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Addressing the 7 Biggest Vendor Partner Challenges

by | Apr 3, 2024

Addressing the 7 Biggest Vendor Partner Challenges

Today’s tech market is fast-paced and ever-changing, presenting MSPs with new opportunities to expand offerings and scale their business. For vendors, that means the chance to cultivate strategic, long-term vendor partnership programs for MSPs, unlocking advancement for growth and innovation. However, that’s not to say that navigating these partnerships is simple — in fact, vendor partner challenges are common and, more often than not, headache-inducing.

In this blog, we’ll dive into the common obstacles faced in MSP-vendor partnerships and the best strategies for addressing (and overcoming) them. From understanding where to place partnership focus, sharpening sales and marketing skills and understanding where money should flow, you have your all-access pass to thorough vendor relationship management for MSPs.

Challenge 1: Recognizing MSPs’ Business Needs

First things first, it’s important to recognize that many MSPs lack in-depth business knowledge. Vendors have a unique opportunity to bridge this gap by offering business training programs that equip them with the tools and insights needed to take on the complexities of the market landscape and make more informed strategic decisions. For instance, Marketopia’s 4U2GROW training program includes courses in business skills for MSPs, with lessons on how to build better business relationships, create ideal prospect lists and improve sales closing strategies for MSPs.

Plus, tailored business training programs demonstrate vendors’ commitment to the success of their MSP partners, creating a sense of trust and loyalty. As MSPs become more proficient in business operations, they are better positioned to drive their businesses forward, achieve sustainable growth and deliver more value to their clients.

Challenge 2: Supporting Sales Growth in Light of Resource Constraints

Many MSPs face budgetary constraints, having to be specific with what they decide to invest in. Still, there is a way that vendors can alleviate this burden while encouraging lead generation and increased brand visibility: offering sales and marketing collateral.

Sales assets, like eye-catching presentations, informative brochures and in-depth case studies, allow MSPs to impress prospects on the vendor’s product and close more deals while saving them more time and money. In the same vein, marketing resources for MSPs, like pre-built marketing campaigns with assets like blogs, emails and social media posts, help MSPs enhance their brand visibility, amplify their reach and elevate their look for an even better reputation.

Building strong partnerships goes both ways. Vendors can leverage this to refine their programs and achieve even better results.

Challenge 3: Facilitating Lead Generation

Of course, one of the biggest concerns is lead generation strategies for MSPs. After all, it’s the steady influx of leads that drives business expansion above all. So, what’s the answer? Vendors should equip MSPs with cutting-edge lead generation tools and resources designed to streamline the process of identifying, nurturing and converting leads into customers.

Take a marketing automation platform like The Growth Machine, for example. The Growth Machine (TGM) is a one-stop-shop for vendors to empower their MSP to increase lead and sales growth with:

  • Growth Training & Mentoring: TGM offers various training programs for your MSP partners, including live monthly webinars on sales strategy for MSPs, access to an on-demand course library with certifications and a monthly marketing newsletter. It also facilitates networking opportunities through online communities and conferences.
  • Marketing Services: Vendors can leverage TGM’s marketing platform, which provides features like CRM, marketing automation and pre-built marketing campaigns. Additionally, it offers website hosting with chat features, AI-powered content creation tools and SEO optimization services.

Beyond this, TGM also offers Channel Growth-As-A-Service (CGaaS) to help vendors develop and improve their channel partner programs, including reviewing and optimizing MDF/BDF programs.

Challenge 4: Diversifying Lead Sources

While word-of-mouth referrals undoubtedly hold value, relying solely on them can limit the scope of potential opportunities. Vendors can broaden MSPs’ lead generation strategies by providing them with access to new markets, industries and customer segments that may not have previously been within their reach. Think of strategies like joint marketing campaigns, co-branded initiatives or participation in industry events where both parties can showcase their expertise and offerings to a wider audience.

Vendors can also leverage their own networks and relationships to introduce MSPs to new prospects and opportunities. Whether through introductions to existing clients, referrals from partner organizations or participation in vendor-led lead-sharing programs, vendors can play a proactive role in expanding the pool of potential leads available to MSPs.

Challenge 5: Prioritizing Partnership over Product

It’s imperative for vendors to shift the focus from simply selling products to nurturing long-term partnerships with MSPs. This entails emphasizing partnerships in critical areas such as business development, sales and marketing.

By aligning closely with MSPs’ business objectives and challenges, vendors can provide comprehensive support that goes beyond product features. This may involve co-developing customized solutions, sharing market insights, and collaborating on go-to-market strategies. By fostering a culture of partnership, vendors can strengthen trust, enhance collaboration and drive mutual success with their MSP partners.

Challenge 6: Providing Adequate MDF Support

Market development funds (MDF) play a pivotal role in aiding MSPs to amplify their marketing efforts and generate leads. MDFs fuel marketing resources for MSPs and prioritize the provision of robust MDF programs, including allocating funds and actively supporting lead generation initiatives and marketing campaigns.

Vendors can collaborate closely with MSPs to identify target markets, develop compelling marketing materials and execute impactful campaigns. By investing in MSP success through MDF funds, vendors demonstrate their commitment to partnership and provide MSPs with the resources they need to expand their reach.

Challenge 7: Minimizing Time Demands

Managing multiple vendor relationships can be time-consuming for MSPs, often stretching their resources thin. Vendors should be mindful of time optimization for MSPs and strive to optimize interactions to minimize time demands by streamlining processes and providing timely and relevant support.

By respecting MSPs’ time constraints and making interactions efficient and productive, vendors can enhance the overall partnership experience, build stronger relationships and drive mutual success.

Channel Growth as a Service at Marketopia

Remember, to truly win, partnerships must be two-sided, with both vendors and MSPs contributing to the partnership and leveraging each other’s skills, expertise and resources.

At Marketopia, we understand the common challenges faced by vendors in helping their partners achieve their growth goals. That’s why we offer partner programs services that are built to drive results and growth. We ensure your partner program is aligned with strategic growth initiatives and incentives with your partners and provide full-scale marketing services to craft co-branded and customized assets to ensure mutual success.

To find out more about how we can help you overcome vendor partner challenges, get in touch today!



Q: What are some specific examples of business skills training for MSPs?

A: Marketopia’s 4U2GROW program offers in-depth training on various aspects of running an MSP business, like building strong client relationships, identifying ideal prospects and crafting winning proposals.

Q: Besides sales collateral, what other marketing resources can vendors provide to MSPs?

A: Vendors can empower MSPs’ marketing with pre-built campaigns, marketing automation tools and a content library – all designed to streamline processes, educate prospects and establish thought leadership.

Q: Are there other lead generation tools besides marketing automation platforms?

A: Yes. Co-branded landing pages, webinar hosting platforms and social media management tools can all be instrumental in helping MSPs generate leads and reach a wider audience.

Q: How can vendors ensure their MDF programs are effective?

A: Collaboration is key. Clear program guidelines, partnering with MSPs on campaign development, offering flexible funding options and tracking results all contribute to a successful MDF program.

Q: How can vendors make communication with MSPs more efficient?

A: Dedicated account managers, online portals and clear, concise communication all contribute to streamlined communication and a stronger partnership.



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