In a partner ecosystem, a distributor is a business that serves as an intermediary between vendors and resellers in a channel partnership. These sellers can include value-added resellers and system integrators. Distributors are in charge of procurement and payment between vendors and resellers.
Distributors are especially important for vendors who need support running their channel program, whether because they're new to the industry or because they have a very high volume of sales to manage. Aside from payment and procurement, distributors can also take on further roles in educating resellers on products, providing presale training or demos, or assisting with contract negotiations and marketing.
Example: Fireforce had a distributor to bring their software to resellers, educate them on its use, and accept payment on behalf of them. This helped Fireforce get their product to more resellers since the distributor could handle the direct management of the reselling process.
A deactivated link no longer directs to a webpage. Deactivating partner links means that if anyone clicks on the partners' links after their links were deactivated, they will land on a 404 page and not your website. Deactivated links are a solution for cases where you want to stop referrals or leads from a partner reaching your webpage. This is a great solution if you are concerned that the partner is referring fraudulent customers.
Deactivating links is usually done when you're in the process of removing a partner from your program.
Example: Jonie had to remove a partner from her program for sending bot leads through. One of the most important parts was deactivating the partner's link so their referrals couldn't access the program webpage.
A direct channel is a sales channel through which goods and services are sold by the manufacturer directly to an end user. These traditional channels don't involve partners of any sort. In direct sales, the end user can purchase the product through online marketplaces, mail order, or face-to-face sales, as long as there is no intermediary distributor or salesforce other than the original manufacturer.
Direct channel gives the manufacturer more control over the sales process of their product and often comes with lower overhead costs. That said, direct channel doesn't have the reach and revenue potential that channel sales can offer. Note that many software companies utilize both direct and channel sales in their overall sales strategy to take advantage of the benefits of both.
Example: An example of direct channel would be going to the PartnerStack website and purchasing the software directly from the PartnerStack sales team. You'd be getting the software straight from the manufacturer without any intermediaries involved in the sales process.
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