Simply signing a memorandum of agreement between you and a new channel partner is not enough for your sales program to succeed. Like relationships between two individuals, this kind of partnership also requires time and care to grow. That said, the way to enrich channel partnerships are quite different from an interpersonal relationship.
To help set you on the right track, here are five best practices for forming strong channel partner relationships:
1. Provide the right tools for the job
Like a carpenter trying to make a table without a hammer and nails, you can’t expect your channel partners to sell any items if you don’t give them the tools that will enable them to do so. Start by onboarding your channel partners to an electronic partners platform that allows them to easily cash out their earnings wherever they may be located. This will encourage them to continuously sell your products and services. That same platform should also be able to provide training modules for selling your products, while also offering sales metrics and even online statements for their accounts.
On your end, a smart and intuitive platform will also help you keep track of the performance of each channel partner. Through the platform, you can see who’s performing well and who’s lagging behind, enabling you to offer the right kind of assistance to help all partners succeed.
2. Increase access to much-needed information
It’s going to be very hard for your channel partners to sell items if they don’t have enough information about your products or services. After all, with no information on hand, how will they be able to answer the questions your potential clients have? That’s why you need to supply your sales partners with complete manuals, video tutorials, and other forms of information about your products or services. Better yet, provide samples so that your sellers will understand how your offerings work.
3. Revisit and revise sales strategies
Just because one sales strategy worked in the past doesn’t mean it’ll work again today or in the future. Hence, you should review all your ongoing sales strategies to see which ones can be maintained, which ones should be modified, and which ones should be eliminated. Through this process, you can make your sales strategy more efficient; saving you time, money, and effort in the long run.
4. Analyze buyer behavior
Of course, if you want to execute the third point better, you need to analyze buyer behavior. After all, it’s going to be hard for anyone to revise a sales strategy without new information about the target market on hand. So before doing any tweaking, do your research first.
5. Overhaul your compensation program if needed
Another reason why your channel partners may not be selling as much is the thought that the compensation or rewards may not be enough. If this is the case, then yes, you may have to either increase the compensation itself or revise the structure of your compensation program. That way, they’ll be motivated to sell your products or services again.
Of course, these five best practices are just some of the things you can try to further strengthen your business’ relationships with your channel partners. And it’s true—there are still many other ways to improve those partnerships. Can you think of anything else?