Properly managing a growing indirect-sales ecosystem requires a lot of care and attention, particularly when it comes to problems your channel sales partners may experience during the partnership. Anything you can do as a channel manager to make their lives easier will pay off in the long run. Not only will they have more time to devote to selling your products, they’ll have a positive experience during the process. That can really make a difference, particularly in situations where your partners aren’t exclusive and you are, in effect, competing against other brands they’re selling.
Here, we address three common complaints that sales partners have about their vendors and included ideas and processes to overcome those issues.
1. “Working with you takes too much time and effort!”
Conveyed by many sales partners, this is the most common pain point. There are almost always going to be extra burdens involved when partnering with a vendor, but the vendor should do everything possible to minimize those burdens. The more time and energy the ground-level sales staff have to devote to selling product, the better. Some ways to overcome this include:
- More efficient training systems, such as online eLearning.
- Vendors supplying most marketing materials and other content, like blogs and videos.
- Streamlining any login-based systems or consolidating onto a single platform.
- Optimizing communications platforms to speed up questions and answers.
You might be surprised at just how much more favorably your partners will view a partnership with you, if you can streamline all your interactions.
2. “We feel out of the loop.”
In the past sales partners often had limited direct contact with their vendors, simply due to constraints on communications and travel. Today, however, your partners want to have integrated ways of keeping contact with you and staying updated on your business plans. In fact, it’s a bad sign if a partner isn’t interested in better integration. They probably aren’t prioritizing you.
Operating within a single software platform can undo this complaint, nearly overnight. When a partner can get news, updates, marketing materials, technical documentation, and training all in one place, they’ll be glad for it. Even better if that platform can also allow cross-channel collaborations with various other sales partners. It makes your ecosystem into a much more cohesive and integrated unit.
3. “We’re not getting enough feedback!”
As with feeling out of the loop, feedback is important to sales partners who are interested in succeeding. They probably have data-based processes in their own internal organization, and they crave relevant data from you as well. Don’t let relevant sales and marketing data get silo’ed within your own organization. Make data available to your sales partners, so they can see how they’re doing – and how the ecosystem as a whole is doing – for the sake of improving their own performance.
In best-case scenarios, this can even mean being able to share customer data and create ecosystem-wide databases of information which everyone can benefit from.
Tie Your Ecosystem Together With PRM
Partner Relationship Management (PRM) software can be your all-in-one solution for alleviating partner pain points while also optimizing almost every area of your ecosystem as a whole. A single software platform can handle communications, training, data, analytics, and more.
To learn more, you can access our eBook, PRM: Best Practices here.