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featureed image Published 2015-10-23, by Seth Jacobsen

Streamlining Channel Communication: A Case Study - Part Two

In Part One of this Case Study, the perspective on channel communications was from the manufacturer’s employees. However, that perspective is only one part of the equation. In order to communicate successfully with partners, best-in-class companies need to know what their dealers and channel partners expect.

SEE PART ONE: Streamlining Channel Communication: A Case Study - Part One 

The Dealer Experience

In this real-world example the dealers had plenty to say about the communications they received from this manufacturer, and they were very passionate about their responses. Their top concerns were:

Being overwhelmed with the amount of broadcast communications they receive from the manufacturer. Because of all the information they received, they felt that they could not keep up with the sheer volume of information with the limited time they had.

Being frustrated that the communications were not role-based. And, having to read through all of the communications to identify which messages were most relevant to them and their particular job function. In fact, several dealers admitted that important communications are falling through the cracks, and sometimes are simply missed or not recognized as being important. 

Trying to keep up with web sessions that were too frequent. Dealer principals and sales managers found web sessions to be too frequent and occasionally cross-scheduled. Fifty percent of interviewees were critical of the content, quality, scheduling, and seat limitations of web sessions – many calling them “a waste of time.”

Additionally, multi-brand dealers were concerned about receiving too many communications from too many different departments. 

Finding the Solution in PRM

Both a short-term and long-term strategy for partner relationship management (PRM) were implemented to improve channel communications. These strategies addressed the concerns of both the dealers and the manufacturer to streamline communications and ensure that important messages were read.

The short term solution led to a consolidated electronic digest, along with a web session scheduling process and protocol. The digest was structured so that all communications were sorted into standard categories.

These standard categories organized the content into a consistent framework for the dealers.  The structure also supported the ability to highlight more critical communications within the digest. Web sessions could also be scheduled without conflict on the days and times that worked best for a specific audience. The short-term solution created both a simple consolidated electronic digest to replace hundreds of random email messages and business process that supported the creation of the digest.

The long-term solution provided both a role-based partner portal and web tools that encouraged self-service. This helped channel partners find relevant information, tools, training, and communications that was the information each dealer employee needed to do their job more effectively.

PRM best practices