As a result, a channel program doesn’t always reach its full potential. Instead, we must transition to a partner program.

4 Benefits of a Partner Program

Shifting from a transactional channel program to a relational partner program is an effective strategy that offers many benefits for both the organization and its partners. Here are four common benefits you’ll see in a true partner program:

  1. Authenticity – A partnership opens the door for honest communication, where both sides can feel free to voice their concerns and ideas. Partner programs enable ongoing dialogue to ensure that the needs and goals of the organization and its partners are being met.
  2. Continuous Improvement – Once authenticity is established, this can be used to promote continuous improvement. As with any other healthy partnership or relationship, there should be an element of give and take. A partner program is about finding ways to improve things incrementally and continuously for each other.
  3. Different Perspectives – An organization and its partners will benefit from sharing different perspectives on what’s driving the market. Partners will often know their own markets very well and a global organization can share overall trending areas across different industries and regions. These different perspectives from the partner and organizational side can help bring awareness to any important issues that might have otherwise gone unnoticed.
  4. Support and Resources – Partner success is a top priority within a partner program. Partners receive dedicated support from their Partner Managers, and a wide range of sales and marketing resources. Partner escalations and enablement are also key to creating a successful partner experience. Focus on the partner experience and the customer experience will also improve.

Investing in Partners

GoTo is committed to continuous investment into our Partner Program. Here are two recent strategies that will continue to provide growth opportunities for our partners:

  • Acquisition: Our recent acquisition of Mirador will enable us to bring valuable and unique products to our partners, which no one else in the market can deliver.
  • Marketing program: Partners will now have a brand-new co-marketing playbook offering through our Partner Concierge Program. Pre-built digital marketing campaigns are managed by a Partner Concierge to generate qualified leads for partners.

Moving forward, partners can expect to see a more unified Global Partner Program that will continue to grow and adapt to their needs. New partners are joining our program every day, and we’re continuously finding ways to implement and improve the resources and tools to make them successful. We believe that the greatness of our program and organization is our partners and working together will ultimately bring growth and success for us all. For more information on how to partner with GoTo, visit

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