We spend a lot of time talking about how new technologies can streamline indirect sales ecosystems, improve your data-crunching, and help you be more competitive against monolithic direct-sale systems… but that all overlooks one key problem: Change is hard.
It’s easy for a company to get set in its ways, while policies & procedures tend to take on an inertia of their own. This goes double for an indirect-sale setup, where there could be dozens or hundreds of companies involved, which would all need to change their procedures to take advantage of new technology. This can create a serious challenge for vendors who want to improve the overall functioning of their ecosystem.
However, change is often necessary. There are too many benefits to PRM and modern data-storage solutions to leave them on the sidelines, particularly when direct-sale ops are happy to adopt them. Here are a few tips for making that happen.
Four Strategies For Successfully Overcoming Resistance To Change
SEE ALSO: LogicBay's Channel Program Blueprint
1. Be the change you want to see.
It’s a cliché, but it’s a very valid strategy when working in a growing partner ecosystem. Start by implementing the solution or technologies yourself, and be able to demonstrate their efficacy. When it comes to improved workflows, or better data storage and analysis, the benefits should be very clear and easy to show. Whenever possible, try to break them down into man-hours or pure dollars-and-cents.
There are few better ways to encourage change than to be able to say, in concrete terms, “This is how much money you’ll be saving by doing it our way.”
2. Consider your timing.
Sometimes, the best way to push for a new technology initiative is to wait for your partners to come to you. For example, say you have a new solution for centralizing your marketing materials and initiatives. Don’t go straight to tech-resistant partners, particularly if you think they would feel like it was stepping on their toes. Wait for a few of them to start talking about how they’d like marketing to be easier or cheaper, and then sweep in with a “we’ve listened to your complaints” style solution.
Remember Inception? It’s like that. Let them think they’ve thought of the idea first.
3. Identify eager adopters.
Not all companies\departments are resistant to change. Sometimes a local manager and their staff will be relatively tech-savvy, and entirely willing to implement new solutions that make sense. Learn to spot these partners, because they can be your new best friends when it comes to streamlining your ecosystem! Use them as your bellwether, allowing them to reap the benefits of your new technology – then wait for the others to come asking for their opportunity to share in those benefits.
4. Use your new tech as a recruitment tool.
If you can’t find partners internally who are willing to jump onboard a tech train, look outside instead. Make your new technology or procedures part of your sales pitch when bringing new partners onboard. If this pitch makes them eager to join up, it doesn’t just improve your roll-out numbers - it’s also another way of demonstrating the value of your change initiative to your more reticent partners.
In some cases, it may even -subtly- send the message that you’d be willing to replace partners who refuse to get onboard with your new workflow. (Even if you aren’t.)
You can streamline Your partner relations With LogicBay. Our cutting-edge combination of PRM centralization, technology stacks, and proven consulting expertise can improve productivity in indirect-sale ecosystems of any size!