Channel partners can be extremely valuable to a company’s sales strategy. When properly enabled and supported, channel partners can dramatically increase your sales opportunities and introduce your organization to revenue opportunities that you might not otherwise find. However, with poorly trained channel partners, you run the risk of having your brand and products misrepresented. Not only can this impede your sales, but it can severely damage your company’s reputation.
The Benefits of a Channel Partner Program
For many companies, making the decision to invest time, money, and resources in launching a channel partner program can be daunting. But the fact is that sales organizations across most every industry have found that the benefits of strategic partnerships far outweigh the expense.
Some of the specific benefits you can expect from a channel partner program can include:
A carefully planned and executed partner program can lead to a significant increase in the sale of your company’s products or services. Most vendors find that in leveraging the channel, they can more easily scale their sales efforts and that their channel partners can bring them into opportunities they might not otherwise have known about.
Decreased Cost of Sales
A channel partner program allows you to increase and scale your salesforce without having to take on more employees and the accompanying overhead. And while minimizing the cost of sales is important for any company, it is especially important for small businesses and start-ups.
Reach New Markets
Through a well-designed channel strategy, your company may gain access to markets and segments that you might not otherwise access. Recruiting partners that have expertise and penetration into diverse markets can significantly expand your company’s reach and opportunity for expansion.
In working with channel partners, you strengthen your process for collecting and reacting to market feedback. Most channel partners will offer honest feedback regarding what they see as the strengths and weaknesses of your offerings and what it would take to increase the priority of your company as part of their sales strategy.
The Best Practices in Building Your Channel Partner Program
As your company develops a strategy for building and managing its channel partner program, some of the best practices to consider include:
Seek out channel partners that have a good understanding of your marketplace and competitors. Some of the best partners you can recruit may have a complementary offering that would make it much easier to sell your product or service.
Put processes and technologies in place that can streamline the procedures for bringing on new channel partners. Administration, training, and marketing are three of the biggest areas to look at when onboarding a new partner.
Make sure that your organization is on the same page with your new partner by working together to set goals and agree on priorities. The goals you set in partnership can include sales activity targets, niche penetration metrics, revenue targets, and other measurable goals.
Make sure your hard-working channel partners are well-supported by your organization. You might assign someone from your company to be their main point of contact regarding questions and for requesting resources. You also want to have a strategy in place for keeping your partners up-to-date and trained on any changes to your product or service offerings and developments in the marketplace.
eLearning and Channel Partner Program Best Practices
In recent years, as cloud technologies have continued to evolve, eLearning has emerged as one of the foundational components for a successful channel partner program. Through online learning, you can cost-effectively and conveniently train your new partners for sales success and keep your existing partners current with fresh learning and training content.
LMS Portals provides a powerful cloud-based platform for channel partner training. Our clients are able to build and deliver their own branded and customized training programs using private eLearning portals for each of their partners. And the system includes robust supporting tools for user onboarding, messaging and collaboration, analytics, and more.
Contact us today to get started for free!