No matter what you’re selling, by now you’re probably well aware that a healthy channel partner program can be one of your most powerful tools for generating revenue.
But healthy is the operative word here.
So if you feel like your channel program is doing a bit of coughing and sputtering and isn’t getting you where you need to go, there are some steps you can take reevaluate it, refresh it, and breathe new life into it.
By keeping in mind the following tips, you can get your channel thriving, setting it up to be as profitable for you as all the statistics out there indicate that channel sales should be.
1. Your Partners Should Naturally Complement What You’re Selling
Your partners are your money-making tools, and just like if you were building a bridge, you get farther, faster, using the right tool for the right task. Selling with a partner that doesn’t normally deal in your product, doesn’t understand it, or isn’t set up to extend its value to a client might get your product in front of a few eyeballs, but it’s not going to seal the mutually-beneficial, ongoing deals you need out of a partnership.
For instance, if you’re selling computer hardware that requires a specific skill set to implement that your office doesn’t offer, partnering with a solution provider that can install the hardware and provide necessary maintenance and services associated with it is a surefire way to build a profitable ongoing relationship between you, your channel, and clients. This can make for a win-win-win that just keeps winning. On the other hand, a partner that drops off the hardware to their clients with no follow-up and no add-ons – nobody’s winning there.
2. Your Partner Should Care About Selling Your Product
Partners are an extension of your business. So if they want to sell your products, they should be as invested in what you’re selling as any member of your direct sales team. Finding partners that will put in the extra effort in the service of your brand is another win-win.
3. You Can Build Your Channel From the Inside
If you want to expand your channel program, seeking out and vetting new partners might not be the best use of your resources. First, take a look at what you’ve already got in your channel. Find your most engaged, dedicated partners and empower them to do more. Show them how your product can be cross sold and upsold, and show them how what they’re offering and what you’re providing lend themselves to synergies that will make clients even happier.
Showing these top partners how to better position your products is only one way you can help them sell. Training them on the tools and strategies you’ve found most successful in selling can likewise help you make your best partners even better.
4. It’s Important to Train Smart -- and Show Appreciation
The training processes and materials that you furnish your channel partners with can go a long way in setting them up to make your product look great. But you have to make sure that you’re mobilizing them correctly. Don’t just pile on the modules with no context. Guide your partners through a process that will make them better.
And above all, reward them for doing well. If they’re going the extra mile to make you money, reciprocate. That kind of appreciation is at the heart of a channel program where everyone wins.