How Autodesk used a Sales Channel to achieve success

How Autodesk used a Sales Channel to achieve success

Using a sales channel or resellers for selling a SAAS can prove to be quite cumbersome. We live in the golden age of the Internet, which allows you to directly reach your customers without having to use a channel. Paired with a customer success team to renew, this is a recipe for success. Thus, why should you give a play to the channel?

Here’s an example of how Autodesk managed to turn this argument on its head and succeeded quite well. What did they do differently?

1) They re-instrumented their software for subscriptions. They did this by creating subscriber IDs, pushing regular updates, and so on.

2) They invested heavily in educating their channels on how subscriptions worked. Instead of trying to out-compete the channels penchant for big on-premise contracts, they offered something more – an AMC plan with a chance to make more money.

3) They encouraged the channel to kill the once-a-year sales cycle to quarterly sprints – the first quarter being adoption, the next two being usage, and the fourth quarter being renewal & upsell.

4) All extra data generated out of re-engineering was shared with the channel. ISV often treat their channels as orphans. Trust begets trust. The channel was delighted and paid back with their own trust of Autodesk!
Sales and marketing is no longer in the hands of smarketeers. Engineering, growth hacking, and product design together drive sales success!

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