Execute With a Vengence – Final Exam

All of this information has got to have your head swimming. Fortunately, it will internalize as you start to execute and put it all together. This is where you start to earn your pay. This is the end of the orientation process.

The following are the typical next steps of execution for a new program or review and modifications of an existing program.

  1. Review your own company reseller partner program and portal site—whatever is done so far (if at all). Read EVERY document and make a long list of questions. Be prepared to be tested on your reseller agreement, levels, lead policy, NFR copies, MDF/Co-op policies, promotions, support capabilities, your presentations, etc. If you don’t have any or all of this–then there is little to review–so you get to put it together. Fun!
  2. Review the competitive matrix spreadsheet (the one we used to define the program).  Go from left to right and mark each item with a “0” for NO (doesn’t apply–like “evals” are only for hardware), X for completed and TODO for items left to complete.  Then compile the items left to do, prioritize them and uses the samples within the sample reseller portal to recreate your own.
  3. Get your portal created. Review and edit the sample portal copy and pass it over to your webmaster, along with the link to the varportal.chanimal.com sample site.  Most sites are generic to start with, then you can add the databases, unique password info, etc. once you have over 50 partners (that’s when it usually gets too complex to manage it manually).  You may then consider a PRM (like Channeltivity or others) when it gets more complex.
  4. Review the outstanding deliverables (for the portal site (if any) and prioritize them.  Most folks have to complete the competitive matrix and PowerPoint. You will also create the demo scripts for your product, etc.
  5. Review the promotional e-mail that is sent to the resellers and the email system to send it out.
  6. Update the partner follow-up spreadsheet that shows the steps to recruit and follow-up with our reseller partners.  It is within the Channel Kit.
  7. Practice doing a review of our own portal—since you will need to start the orientation with the latest resellers.
  8. Work with the team to get a product demo script completed.  It is not that hard—watch someone give a demo and document the items shown.  See examples within the sample reseller portal (varportal.chanimal.com).
  9. Contact any of your new resellers (if you have any so far) to take them through the orientation process (whatever needs to be completed).  Also, most resellers turn over their salespeople about every 6-12 months, so you will have to set up a schedule to systematically cycle through them to re-train new team members.
  10. Start the next phase of the recruiting process (send out the next batch of e-mails, follow-up via phone with those that respond, contact the good ones that don’t respond (they are often very receptive, it is just that their system may have blocked our e-mails)).
  11. See the Channel plan of action for additional steps.

Final Exam for Orientation

Now it is time to see if you know your stuff. You won’t have the level of information to be a Certified Channel Manager, but by now you should have a good understanding of what needs to get done, you will know the terms and the process (and won’t embarrass yourself when talking to a reseller) and you can start to execute.  Take the test and you’re on your way!

Get Help

Even though the process and the information is documented within the Channel Manager Orientation training, you may still get confused or need help with some of the steps or the associated deliverables. You can send e-mail to Chanimal. You can also get affordable help with the Chanimal Micro Consulting (a channel pro for a modest amount per month (month-to-month)).

The Chanimal model is simple, most everything is free–unless you expect me to get off my duff and do something (then somebody is going to pay for it ;-).  Actually, whenever someone needs help getting it executed, then I can help (and the micro consulting model is extremely affordable).   Even with all the plans and information, I can usually speed up the process 5 – 10x.  My record: Setup the program, defined all agreements policies and re-purpose the portal to start recruiting–in ten (10) hours!  Your time varies (depending on how much of the portal content you have done (take hours to weeks)).

Please call or e-mail for more free information, or to check on availability if you need help to execute (Chanimal can work with 6-16 companies at a time, so sometimes you have to get on the list for openings). Check out the Micro Consulting program here.

Open Mic – LIVE help every Thursday

There is a live session where you can ask any questions or get any type of help every Thursday from 2-3 pm CST (Austin, TX) – holidays excluded. Sometimes it is filled with visitors, other times it is empty (so you get individual help). If nobody shows up after 15 minutes, then it is closed–otherwise, it is LIVE for the entire hour.  Go to www.GoToMeet.me/TedFinch (no password is needed–give it a minute if it has not started yet (I’m often coming off consulting calls)).

Certified Channel Manager

Thanks for going through the Chanimal Orientation Training for a new (or even existing) Channel Manager and executives. It does not include the scope of the full Chanimal Certified Channel Manager program, and it uses existing public information (unlike the Certification training which has more detail, templates, and samples), but it contains enough information to get you jump-started and on your way.

certified channel manager

Click HERE  (opens in own window) to view the complete list of topics that are covered within the Certified Channel Manager coursework, and the passing of which, will put you in the elite category as a Certified Channel Manager. I encourage you to consider completing the certification training if you expect this to be your ongoing profession. It is also a great addition to your resume.

Below is a shameless video plug for the full Certified Channel Manager course:

Best of luck as you take the final exam and qualify for your Channel Orientation Certificate.

certified channel management training

Welcome to the Certified Channel Manager Training Course

This is the industry’s first, best-selling, and most comprehensive channel manager training course for high-tech Channel Management. This gold-standard online class will prepare you for any channel position, ranging from retail to enterprise, for hardware, software, and SaaS, including channel sales, channel marketing, and channel operations–so you are proficient in all aspects of channel management.

This page is only a basic description of the course, click HERE to see more details within the Chanimal Store, or click HERE (opens in its own window) to see the larger course description at Chanimal.com.

NOTE: If you purchased and it is not showing the course, then please REFRESH your browser and it will start the course. Thank you!

View Course Overview Video

See the promotional section on Channel Management (opens in its own window) for a DETAILED description of all the topics and content. Click HERE to view or download the Chanimal University Course Outline (PDF) to see how this course compares to the other main Chanimal courses. Please note, there is about 5% overlap of content between the courses (and sometimes the case studies are similar (but highlight different angles of the problem).

“Great education – unbelievable depth of content here. It is more than just a certificate – It is an MBA in the channel!” Jay McBain, Principal Analyst – Forrester (2021 Channel Influencer of the Year)

The three main courses all have the same terminology sections and several core areas that are similar (highlighted in blue) since each discipline needs these “General Education” concepts since the subsequent content builds upon them. Don’t hesitate to skip anything that looks similar and don’t worry–there is PLENTY of material for your investment (the challenge is to keep it relevant and engaging).

Course Topics and Certification Channel Management Testing Include

  • Channel Management Defined
  • Preparing Your Company for Change
  • Defining Your Channel Program
  • Program Setup (systems, policies, process)
  • Content – Portal Content
  • Recruiting (Strategy)
  • Recruiting (Tactics)
  • Recruiting Alternative Channels
  • Enablement
  • Channel Motivation
  • Refining or Fixing Your Program
  • Channel Sales – Overview
  • Channel Operations
  • Resources (for You & Partners)

Exclusive to Channel Manager Training & Certification Course

Some of the course material can be found scattered throughout the 1,000+ pages of Chanimal.com.  But most of the content and the training sequence, ongoing quizzes, and section tests to become certified are exclusive to this actual course.

Bonus Resources

When you take the course, you will have full access to all of the Chanimal content. This includes complete “Kits” for resellers, affiliates, alliances, positioning, and more (over $700 worth of content). This is real content (none of that fluffy theory stuff) actually used to build over 600 channel programs (including some of the top programs in the world). This will be linked to a Resource section within each of the lessons.

It is like a complete channel management franchise that includes everything you will need to handle almost any channel issue you encounter. Chanimal is the only place in the world that has this kind of “street content” — and it is all-inclusive as you become a Certified Channel Manager.

saas channel manager training

Welcome to the SaaS Channel Manager Training Course

This special 8-hour self-paced SaaS Channel Manager Training online course (delivered in five separate webinar classes – appx. 90 minutes each) will teach you the fundamentals of building, recruiting, and enabling a SaaS reseller channel. It is a joint venture between Chanimal & SaaSMAX.

Promotional Pricing for 2024

The live webinar course was originally offered for $1,499, but now the recorded webinar is only $295 (with all-new, updated templates, samples, and documents, plus 4 new lessons (from the Certified Channel Manager course)).

This is a recording of the original live online webinar. It includes over 80 new and updated templates, instructions, and samples for 2024. It also includes quizzes to increase comprehension and a certificate of completion.

Live Webinar Format

This course uses a live webinar format, so it does not have the same graphics, audio, and modular design of the latest online courses (it feels a little “scrappy” (since it is LIVE)–. However, it is very fast-paced (not boring) and the information is incredibly valuable. See the original press release here (opens in a separate window). Click HERE to view a PDF of the detailed course agenda.

This course has the same core channel foundation so it can also be used as one of the main prerequisite courses required to take any of the electives.

Note: This was recorded from the LIVE sessions. As such, the audio will sound like a Webinar (using a headset mic (so it can sound tinny), not the high-end professional sound system used to record the full Certified Channel Manager courses).  But, the content is still amazing. Similar to the one-day course offered live alongside many of the industry channel trade shows (not as detailed as the 3-day course, which is the Certified Channel Manager course–more like a bachelor’s level (vs an MBA level)).

Course Includes – for SaaS Channel Manager Training

  • LESSON 1: Channel Partner Programs: Your Competitive Advantage
  • LESSON 2: Defining Your Reseller Program
  • LESSON 3: Creating the Policies for Your Reseller Program
  • LESSON 4: Reseller Recruitment & Strategic Alliances
  • LESSON 5: Partner Enablement

BONUS Content

As a bonus, it includes additional online lessons taken from the larger Certified Channel Manager course. Covers the following topics:

  • Reseller portal and PRM–selection and setup
  • How to determine your margins (reviews “points,” retail, SaaS, SMB – Enterprise)
  • Partner Enablement – what to cover in the orientation, marketing meeting – tips & tricks
  • Channel Sales – Closing Techniques

These bonus lessons will take about 1 1/2 hours for just the videos (about 3 hours total if you also review the accompanying material).

Who Should Enroll?

SaaS CEOs, CMOs, CROs, VPs of Business Development and/or VPs of Sales, SaaS Founders, SaaS Investors, existing Channel Managers (new or experienced) who may have never set up a “new” program, and anyone else who’s a stakeholder in a SaaS company’s success.

NOTE: If you purchased and it is not showing the course, then please REFRESH your browser and it will start the course. Thank you!

Bonus Resources

Those who take the course will have full access to the Chanimal content. This includes complete “Kits” for resellers, affiliates, alliances, positioning, and more. This is real content (none of that fluffy theory stuff) used to build over 600 channel programs (including some of the top programs in the world for Microsoft, Adobe, Autodesk, Intel, Apple, Citrix, IBM, and a LOT of start-ups).

It includes almost everything you will need to handle any channel issue you encounter. Chanimal is the only place in the world that has this kind of “street content” — and it is all-inclusive as part of the course.

Review of the Chanimal Channel Kit

Now we will review some of the components of the Chanimal Channel Kit. You should have downloaded it during the previous lesson, but it is also available HERE if you did not.  This kit has been compiled from the launch of over 400 channel programs, along with a detailed analysis of some of the best (and worst) reseller programs in the industry. It should save you weeks if not months of research and contains most of the templates to create your own world-class reseller program.


Many of the documents (#1 – 13 within the kit) contain sample copies that might be used within your own reseller portal or as attachments. However, it has since been converted to an actual sample portal which is kept even more up-to-date and shows you exactly how these components are used.

The sample portal also contains examples of the kind of content within each section (either a policy (leads, deal registration, agreement) or actual content that is already public or has been made generic. Please reference this online portal as the most recent example to follow. In fact, I would just replicate it along with the sample copy and then make minor adjustments to customize it as your own.

Sample portal location: portal.chanimal.com

Click HERE to download Login Instructions.

(bookmark it and use it as your primary reference).

You should have the following files within this kit (some may have a number before them which sequences them within the folder–the others are listed alphabetically):

  1. Partner Program Introduction. This introduces your program and contains a summary of your most important benefits. This would typically go on the opening page that introduces your partner program.
  2. Reseller Application. You would add market information that is critical for your VAR selection process. This would be available as an electronic form as a link from your partner program home page.
  3. Benefits & Requirements. This contains a brief description of each of the benefits and requirements of your program. You will need to customize this after you do your comparative analysis and determine which features you can provide.
  4. Benefits & Requirements – GRID. A grid that shows the same benefits and requirements, but how they apply to each level.
  5. Policies & Terms. It contains descriptions and policies (detailed enough to work, simple enough to be understood without an attorney) of the previously mentioned features (deal registration, lead policies, MDF/CO-OP usage, etc.). Each of these policies is on a separate page, much like they would be in a separate section within an online portal. (See how they are used within the sample portal).
  6. Reseller Agreement. A basic reseller agreement for a software company. I have additional samples if needed.
  7. Contact Info. A grid to ensure you provide all of the contact info a partner may require.
  8. Reseller NFR Prices. Use this grid to list your products and their corresponding reseller Not for Resale prices. SaaS products include access.
  9. Collateral Order Form. A sample form that can be faxed to order additional collateral materials (product slicks, brochures, etc.). This would be replaced by an online form within the partner portal.
  10. Disti SKU Info. It allows you to list each product by part number with the corresponding part number within distribution. It does not apply if you sell to partners direct.
  11. Market Background – Template. A basic introduction about your market to orient the reseller.
  12. Presentation to Customers. A PowerPoint template that contains the basics for a presentation a Partner might give to a customer.
  13. Presentation to Recruit Partners. A similar PowerPoint as above (since Partners first have to be sold on your product), but also includes information about your Partner program.
  14. Agenda for partner Marketing Meeting. As part of the orientation, you will set up a second meeting to discuss promotions (usually once a month) that the reseller can execute and that you will help them with. This is an agenda for this planning meeting.
  15. Chanimal Partner Follow-up Worksheet. Record every reseller that applies to your program in this spreadsheet (it may be redundant, but is critical anyway) and then put the DATE when you complete each step of the follow-up. The date ensures that you follow up on their application within a few days and take them through the orientation within the first week (do NOT get behind or you may lose your reseller (through neglectful follow-up)). It also ensures you recognize them when they make a sale (they need to feel appreciated) and that you set up follow-up meetings to help them run their own promotions.
  16. Chanimal Portal Copy – Repurpose. The actual copy from the sample reseller portal that you can use to do a quick search and replace and make edits to–before sending it to your webmaster to build your portal site.
  17. Channel Plan of Action. The sequential step-by-step instructions to create or update a reseller program. It is one of the most valuable documents within the kit since it shows how to put everything together (by the numbers).
  18. Follow-Up Orientation-Email. A sample email you might send to your partner so they will go through the orientation and get started on the first 3 month promotions.
  19. Marketing Budget – ROI Analysis. A PowerPoint showing how to get your budget approved by calculating the anticipated ROI for every expense–critical when you need the cash to grow the program. Fortunately, a channel budget is one of the highest-leveraged activities within the company–so the funds usually provide the highest returns. You will want to download the Chanimal budget template (not included) from Chanimal.com.
  20. Orientation For a New Channel Person. It contains over 15 sequenced steps to orient a new channel sales or marketing person–the fastest way to spin up to speed. Correlates to the Chanimal mini-course for a new channel person.
  21. Partner Portal Mapped fields. The sample portal site writes the data from the form into simple text files. You can take that text file and drop it into the Excel document and the fields above will map to the text fields. Creates an instant database (the non-programmers’ quick-start approach to an online database).
  22. Phone Dialogue to Recruit Resellers. A sample dialogue and some basic sales concepts to recruit resellers.  Only the template, you still have to customize with information about your products. Usually, a follow-up to the three e-mails that are sent at the start of a recruiting campaign.
  23. Portal Overview Script. Shows a sample script showing the level of detail to take your resellers through the sample reseller portal content. you will also want to view the video of this script. The current location should be in the “Orientation for a New Channel Person” document within this kit.
  24. Reseller Approval e-mail. A sample of an e-mail that might be sent to a newly approved reseller. It contains the approval notification, your contact info, access to the portal, margins (including extra margins when they register their deal), along with a recommended 90-day “Jump Start” promotion (so they get selling right away), along with an overview of the orientation meeting you want to schedule.
  25. Reseller list. Sources to get the list of resellers.
  26. Reseller PowerPoint Template Guidelines. Some basics on how to construct your reseller product PowerPoint (knowing they will often put their logo on it, etc.).
  27. Reseller Program Competitive Research. This is the single most important document used by Chanimal to define an entire reseller program in less than an hour. It lists every major feature of a reseller program. The top portion shows a few sample partner programs (partially completed) as examples. Replace Acme with your company name and go from left to right (highlight each category for a description) and put a “0” on elements you don’t need, an “X” on those you already have, and a “TO DO” on elements yet to be completed. The video on building a Saas (and any type) reseller program will show how this is done. http://www.chanimal.com/resources/videos/
  28. Reseller Promotions Picklist (PDF and Excel). Shows a pick list of possible promotions to discuss with your resellers during the “second” meeting to set up their first three promotions (during your 90-day specials).
  29. Reseller e-mail Template – sample. This is a sample of an e-mail that might be sent BY YOUR RESELLER to promote your product to their prospects.
  30. Reseller – Battlefield. Courtesy of Channel Sources (a rep firm), showing most of the national retail locations by type and size within the US.
  31. Sample Reseller Recruiting Email & Follow-Up Process. Shows sample e-mails and the schedule and follow-up to recruit resellers. Very valuable. The email campaigns seldom get a massive response (always bigger whenever you have software that the reseller can use personally (like Quickbooks, a CRM, a Lead System, etc.). But it usually gets your critical first 10 partners–who you use to refine your new program and ensure you have your act together and can scale… before you move onto the bigger recruiting initiatives.
  32. Sources for Reseller Databases. Some creative sources to find resellers.
  33. Plus about 35 more samples and documents!

To Customize

  1. First, put all of the files in a separate directory so you do not wipe out the original templates.
  2. Second, search and replace the name “Acme” with your company name within each template.
  3. Third, add your name and applicable phone numbers and e-mails.
  4. Finally, review the content on each page, determine which features you can provide, and erase the rest. You may wish to use the Partner Program Competitive Research template to evaluate all of the available features–it is documented (red tab in each column).

Questions and Answers

How does this kit differ from the previous Chanimal Reseller Kit?

The previous kit was more paper-based. This is designed to be used within a portal (although paper still works fine). There is also a sample portal site that shows how it all comes together at portal.chanimal.com. In addition, it has been simplified. It no longer contains detailed descriptions of each level. This information is self-evident within the grid. It has also been updated to include the latest deal registration, lead, and eval policies—plus much more.

What if I need help doing competitive analysis or determining what should and should not be in my program?

Check out the Chanimal “Micro Consulting” for quick and relatively inexpensive assistance with any of your channel needs. Click the “consulting” link on top the of page. It usually takes about one hour for Chanimal to review each element and finalize the program. Then, it takes about 1-2 hours (depending on how familiar you are with the channel) to customize every agreement and policy–so you are ready to add any missing content within 3 hours, or ready to start recruiting if you have most of it already.

Go HERE for specific help with the competitive matrix content (one of the main documents every reseller asks for–“How does it compare?”).


Please review EVERY document in this kit (you will have seen how most of it is used within the sample portal already) and prepare to be tested (open book–but you will need to know the documents to pass). I know, this is a LOT of information–yep, and you will be well prepared (and “this” is just the overview–not the full-fledged certification program (has more videos, more detail, and covers more areas).

Happy testing!!

Demo of the Reseller Portal

As part of a new partner orientation, you will be giving the reseller a brief overview of the portal and its content. There is always trepidation whenever we are asked to use software or enter a portal that we don’t know. As a result, a lot of resellers never review a vendor’s portal site. Instead, they call their channel manager (who sometimes e-mails the requested content–NOT a good idea or you end up being their secretary and they never have to log in).

We want to scale the program and the portal is accessible 24/7 so the reseller needs to be able to quickly find what they need and get back to work. Besides, most folks that enter these portals are salespeople–and they are supposed to be tactical, impatient, and move quickly. This is why we should always give the reseller an overview of the portal including the layout, and the main policies (leads, MDF/Co-Op, Deal Registration, NFR & Eval (if hardware), etc.). You must know these policies since you will be explaining them.


  • Below is a sample Portal Overview that is concise (7 minutes) and shows what should be covered in a portal overview.  It was first produced as a script and then practiced and recorded.

  • Click HERE to download the Portal Overview Script –it will be good for you to have and will be referred to again later).
  • Download the entire Channel Kit (if you have not already done so). It contains over 70 documents and templates that you can use to set up your partner program.
  • As part of this course, you can access the site (branded “SaaSMAX – demo site”) as an example of how a portal is set up and how all the pieces fit together. Please do not complete and submit the forms (so I don’t have to erase the data afterward ;-). Your guest login is similar to what a reseller would see, so it does not show the backend or the admin section which contains instructions to run every aspect of a partner program, with samples, instructions, and videos.

You will be tested on the elements listed above (not the Kit–contains too much information).

Open Mic – LIVE help every Thursday

There is a live session where you can ask any questions or get any type of help every Thursday from 2-3 pm CST (Austin, TX) – holidays excluded. Sometimes it is filled with visitors, other times it is empty (so you get individual help). If nobody shows up after 15 minutes, then it is closed–otherwise, it is live for the entire hour.  Go to www.GoToMeet.me/TedFinch (no password is needed–give it a minute if not open yet (often coming off consulting calls)).

Sample Reseller Portal

Now it’s time to see how a reseller portal comes together. This is where a reseller goes to find out about your program and sign up. Once signed up, they can enter the portal to get leads, register deals, get PowerPoints, competitive information, collateral, and collaborate with other reseller partners. Pay special attention to this section!

Please view the sample reseller portal at portal.chanimal.com (opens in its own window).

Sample Reseller Portal

Opening Page

Pay special attention to the following elements on the opening page.

Note that there is no mention of the product. Resellers look for three things

1) Do you have good positioning–is your product competitive (your main site shows this–it does NOT belong here (that decision is over)). If they believe you have a worthwhile product then the next thing they look for is,

2) Can they make any money? Whether or not a reseller can make money is determined by your reseller program. Things they look for:

  • Do you provide leads (even if you hand out two per year you can say “yes”)?
  • Will you train them and is it free?
  • Do you have channel conflict (this is avoided with a deal registration program)?
  • Do you have not for resale copies (or free access if a SaaS application?
  • How about PowerPoints, competitive matrix or product slicks (or do they have to make their own)?
  • Do they have easy access to reseller support?

In addition, is there a contact by name and number so they can ask questions (like the margin or any other barrier to entry).  Some companies (SalesForce, Cisco to name a few) took me 6-7 calls and multiple e-mails and it still took weeks to get anyone to call back to ask a basic question (such as, “what is your margin” (common))–which is horrible.  Note that the sample website has contact information.

Also, note the reseller application. It asks for a LOT of information. Why? Because you have to profile your partners at the beginning (when they are the most eager to apply and give you any information). One vendor I had helped called me back 10 years later to profile their resellers–they had 2,200 partners and wanted to recruit more that were just like the best–but they didn’t know why the top 20% were better because they didn’t know anything about them!

Also, note the reseller grid, showing the levels, requirements, and benefits of each level. Most partner programs don’t have this–yet resellers look for it to ensure the vendor rewards loyalty (partners that learn their product (certified) and maintain quotas).

3) Do you love me? The third thing they look for: is the vendor easy to work with and do they love (appreciate) me? This is answered somewhat within your portal. If you recognize top producers or the reseller within their portal (or via e-mail, newsletters, calls), then they start to sense that you care about them and their business–they, in turn, will start to care about yours.

Portal Sign In

Location: portal.chanimal.com

Name: Visitor
Password: !Welcome123#

Once you sign into the portal, note the opening page contains news, promotions, and (if it were customized (versus the sample generic portal)) it might show leads and progress toward certification and the quota. This sample is a generic portal–same info for everyone and what I recommend to get started unless you use a PRM.

Now notice the simple navigation and the buckets of content.  You will want to review the content samples (you will be tested on some of them). This is also a great resource for sample policies, format, and content examples (for example, what does a demo script look like–there are samples in the portal).

This portal utilizes many of the best practices (having reviewed most of the industry portals, talked with resellers, and getting a lot of feedback).  This should be your model for this kind of reseller portal (and you are welcome to scrape the policies and content and re-purpose it for your own site–but a lot of this is in your “Kit” (later)).

Now take the test (but be prepared–there are a LOT of items to learn and they will be covered within the test).

Hint: Pay special attention to elements of the home page, the reseller application, levels, all the policies (NFR, Leads, Deal Registration), plus the kinds of content you should provide for the resellers. The test will also give you hints throughout.


Below is a video from the PRM selection and elements from the paid, “Certified Channel Manager” course. The content from this video content is NOT on the quiz, so it is optional, but it also gives you a feel for the main course (more engaging–not this text-based orientation course).

Channel Sales

Review every page of the Channel Sales section (opens in its own window). Go to each section and select NEXT Page on the bottom to ensure you review every page.

Be prepared to know the following:

  • Pros and cons of using distributors
  • Review the websites of at least 3 of the main distributors and know their types
  • Know the reseller continuum
  • Who are the major rep firms?  Did you go to their websites?
  • Did you download a copy of a reseller agreement? (hint: you can see one in the sample reseller portal at portal.chanimal.com (branded either Chanimal or SaaSMAX))

Now, take the quiz (you may wish to have the Channel Sales section open in another browser).

channel marketing training

1) Watch the video below, “Building a SaaS Channel, a Step-by-Step Approach.” It covers the three phases of a partner program: 1) defining, 2) recruiting, and 3) enabling a channel. It covers ALL the channel (software, hardware, services), but also includes a section on the unique differences for a SaaS channel (as a Channel Manager, you will need to know all of this so you can transfer between roles and not have to re-learn).

The video is a good channel overview. You can expand to watch full screen if you wish. Grab some popcorn and enjoy your lunch-n-learn. It is apx. one hour long.

2) Review EVERY page of the channel marketing section of Chanimal (includes 7 sections). Take notes and be prepared to be tested on everything (MDF, VARs, phases of a reseller program, elements of a VAR kit, how to recruit resellers, ways to keep them motivated, software that helps you with the resellers, and more.)

Go to Channel Marketing (opens in its own window).

3) Now, take the test (you can refer to the Channel Marketing sections during the test–but it is best to internalize the material if you plan to do this long-term).

Lesson Materials

  • Building a SaaS Channel (PowerPoint). This is a copy of the PowerPoint used in the video. You may wish to download this PowerPoint to review it during the quiz. Note, sometimes the newer PowerPoints come across as zip files (since they are compressed). If so, rename the extension to .ppt and it should work. You can also modify and personalize this PowerPoint to conduct a brief channel orientation of your own for your internal team.


Following is an orientation for a channel sales/marketing person, executive or intern who is new to the channel or to a company that sells through the channel. In addition, not every channel person has set up a new program from scratch, or been exposed to all of the channel concepts–so this is also a good review for experienced channel pros.

Welcome to the Basic Channel Orientation Course

If new to the company, or to the channel team then please review the following (whatever is currently available) before proceeding:

  • Review every major page of your company website. Know where everything is (you will need it if you have to direct a reseller to find content)
  • Know the price for your products
  • If your company already has a reseller program, review every single page (you’ll review it in more detail later–this is an overview)
  • Complete your own reseller application and view the e-mails and process already in place
  • The company channel marketing plan
  • The product competitive matrix (for whatever products you will promote)

Then proceed through the lessons. This course will systematically take you through many of the sections located throughout Chanimal, plus a few hidden sections and provide some unique downloads–so you will be fully orientated by the time you are through.

Take The Quiz

Each section is followed by a detailed quiz that you must pass to move on to the next section. There is a 80% passing rate and the sections usually contain 10-20 questions. You are allowed up to three tries to pass the material (and the questions change) and there is no timer. Fortunately, most of it is multiple choice and open book (it is important that you are exposed to and know where to find the information. Besides, you’ll internalize the information with use).


At the end of the final exam, you will be rewarded with a Chanimal University Channel Orientation Certificate of Completion (PDF format).  It is not as prestigious as the Certified Channel Manager Certificate, but there is also no cost. However, as you will discover, it will verify that you are up to speed (at least knowledge-wise) enough to get started, and more prepared than many of the industry channel managers.  It is also critical if you make any decisions regarding the channel (i.e., a manager or executive who decides channel policies), and is a gateway to the profession of channel management.

Lesson Materials

Additional Help

You are welcome to call or e-mail with questions or post inquiries within the Forum.  I’m happy to help.

Best of luck,

Ted Finch (aka Chanimal)

P.S. Each section will require you to either Mark Complete or Take Quiz after completing it.

Hi, I’m Ted, the CEO of Chanimal and also the primary instructor and creator for this coursework. You’ve seen the massive list of material–there is a lot to cover. Fortunately, I’ve broken it down into smaller lessons with a quiz at the end of most sections that will not allow you to continue unless you can pass the material.  This will ensure you internalize the material along the way–which will make it easy to pass the comprehensive final overview test.

Lesson Materials


We first cover the basics to level-set everyone. Then we move to intermediate and then advanced channel concepts. It is meant to cover all aspects of the channel–so you can change jobs and be effective regardless of the price point, reseller type or market.  We’ll cover everything from the Internet to Retail to VARs to System Integrators, including affiliates, OEM and alliances (since they can often resell your product). If it doesn’t cover your specific area, keep moving–it covers every channel type.


Nobody wants to be bored, so each section includes a video, reading material, resource material and most include a quiz.

Time Frame

This training material was originally created for an exhaustive two-day workshops that were conducted live world-wide, which means there is actually about 14 solid hours of condensed material.  Combine that with new channel sales training, along with all the articles, templates, and tests, and this course should take about 25 – 30 hours to complete.  The average video lesson is apx. 15 minutes (some shorter, some longer). Realizing that you probably have a full-time job, you are allowed up to 365 days to take the course and pass the final test and continue to access the materials. Please DOWNLOAD all the files along the way since there is a LOT of material (templates, samples, presentations, forms, etc.) that are part of this course.


Quizzes are usually multiple choice so you can get immediate feedback within the system.  You must pass each test with a score of 80% to move to the next section. You can always re-take a quiz and it is open-book.

LIVE Lab – Weekly

The system has a Chat which is LIVE during regular working hours–so you can ask questions and get help and additional resources. You can also schedule a one-on-one for specific questions.

In addition, there is a LIVE one-hour Q&A Lab every Thursday at 2 pm CST (Austin, TX).  Just go to GoToMeet.me/TedFinch – no login required. Open session for any questions.

Contact Info

  • You can reach me directly at chanimal@chanimal.com.
  • You can also catch me on Skype at “chanimal.com”
  • Or call me at 512-263-9618 between 9 – 5 CST on weekdays.
  • You can also use the contact form located here (opens in its own window) or click on the online chat that shows up on the bottom right of most pages–I’ll respond quickly if I am online.

I am often on the phone consulting with companies, but I can respond when I’m done. I take a personal interest in making sure you know your material–and the testing is open-book (so you know where to find it again), but rigorous to maintain a high industry standard (the success of your company depends on it).

Thanks again for taking the course.  Let’s get started–first with a short quiz (to get you used to the pattern), and then we continue with the remainder of the course.


Ted Finch

Can I Share What I Learn?

Yes. It is common for a company to have one person take a class or workshop and return to train the team (often during in-house lunch-n-learns). However, only the person enrolled in this course is authorized to login and view the online course and only the name of the person who signs up for the course may take the test and receive the certification. Each certificate is numbered and assigned to the course subscriber to ensure the integrity and value for all who have passed the course.

However, each training module includes PDFs of the PowerPoints used in the video that can be used to train additional internal team members. The templates can also be edited for internal use–but cannot be used to create other material that is re-sold.

As a courtesy, please do not post the PDFs or the content online, and remember, all Chanimal University content is copyright and can only be used according to the conditions above.


The check-mark next to each lesson on the side-bar menu will turn green after you have completed each section–making it easy for you to start exactly where you left off if you need to return. You can also go to different sections by selecting the topic to the right (redundant navigation).

Click the Quiz (below Lesson Content) to continue.