Channel partners provide several benefits to your company. Customer acquisition cost is reduced, existing relationships are leveraged to win business, and overall reach is extended into new markets. Successfully managing partner relationships and maintaining channel sales results is key to your success. We asked some of the top channel leaders about the keys to partner success:
1) Put In The Work for Your Partners.
“To us, successful channel partnerships are about reversing the logic from them selling on behalf of you, to you selling on behalf of them. It’s the vendor’s job to invest time in discovering partners that share the same market philosophies, and use their intelligence to open this up to the benefit of all. For example, working as part of their team to bring highly targeted firepower to the partners’ market opportunities. We see far too many vague partnerships that don’t result in any tangible value for any party, and in fact, are detrimental to both.”
David Hancock, Director at Clarify
Takeaway: Realize your partnerships are two-way streets and put in the effort for them.
2) Team Up With Partners to Create a Dynamic Offering.
“It may be a very obvious tip, but still the one that defines our success – choose the right partner and put a lot of thought into that! Something that works extremely well for me is finding partners with complementary service but focusing on something slightly different that I wouldn’t want to expand to.
For example, I run a digital marketing agency. Partnerships with PR and content agencies are the best as we desperately need each other’s help to make our own services more efficient. So, it is a mutually beneficial partnership that creates a win-win situation for all of us and helps us all to gently upsell each other services to our clients. Once you’ve got that choice right it is difficult to not to succeed.”
Alisa Nemova Director at White Horse Agency
Takeaway: Use the differentiators of your services to create a new, unique solution.
3) Collaborate with Partners to Better Serve Customers.
“Collaborate with vendors to better understand customer needs. Close contact with vendors that work directly with customers can be a great way for channel partners to know more about common use cases, customer pain points and successful product implementation. Ultimately, participation in joint marketing activities (e.g., Lunch and Learn sessions) and training programs provided by vendors can enable channel professionals to boost sales and bring more value to clients.”
Also, address the needs of organizations from different industries. Channel partners often have to work with organizations from different industries, e.g. healthcare or finance. To address the specific needs of these customers, channel professionals need to bundle industry-specific services with solutions that can help clients resolve their burning issues, often associated with compliance and security (e.g., auditing).”
Ken Tripp, Director of Channel Accounts at Netwrix
Takeaway: Close collaboration with partners will ultimately result in happier customers.
4) Win The Confidence of the Channel.
“Be active in mutual communication with channels. Keep doing market research and analysis. Look at others and competitors to learn new things. Deliver complete business outcomes to the channels. Win the channels’ confidence by presenting yourself updated with market trends and keep a bird’s eye view for the opportunities that are fruitful for both parties.”
CJ Xia, VP of Marketing & Sales at Boster Biological Technology.
Takeaway: Prove your value to partners to gain their buy-in.
5) Empower Partners with Relevant Content.
“Instead of forcing partners to use content, resources, tools, and tactics that don’t align with their goals, IT vendors need to start thinking about what’s best for the partners’ businesses. What content, tools, and tactics are really going to educate, engage, and enable their Partners? How are they going to use them in their day-to-day lives?
First, educate partners on proper demand generation. Next, engage them on the platforms that you want them using. Every single channel executive should be connecting and engaging partners on platforms like LinkedIn, so the partners learn to use them to engage prospects. Finally, enabling partners doesn’t mean giving them the same old content over and over again. Think about demand generation best practices and figure out how to drive partner demand generation that will help them in the long run.
Noah Selzler, Social Content Writer & Strategy Specialist for Channel Maven Consulting
Takeaway: Make sure your content is relevant and aligned to get the best marketing results.
6) Track Your Marketing Results.
“Keep track of your progress. Know your existing stats before you begin your channel marketing partnership so you’ll have base figures and then measure your progress along the way. Knowing whether you’re getting the sales you want or not is going to be of help when deciding where to give supplemental efforts and where to remove excess resources.”
Norhanie Pangulima, Content Marketing Executive at Gigworker
Takeaway: Make sure you’re tracking the efforts of your partners so you know how much they’re worth to your business.