Are you satisfied with the results of your channel partners? It is easy to focus on this question and stop there when evaluating the success of your partners. However, the relationship goes both ways.
It's also good to ask: Are your channel partners satisfied with you? How can you “delight” your channel partners? By setting your partners up to succeed, you are setting yourself up to succeed with them. Given this logic, providing your channel partners with the best resources and “delighting” them should be a top priority. Get started on the right path today!
Choose the right partners.
To begin with, you’ll have a much easier time keeping your channel partners happy if they’re having an easy time meeting your demands. No company wants to fall short of their partner’s expectations. However, no company wants to feel like they’re being set up to fail either. Ensuring that your partner application process of vetting potential channel partners is thorough is key. A great track record or access to your target market doesn’t always mean you found the right channel partner. Instead of focusing on single characteristics, look for a prospect that is an all-around fit in terms of their experience, cost, strategic benefits, and other key areas.
Have the right systems in place.
One of the best ways you can ensure that working with a channel partner is a fruitful endeavor is by introducing partner relationship management software (also referred to as “PRM software). This type of software is designed to help your business improve results within your indirect sales channel. .
You’ll find that PRM software can help make a big difference in your channel partner relationships by keeping everyone on the same page. This software can update important data in real time on a platform shared by all relevant parties. Providing PRM software as a resource to your partners is a great way to delight them by setting them up with everything they need to succeed.
Deploy ongoing training.
As time goes on, all companies evolve, which is why ongoing training f is always a priority. This principle extends to your channel partners too. Whether it’s training them on new products, business processes, or best practices you’ve recently come up with for internal procedures, this is vital. You need to keep your channel partners properly informed so that they are equipped to represent your brand successfully.
Help your partners understand the value of your training programs by helping them see how they stand to benefit as a result. Lastly, make sure to keep track of which partners are actively completing your training and hold others accountable when they chose not to participate.
Yet another way you should treat channel partners similar to your own employees is by offering them incentives for greater performance. The same way your team acts to bonuses and commissions is likely how your channel partners will respond to similar incentives. Aside from rewarding simply based on sales results, you can also give out incentives to your partners that are actively promoting your brand or performing other important functions.
Don’t take your channel partners for granted. Each one represents the potential for greater success. Instead, regularly invest in delighting them and setting them up for success.