Channel Mechanics

Channel Sales Acronyms | The A-Z List for Channel Professionals

Channel Mechanics

I recently compiled an A-Z of Channel Acronyms. I even turned it into an infographic which you can find here “Infographic: The A-Z of Channel Acronyms”.


When the opportunity first arose to write the piece, the number of channel sales acronyms I discovered, was overwhelming. But because it wasn’t possible to include all the channel sales acronyms I unearthed in an infographic, I decided to write a follow up piece – and here it is! The Complete A-Z listing of Channel Sales Acronyms. It might just help you the next time a channel sales acronym is thrown across the table at you!


Acronyms are words formed from the initial letters of other words and pronounced as they are spelled, not as separate letters. There are no universal standards for the multiple names for such abbreviations or for their orthographic styling.


And this is what often lies at the heart of the problem with acronyms. For example, an acronym meaning one thing in one industry, can often mean something different in another industry.


My A-Z of Channel Sales Acronyms

See below for our Channel Sales Acronyms Infographic


1T (aka Tier 1) Partner: Partner Purchasing Direct

A Vendor sells direct to a Channel Partner

2T (aka Tier 2) Partner: Reseller purchasing via distribution

A Vendor sells to a Distributor who sells to a Channel Partner



ABM: Account Based Marketing

Account-based marketing is a business-to-business (B2B) strategy that focuses sales and marketing resources on targeted accounts within a specific market.

APAC: Asia Pacific

APAC is the part of the world in or near the Western Pacific Ocean. The region varies in area depending on which context, but it typically includes much of East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia and Oceania.

AR: Accounts Receivable

An AR is the balance of money due to a firm for goods or services delivered or used but not yet paid for by customers.

AR: Authorized Reseller

An authorized re-seller is a business partner that has entered into a contractual relationship with the vendor to sell their software and/or hardware products.

ARR: Annual Recurring Revenue

Annual recurring revenue refers to the monetary value of a subscription-based company’s subscriber base or yearly value of a single subscription. This metric is most often used to measure yearly revenue for subscription services



BDF: Business Development Fund

A BDF is an investment approach to new business in connection with a particular business case. The level of funds provided may vary depending on the project objectives, the target audience and the predicted Return on Investment (ROI).

BECS: Back-End Credit System

BECS (also known as ship and debit transactions) is the process by which a distributor ships goods at a lower price to the customer and either debits the supplier for the difference in the acquisition and selling price or absorbs the cost themselves. It enables distributors to execute programs from stock with financial assurance from the vendor. It is an easy to use, fully transparent claims process.

BFP: Base Flat Price

BFP, also referred to as a flat rate or a linear rate, is a pricing structure that charges a single fixed fee for a service, regardless of usage. The term may also refer to a rate that does not vary with usage or time of use.

BR: Bounce Rate

BR refers to the percentage of visitors to a particular website or partner portal, who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page.  A high bounce rate is a sure sign your partner portal is confusing or just not relevant.

CaaS: Communications as a Service

Communications as a Service (CaaS) is an outsourced enterprise communications solution that can be leased from a single vendor. Such communications can include voice over IP (VoIP), Instant Messaging (IM) and collaboration and Video conference applications using fixed and mobile devices.

CAC: Customer Acquisition Cost

CAC refers to the expense associated with gaining a new client to purchase your products or services.

CAM: Channel Account Manager

A CAM is the individual responsible for identifying, developing, and expanding relationships with distributors, resellers, and retailers.

CCR: Customer Churn Rate

CCR is the percentage of subscribers to a service who discontinue their subscriptions within a given time period. For a company to expand, its growth rate, as measured by the number of new customers it acquires, must exceed its churn rate.

CIPM: Channel Incentive Program Management

CIPM refers to the real-time management of incentives (MDF, SPIFFs, loyalty programs, etc. ) to provide actionable metrics and drive revenue for vendors and their channel partners.

CMRR: Committed Monthly Recurring Revenue

Committed Monthly Recurring Revenue is the value of the recurring portion of subscription revenue.

COBC: Customer Orders, Billing & Collections

The Accounts Receivable (AR) process covers the billing of customers for goods or services rendered, processing collection activities, and recording the receipt of money owed.

CPG: Customer Pricing Group

A CPR is a type of member group that offers different prices depending on the group that the channel partner belongs to.

CPSP: Customer Price Support Program

A Customer Price Support Program is a subsidy, or a price control, both with the intended aim of keeping the market price for the product higher than the competitive equilibrium level.

CR: Conversion Rate

The percentage of channel partners who take a desired action. This action can take many forms depending on the vendor but may include sales of products, certification, partner leveling, registrations, software downloads, or just about any activity beyond simple page browsing.

CRM: Customer Relationship Management

CRM or Customer Relationship Management is is an approach to manage a company’s interaction with current and potential partners. It utilizes data analysis about partners’ purchasing history to improve business relationships, specifically focusing on customer retention and ultimately increasing sales. 

CS:Customer Service, aka Break Fix

For IT services companies, break/fix is a method of providing IT support to customers.

CSAT: Customer Satisfaction

In customer relationship management, customer satisfaction (CSAT) is a measure of how products and services supplied meet or surpass customer expectations.

CSR: Corporate Social Responsibility

CSR refers to companies taking responsibility for their impact on society. It is an umbrella term used to describe voluntary corporate initiatives concerned with community development, the environment and human rights.

CX: Customer Experience

Customer Experience (CX), is the perception a person has after engaging with a company, brand, product or service.

CY: Calendar Year

A period of a year beginning and ending with the dates that are conventionally accepted as marking the beginning and end of a numbered year.



DAM: Distribution Account Manager

The Distribution Account Manager is the overall sales leader accountable for the performance of distribution partners. A Distribution Account Manager scales business through distribution channels.

Disti: Distributor

A distributor is an intermediary entity between the producer of a product and another entity in the distribution channel or supply chain, such as a retailer, a value-added reseller (VAR) or a system integrator (SI). The distributor performs some of the same functions that a vendor does but generally takes a more active role.

DMR: Direct Market Reseller

A direct market reseller (DMR), is a company that sells directly to consumers (usually) online without operating storefront operations of any kind.

DSO: Days Sales Outstanding

Days Sales outstanding (DOS) is the average number of days it takes for goods to be sold. The analysis provides general information about the number of days, on average, that customers take to pay invoices.



EBITDA: Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortization

EBITDA is a measure of a company’s operating performance. Essentially, it’s a way to evaluate a company’s performance without having to factor in financing decisions, accounting decisions or tax environments.

EMEA: Europe, Middle East, Africa

EMEA is a shorthand designation meaning Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

EODB: Ease of Doing Business

EODB makes the experience of selling your products as simple as possible for channel partners. The use of simple transaction interfaces, such as a partner portal that is simple and easy to navigate and one that has all current and relevant information. It is often overlooked by large organizations with ample resources but for smaller organizations like the partner community, it is extremely important. Vendors that are easier to do business with are the ones that partners gravitate towards

EoL: End of Life or EoS: End of Sale

End of life is a term used with respect to a product supplied by vendors, indicating that the product is in the end of its useful life (from the vendor’s point of view). The vendor therefore stops marketing, selling, and ends support for the product.

EoSS: End of Service Support

End-of-Service support refers to a situation in which a company ceases support for a product or service. It is typically applied to hardware and software products when a company releases a new version and ends support for previous versions.



FCS: First Customer Shipment

The term First Customer Shipment (FCS) means the first date on which a product is actually shipped to a customer.

FMO: Fulfillment Model Option 

The decision to use a 1T or 2T model to distribute products and services.

FY: Fiscal Year

A fiscal year is the period used by companies for accounting and budget purposes. It varies between countries.



GPL: Global Price List

The Global Price List is the globally stated value for which something is offered for sale through a particular channel.

GPPC: Global Partners and Pricing Catalog

GPPC is a global pricing architecture that can scale, flex and differentiate not only your products and services but also differentiate your partners and distributors. It enables partners to always have the latest information and pricing on product and service offers immediately available to them.

GPPR: Global Parts and Pricing Repository

A central global repository for product and pricing data.  It acts as a system of record for other downstream systems that use this data.  It encompasses product descriptions, categorization and availability, as well as pricing at all levels for all channel partners.

GSI: Global Systems Integrator

A Global Systems Integrator is a person or company that specializes in bringing together component subsystems (hardware, software, networking and storage products) from multiple vendors into a whole and ensuring that those subsystems function together.



IALM: Installed Asset Lifecycle Management

Installed Asset Lifecycle Management (IALM) is an acronym that defines the demand for a strategy to manage customer success and customer retention for IT providers to their ultimate customer.

ICPA: Indirect Channel Partner Agreement

An agreement made and entered into by a vendor with a company that has successfully completed the partner certification program, and therefore is authorized to sell the vendors’ products as an indirect channel partner.

ISV: Independent Software Vendor

An ISV makes and sells software products that run on one or more computer hardware or operating system (OS) platforms.



JMF: Joint Marketing Funds

Joint Marketing Funds (JMF) are programs designed to support joint activities between a vendor and channel partners. JMF programs are intended to provide certified partners with the funds to support a range of proactive, revenue generating activities such as advertising and direct marketing campaigns.



KM: Knowledge Management

KM is a concept in which an organization consciously and comprehensively gathers, organizes, shares, and analyses its knowledge in terms of resources, documents, and people skills.



LDFM: Lead Distribution Management

LDFM is the automatic distribution of leads to salespeople and channel partners.

LMS: Learning Management System

LMS is a software application or Web-based technology used to plan, implement, and assess a specific learning process.

LNSP: Lowest Net Sales Price

LNSP is the lowest value at which a product or service can be sold at, after all taxes and other costs are added and all discounts subtracted.

LTV: Life Time Value

LTV is a prediction of the net profit attributed to the entire future relationship with a customer. Something referred to as Customer Lifetime Value (CLV or CLTV) or  Lifetime Customer Value (LCV).



MDF: Market Development Funds

Market development funds are used in indirect sales channel whereby a vendor makes funds available to help affiliates, channel partners, resellers, VARs, or distributors sell its products and create local awareness. The funds are issued to partners in advance of sales and are discretionary in nature, as they are based on predicted or expected behavior.

MMR: Monthly Recurring Revenue

MRR is income that a business can count on receiving every single month – a predictable revenue!

MPG: Material Price Group

A categorization of a vendors products for the purpose of pricing.

MR: Manufacturer Representative

A manufacturer’s rep, also known as independent sales representatives or sales agent, is an individual, sales agency or company that sells a vendor’s products to channel partners.

MSP: Managed Service Provider

A managed service provider is a company that remotely manages a customer’s IT infrastructure and/or end-user systems, typically on a proactive basis and under a subscription model.



NFR: Not for Resale

NFR is a designation for products that vendors give to channel partners for testing and educational purposes to become familiar with the products they sell and support. There is a contractual agreement that the channel partner will not resell those products.



OEM: Original Equipment Manufacturer

An original equipment manufacturer (OEM) is a company that produces parts and equipment that may be marketed by another manufacturer.  OEM is sometimes used interchangeably with “vendor.”



PAM: Partner Account Manager

A partner account manager is a manager within a vendor organization that works with channel partners to sell its products or services.

PBM: Partner Business Manager

A PBM is a person who builds a vendors market position by locating, developing, defining, negotiating, and closing Partner business relationships.

PDC: Partner Demand Center

PDC is a vendor facility for channel partner to log in to view marketing material. It is an easy way to generate new leads, nurture existing contacts and customers and action customizable co-branded campaigns, all in one place.

POS: Point of Sale

The point of sale (POS) or point of purchase (POP) is the time and place where a transaction is completed.

PRM: Partner Relationship Management

PRM is a combination of the software, processes and strategies companies use to streamline business processes and support the activities required to manage the entire life cycle of channel partners. It typically includes a partner portal, partner database, and other tools that allow companies and partners to manage leads, revenues, opportunities and sales metrics.



QIP: Quarterly Incentive Program

An incentive program ran on a quarterly basis to promote or encourage specific actions or behavior by a specific group of partners during a defined period of time.



RFI: Request for Information

An RFI is a standard business process whose purpose is to collect written information about the capabilities of various suppliers.

RFP: Request for Proposal

A request for proposal (RFP) is a document that an organization posts to elicit a response, a formal bid, from potential vendors for a desired IT solution.

RMA:  Returns Material Authorization

An RMA is a numbered authorization provided by a mail-order merchant to permit the return of a product.

ROI: Return on Investment

A sales acronyms dealing with accounting. It’s a performance metric that measures profitability and is calculated using the formula ROI = (revenue – cost) / cost.

RPL: Regional Price List

RPL is the practice of modifying a basic list price based on the geographical location of the buyer. It is intended to reflect the costs of shipping to different locations.



SaaS: Software as a Service

SaaS is a software distribution model in which a third-party provider hosts applications and makes them available to customers over the Internet.

SB: Special Bids

A special bid is a form of discount, incorporating some level of price exception, terms or special bundling, to a channel partner, in order to give that partner a competitive advantage over the competition.

SDN: Software Defined Networking

SDN  is an architecture that aims to make networks agile and flexible. It improves network control by enabling enterprises and service providers to respond quickly to changing business requirements.

SDWAN: Software Defined Wide Area Network

Connects enterprise networks – including branch offices and data centers – over large geographic distances.

SE: Sales Engineer

A SE is a salesperson with technical knowledge of the goods and their market.

SFA: Sales Force Automation

SFA is a technique of using software that automates business tasks such as inventory control, sales processing, and tracking of customer interaction. In addition it analyzes sales forecasts and performance.

SFDC: Salesforce

Salesforce is the world’s #1 Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform, offering applications for small, midsize and enterprise organizations, with a focus on sales and support.

SI: Systems Integrator

An SI is an individual or business that builds computing systems for clients by combining hardware, software, networking and storage products from multiple vendors.

SMM: Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing (SMM) refers to techniques that target social networks and applications to spread brand awareness or promote particular products.

SOR/SOIR: Sales Out Reporting/Sales Out Influence Reporting

A Sales Out Report is where a vendor’s channel partners provide a sales out report to the vendor that shows the partner’s sales to their customers of the vendor’s products.  This gives the vendor insight into the entire sales channel.

SP: Solution Partner OR  Service Provider

Solution Partner OR  Service Provider is a vendor, a service provider or a value-added reseller (VAR) that comprehensively handles the project needs of their client from concept to installation, through support.

SPIF | SPIFF: Special Pricing Incentive Fund | Special Pricing Incentive Fund Formula

SPIFF is a short-term incentive, to drive sales in a set period of time.   They include dollar rewards, prizes, or loyalty points, but they are all aimed at one thing—driving your sales.



TCV: Total Contract Value

Total Contract Value (TCV) is a metric representing the value of one-time and recurring charges.

TPMA: Through Partner Marketing Automation

Enables partners to engage their customers with a consistent brand experience that creates awareness, amplifies brand, and generates demand. It includes through-channel marketing automation, campaign management, social media, syndicated content, microsite development, partner locators, lead management, and routing.



UPL: Universal Partner Locator

A vendor’s online partner locator search facility, which incorporates partner characteristics including name, geography, technology capability, certification/specializations etc.



VAR: Value Added Reseller

A value-added reseller (VAR) is a company that resells software, hardware and networking products and provides value beyond order fulfillment.

VEV: Virtual Entitlement Voucher

A VEV is an online voucher with a unique identification number that provides authorization and assurance that a partner is entitled to carry out the transaction defined in the VEV, as part of a program or promotion.

VoIP: Voice over Internet Protocol

VoIP (voice over IP) is the transmission of voice and multimedia content over Internet Protocol (IP) networks.



XaaS: Everything as a Service

A cloud computing term for the extensive variety of services and applications emerging for users to access on demand, over the internet as opposed to being utilized via on-premises means.



YoY: Year over Year

YoY is a comparison of a statistic for one period to the same period, usually a month or quarter, the previous year. The year-over-year growth rate calculates the percentage change during the previous twelve months.

And that completes my A-Z of Channel Sales Acronyms!


Channel Sales Acronyms

Click Infographic to Download: The A-Z of Channel Acronyms


Channel Acronyms

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