Times are tough - are you giving your sales partners all the support they need? If your business relies on indirect sales, it's vital to keep a close eye on your sales partners. Your actions as the top-level vendor can do a lot to make their lives easier, or harder, just depending on your relationship with your partners. Now is the time to be reaching out to them, learning what challenges they're facing, and seeing what you can do to help them succeed.
With over a decade's experience focused on supporting indirect sales companies, we know a lot about what it takes to make a sales ecosystem work. We've got proven suggestions for supporting your partners, and growing your sales.
Five Ways To Support Your Sales Partners During Challenging Times
1. Create or update your lead qualifications
When is the last time you updated the qualification process for your lead generation? If your standards for collecting and referring leads is too out of date, you may be sending your partners a lot of junk. Compare your sales against your demographic targets and long-term plans, to see if you're still referring well-qualified leads.
2. Keep open lines of communication
Partner relationships are a lot like other types of relationships: without communication, they tend to wither. Don't leave your partners hanging, or feeling like they're in a vacuum. Have multiple lines of communication open so that they can get advice, ask questions, or voice concerns about problems they may be facing.
3. Provide clear actionable feedback
Communication with your sales partners should always be focused on being clear, accurate, and actionable with a focus on steady improvement. You should have clearly-defined guidelines in place for rating partners, and for letting them know your expectations. All partners should be graded on the same criteria and KPIs. This is more fair to them, as well as making it much easier for you to analyze sales performance across different groups.
4. Schedule trainings, especially prior to major product launches
Your partners should have opportunities to come together - even if only virtually - for conferences and training. This is particularly important if you're looking to launch a new product. Have full launch packages made up, combined with live or virtual training sessions to ensure all your partners are fully up to date on the new initiative.
5. Make good use of automation
Software such as CRM and PRM provides solutions to connect your own operation to those of your partners. Make use of software tools! For example, lead-collection automation can simplify the process of getting leads to your sales partners, by automatically collecting and sending them on. More advanced systems can even do your lead-screening for you, reducing your workload, while improving the quality of leads you're sending over.
Grow Your Business Through PRM
Looking for more ways to improve efficiency and profitability from yours sales network? The right Partner Relationship Management software can make a big difference! PRM software provides a framework and workflows to strengthen relationships and optimize sales for manufacturers which sell through channel partners.
We’ve built our PRM solution to meet the challenges facing the manufacturing industry by offering:
- Streamlined dealer onboarding to accelerate time to market
- Incentive program management to boost dealer engagement
- Easy day-to-day interactions with a single login to all the information users need
- Clear lines of communication throughout your network
Leverage the same technology used by Caterpillar, Daimler, and Mercedes-Benz USA. Do more than manage your sales channel—let it thrive.
In this whitepaper, we offer a model that organizations can apply to generate a positive ROI as they consider deploying a PRM system. We also provide two business examples highlighting the solutions we’ve delivered to help our clients overcome industry challenges, along with the accompanied results.