Bringing on partners is usually a great way to expand your company’s business. These businesses can reach new customers on your behalf and even explore new markets. The potential profit any partner represents can be huge. Unfortunately, some partnerships don’t always live up to your expectations - or theirs. However, if a partner is underselling, some of the fault could belong to you. Let’s look at some ways you can help set your partners up for success.
Establish an MDF Funds Program
MDF funds are a traditional element in any partnership. Another company is happy to market and sell your products. If they are going to be successful, expect that your business provides them with some MDF funds so they can better promote your products.
That being said, simply throwing MDF funds at a company doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll succeed. Help your partners how to best put those funds to use and what results they can expect to grow their business. Use channel management software to track how those funds can get used, so you can keep your partners accountable and look for ways to improve.
Use Channel Management Software
Channel management software has become renowned for how easy it makes vendor/partner relationships. For one thing, communication becomes much more more efficient. It also ensures that you have all the tracking you need (as we mentioned above regarding MDF funds) to keep tabs on your various partners and find opportunities to help out.
WIth so many channel support functions required, you need one central location for your partners to go to access all the information they need. On top of that, indirect sales channels are extremely complex and make it difficult for you to ensure the right partners see the right information. This dynamic is accounted for in channel management software by knowing who is logging in and delivering content specific to their needs.
While your partners are tasked with marketing and selling your products, this doesn’t mean you can’t help. Collaborating with your partners can have many beneficial results. For one thing, your partners are usually more connected to customer needs so it is important to use their feedback to continuously improve your marketing and sales efforts.
Arguably, though, the far more important benefit is that you get a better idea of how that particular partner works and what they bring to the table. All of your partners are going to be different. If they’re underperforming, it might be because you don’t recognize how to effectively leverage their abilities.
Look at Each Partner as an Individual
To expand upon this further, don’t make the mistake of looking at all your partners equally. This approach may the easy road to take, but it will undoubtedly leave you with partners who have untapped potential.
A far better approach would be to use channel management software to see if their team shows certain strengths they bring to the table.
Of course, you can also speak to them as well to learn more about what makes them different. Look for ways that, as a vendor, you can help meet their unique needs.When possible, think about sending people to their site to get a better idea of how they operate. If you do go this route, make sure you send people who can help answer any questions they may have about your business too.
Provide All the Information They Need
Your partners are definitely going to have questions. Software can help put them in contact with the experts who can answer them or provide self-service access to information that will make their lives easier to begin with. Aside from marketing materials and sales tools, why not provide them with information that will make training in new hires easier as well?
Sometimes, partners are going to underwhelm you. They may even do it to the point that it makes sense to get rid of them. However, before you take this step, be sure to review the above to see if there’s something you could be doing to help them fulfill their potential.