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4 Quotes from the Movie “Forest Gump” that Align with the Hardships of Channel Partnerships.
If movies could be elected to the Hall of Fame, “Forrest Gump” would be a first ballot candidate—and no one would dare to think otherwise. So how is this movie related to channel partnerships?
Continue reading and you’ll see…
Poignantly simple, heartbreakingly funny and woven with permanent lessons in every scene, no movie encapsulates the subtle nuances of life, love, and atrocity better than “Forrest Gump.”
It’s a masterpiece, “…and that’s all I got to say bout that.”
But like the many challenges and accomplishments Forest experiences in his life, the same is true for nearly all channel partnerships, who endure an eerily similar trajectory of imbalances, triumphs, and tribulations throughout their lifespan.
Following are 4 unforgettable quotes from the movie “Forest Gump” that introspectively align with the complexities, beauties, and hardships associated with channel partnerships.
“Life’s a box of chocolates, Forrest. You never know what you’re gonna get.” – Mrs. Gump
Mama Gump’s enlightening metaphor alludes to life’s unsuspecting inevitability, where nothing is known until it happens.
With constant modifications in demand, changes in competitor pricing, channel conflict, and product saturation, today’s indirect sales funnel shares a significant resemblance to one of pop culture’s most renowned lines in cinema.
It’s virtually impossible to accurately predict how “tomorrow’s” stock prices will fluctuate, which sales and marketing programs will best perform, or whether or not a partner will opt out of channel activity.
Because, in the channel, there are no certainties.
Although success in the channel mandates strategy, patience, and experience—much of the practice revolves around uncertainty, and that victory nor failure can ever be accurately foreseen.
“Mama always had a way of explaining things so I could understand them.” – Forrest
Vague and complex sales and marketing program guidelines are some of the biggest reasons channel incentives don’t generate the type of ROI or improve partner commitment levels as designed.
Without quantifiable, concrete channel program guidelines that clearly communicate:
- How to qualify
- Why they should participate
- And what they will receive in return…
You can expect problems to ensue. Channel incentive programs should be objective, never subjective; in fact, even is a portion of a program is subject to interpretation you will likely frustrate partners, and consequently, limit program participation and opportunity.
A successful channel incentive program works because it clearly defines the value of each transaction and the logistics that go into qualifying for each transaction.
Partners want realistic, attainable goals that are communicated thoroughly with compensation that is easily calculated.
“Run Forrest, run!” – Jenny
Competition to maintain the interest and loyalty of channel partners takes a plethora of endurance and determination. Competitors are constantly hawking your partners like prey, and the second you let them, they’ll pounce.
Remember the saying “Keep your friends close, and enemies closer”? Well, that cliché fits perfectly into how you should approach the channel:
Pay good, close attention to your partners; communicate with them thoroughly and consistently, give them the tools, content and resources (i.e., partner enablement) to effectively participate in channel activity, and finally, offer richly rewarding, unique incentives that relate back to their bottom-line and introduce them to new, profitable opportunities.
At the same time, keep a closer eye on the competition; visit their website, read their case studies, view their social media profiles, clientele list, testimonials, and (if possible) the rewards they offer partners.
“Me and Jenny goes together like peas and carrots.”— Forrest
Forrest and his beloved Jenny were at one-point inseparable; in fact, much of Forrest’s life was motivated by either being with Jenny, or the possibility of seeing her later in life.
Now, regarding channel partnerships, a similar type of “love” can exist. This “corporate romance” revolves around unity, long-term strategy, mutual success, loyalty, transparency and working together as teammates, not separate businesses.
No matter how “valuable” a partner (you think) may be, if they aren’t producing results, communicating consistently or working to benefit both businesses, it’s best to do away with them, and only keep the partners that do.