On Dec. 8 we will be conducting a seminar titled: "How To Blueprint, Build, and Manage your Reseller Channel: 6 Critical Components To Ensure Smooth Selling With VARs" hosted by SoftwareCEO Software University. More information can be found here - http://softwareceo.com/events/120805.php?sku=71 . From this page you will find links to a "Channels Readiness" quiz that would be a good exercise to review the state of your current program and find some early indicators pointing to what might be going wrong based on your existing partner model and expectations.
This course is designed to assist ISVs with a new reseller channel or organizations planing on rolling out a new partner program by delivering the information, insight and tools you need to address the problem of partner commitment, buy-in and proactive sales.
The problems you identified are common and can be overcome by taking a number of definable steps that insure a quid-pro-quo partnership, attract productive new partners and reward them for meeting or exceeding their established goals.
A more direct response to your question is that what you've identified as reseller partners are actually passive "agents" or "affiliates" waiting for some money to come rolling their way through their association with your organization. They have made no investment or commitment to your product and program and are in effect a drain on your resources rather than being a productive member of your Channel community.
Agents can be an effective arm of your partner Channel if they are one element of a broader approach that includes dedicated (with quota) resellers, systems integrators and "sales influencer" consultants. Generally agents enter a program because they have a 'deal in hand' and want a one-off exception to close the business.
This is your first, and best, opportunity to turn them into a productive member of your partner program; and, an opportunity that too often slips away due to too much attention turned towards the deal and not the development of the new partner surrounding the deal. Don't let great partnership possibilities take a back seat to a series of one-off and time consuming actions - have a formal ready plan that moves them into the program attached to the deal.
Ken Beam, The VAR-City -- "Channel Start-Up Specialists since 1995" Phone: 972.240.8793 or firstname.lastname@example.org