Channel partnerships are a high impact strategy with loads of benefits.
In addition to added revenue, you count on them to:
- Open new distribution mechanisms for your product or service
- Expose your product or service to audiences they didn’t have access to before
- Build references that bring in new business
But way too often these valuable partners are neglected. Is your team using these relationships to the fullest, or just letting them sit idly?
Use these tips to help your reps maximize success with existing channel partners and boost sales.
Stop Doing Double the Work
If you have channel partners in place in addition to your direct sales force, it’s likely there’s some overlap in their work. The last thing you want is for two of your biggest resources to be competing against one another. Outline and plan a strong framework that both your channel partners and sales reps can adhere to that keeps them operating in their own lane. Include location, markets, industries, any specialty focus, and other key identifiers to get rid of overlap and set a clear focus.
Treat Channel Partners Like Your Own Employees
Would you ever send your sales rep into the field without training them first? When planning for your own employees you consider key areas like messaging, competitive knowledge, product or service features, technology resources, and your sales methodology. Have you covered all of that with your channel partners? Give them the training attention they deserve so they can be as efficient and successful as possible. And remember, if you don’t train them to do it your way, they’ll come up with their own methods.
Give Them Some Coaching Love
Your reps get regular coaching sessions on useful skills like pitching, objection handling, and communication style. Do your channel partners? Involve them at some level within your coaching plan so they can improve their skills too. It will only help your bottom line in the long run. You can even use new tools like LearnCore’s Mobile Manager App so you can make an impact no matter where you’re located.
Make Content Accessible
We’ve all heard the statistics that sales reps spend 31% of their time just searching for, or creating, the right sales content. Imagine, channel partners are often one or more layers more removed than your regular reps. Make the appropriate sales content and promotional tools available to them in a simple, accessible way. This will help them waste less time searching, and devote more time to selling.
Use defined processes to evaluable deliverables and provide feedback to your channel partners so they get the respect they deserve. The more accountability you show to them, the more likely they are to match an equally high level of performance. Whether through hitting sales targets, or overall quality, you want a mutually respectful long term relationship with these valuable players.
Channel partners are an incredible opportunity to expand your reach, and grow your sales and distribution. To see their maximum potential, you need to give them the right fuel. Refocus on these relationships through many of the same initiatives you use within your own sales team to see impactful results.
Haven’t got channel partners in place yet? Check out this guide that outlines 3 Steps to Build Successful Channel Partner Programs.