As we navigate this new environment, help your partners become the face of your company by enabling them as you would internal employees. Your partners represent your brand locally and now more than ever we need to focus on the importance of connecting your team by creating a more powerful partner channel. Robb Franks, Sr. Director of Sales Engineering & North American Sales at Impartner, discusses how to understand and implement the 7 key strategies to create more power within your partner channel.
Summarized from a recent webinar hosted in March, Robb Franks breaks down these seven ways you can strengthen your partners even when you can’t be there. Franks covers some of the best ways within your partner channel to move your business forward and provides helpful suggestions as we are all facing unprecedented challenges and working within models that we’ve never seen before. Your partners represent your brand, they are not only an extension of your brand, but they truly are the “boots on the ground” for your company.
Your partners adhere to your values and mission, and in today’s climate, you need to make sure to enable partners as if they were natural extensions of your direct selling force. Here are seven things you can do to create even more power within your partner channel:
1. Make Your Content Machine Real-Time – Provide a mechanism that allows your partners to understand your messaging as it comes to market. Whether that messaging is changing daily due to the rapid cadence of communication, make sure that your partners are aware of new policies, new procedures and even new hours for that matter. In order to be successful within your partner channels, your messaging needs to be relevant, quick to digest, move out in waves and you must curate unique content.
2. Social Distance Your Training – As you continue to recruit and onboard new partners, there needs to be a major shift in training and certification. Although in-person or on-location training might not be available at this time, this is your opportunity to shift from traditional training to an online onboarding for new partners. Create training content, easily distribute the content and measure the success rate of each partner within this new training model.
3. Ensure Partner Can Market to the Last Mile -Allow your partners to be that regional focus and that regional reach of your marketing message. Make sure that your partners are provided with co-branded, shareable content as it is distributed out to your indirect channels. While building out new content, enable your partners to consume information at their own pace and leave them in charge of their marketing cadence. Remember to track, measure and monitor content effectiveness to see what’s working and what’s not working.
4. Virtual Meetings are the New Face-to-Face – As channel events, meetups and team meetings get canceled or postponed, we realize there is an opportunity to meet virtually more than ever before. Make sure your partners are part of your new strategies when hosting these upcoming virtual events. Your partners are a great source for leads and attendees to these events, so plan ahead with partners in mind. As you aggregate these virtual events across different webinar platforms, keep in mind to organize all these events onto a calendar that is easily consumable by the partner.
5. More Leads = Thriving Partners – Within these new market conditions there is still real value in showing a local presence, your partner allows you to stay local while still being virtual. This is a great opportunity to distribute leads to new partners, assign leads to local partners and ask partners to follow up on leads. You need to pass the lead while maintaining visibility by tracking the success rate of each of those valuable leads. Measure and monitor to make sure you are using each lead to maximize its value and potential.
6. Make Your Feet on the Ground, Your Ear to the Ground – Ask your partners to provide support for end customers by allowing access to a knowledge base, frequently asked questions, ticketing systems like Zendesk, and allowing the partner to troubleshoot as much as possible to alleviate the burden on overworked help desks. Make sure that partners feel like they can be successful as front line support by giving them access to all the information they might need and the right personnel within your organization.
7. Open Door to Different Types of Partners – Rethink your partner program and focus on bringing in a partner type that you’ve never considered before. During these challenging times, carve out another avenue in which to build a new pipeline for your channel and cast a wider net for partners to provide you with more leads. Provide different ways that partners can build capital and generate interest for your products and services, and don’t be afraid to leverage your brand influencers in the market.
Regardless of the market conditions that we find ourselves in, with the help of Impartner’s award-winning PRM, we can enable your partners to be even more powerful than they are today. Channel management and marketing can feel like quite the challenge, especially as we navigate this new landscape. Impartner is here for you and with you as you embark on this new virtual journey. We will help you harness the power of those emerging referral partners and optimize the performance of your channel. To learn more about how Impartner can help increase your channel revenue by 32.3%, request a demo of the most complete channel management platform by visiting impartner.com/demo.