How to Motivate Partners with Partner Relationship Management

By Seth Jacobsen Posted on 3/10/15 7:30 AM

Working with sales partners to help promote your products and services is a great way to build your brand.  However, keeping your partners motivated is an ongoing challenge and can prove to be quite difficult.  It’s not like you have the same level of oversight and control with your partners as you do with your direct sales team.  Fortunately, PRM (Partner Relationship Management) software is a solution that is meant to support your channel partners in a number of ways, including keeping them motivated.

Proper Training

To be fair to your partners, if you’ve dropped the ball with training, you can hardly expect them to perform up to your expectations.  It will also be easy for them to lose their motivation to meet your business goals when other brands they are representing are giving them the training they need to close deals.

How to Motivate Partners with Partner Relationship ManagementEven if you think you’ve done your best by training their existing sales team, you need to have a plan to keep your training program up to speed. This requires making sure new employees are trained, keeping existing courseware updated as your product line evolves, and creating new material to meet evolving market demands.

Most advanced PRM software can help you meet these objectives.  A built-in Learning Management System allows you to create, track, and deliver the right training content to the right audience.  You can also report on how your training efforts are leading to improved sales results which will be great information to share with your partners as you help provide them with ways to build their business.

Better Feedback on Both Ends

Along the same lines, PRM software gives your partners a direct channel for providing feedback.  Research has shown that when people feel they’re being heard, they are more likely to feel like a part of the process and therefore more motivated to play an active role.

Not only can gaining timely feedback from your partners help promote collaboration, it can foster improved accountability so that your partners are actively working harder on your behalf.  

Feedback from your partners can also provide valuable information on customer demands.  In many instances, your partners are more closely aligned with the local market and it is important to make sure you are listening to what your partners have to say.

Improved Support

The more support you can provide to your partners, the more they will want to work for you.  Leaving too many of your business processes open to guesswork is risking a lot and could definitely leave them looking for easier business opportunities.

With PRM software, you can provide your partners with self-service access to the latest marketing materials, just-in-time job aides, and sales tools they need to be effective. This will help free up your time - and theirs - to focus on growing your business.

Encouragement Is Easy

Everyone likes being recognized for their performance.  PRM software allows you to keep track of partner performance and tie those results to the successful training, marketing, and communications strategies that you have helped deliver.  This, in turn, allows your partners to strive for continuous improvement and reward  those employees responsible for this performance.

Sales performance and training completion can be tied to a formal incentives program that allows you to reward your partners.  The better your company can see the results of your partner’s efforts, the better you can act on them.  Above are just some of the ways you can take this information and use it to motivate your partners towards better performance.  

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