How Are Channel Management Best Practices Changing as Technology Advances?

By Seth Jacobsen Posted on 8/26/15 7:30 AM

If you have channel partners, chances are you’re already familiar with the importance of leveraging your resources for greater sales. Unfortunately, as you may have found, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re reaping the benefits quite yet.

It could be because the digital landscape is one that constantly shifts. Right now, you might not be seeing the benefits you want from having channel partners simply because the best practices regarding that relationship have changed too. However, the following should go a long way toward giving you direction.

 How Are Channel Management Best Practices Changing as Technology Advances?

You Need PRM Software

If you have channel partners, you need software to help manage your relationship with them. That’s as simple as it gets. Without PRM software, you’re simply making more work for yourself. It would be like having business partners without email to communicate with them.

Relationship management platforms help you consolidate your efforts into one central portal. You’ll have a record of everyone you speak to and whether or not they read your messages.

PRM Is Not a Silver Bullet

That being said, don’t make the mistake of thinking that PRM software will do all your work for you. Does email handle all of your communications? No, it just provides you an efficient platform. Likewise, you have to use PRM for everything it’s worth. If you don’t take time to learn how it works, your channel partners shouldn’t be expected to. Once you fully understand the software, then you can begin seeing its full benefits.

Encryption Is Essential

Here’s another reason to invest in PRM software: encryption is included. Technology has advanced to the point that just about anyone who wants your information can get it. The unfortunate truth is that as much as the digital age has made it possible for anybody to launch a website, start an ecommerce store or create a social media conglomerate, it has also made it that much easier for your average user to steal information.

The only hope you have is encryption. These days, it goes without saying that PRM programs come with top-level encryption, but it’s still worth checking to be sure. If you’re sending unencrypted messages, you might as well be broadcasting that info to the world.

SEE MORE: Ultimate Guide to Partner Collaboration Using PRM Software

You Must Make Mindshare a Priority

Ten years ago, your channel partner may have had only you and no one else. These days, though, most channel partners have a number of companies they work with. The name of the game is to keep their overhead low and the money they make from partners high. Naturally, that means your channel partner may have a full dance card.

That’s why you have to make mindshare a priority. If you take your channel partners for granted, they’ll focus on someone who doesn’t and bring them giant profits. There are a number of ways you can keep your partner’s attention though.

This includes:

  • MDF (Marketing Development Funds), which is money you give them to market your business

  • Training materials or even volunteering to train their staff on how best to sell your product

  • Collaboration products which will better serve to improve profits for both companies

  • Regular calls where both parties discuss business and brainstorm how to improve

  • Incentive programs that give them better commissions for improved performance

Make no mistake about it, the development of technology changes how you relate to your management. Even if you have a PRM platform, you still need to think about the other tips above in order to make the most out of those affiliations.   

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