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The Inverse Channel: The Rise of Partner Power

We are currently finding ourselves in a new dystopian-like situation, having to adjust and adapt quickly, learning fully-virtually, and adapting to whatever gets thrown on our plate. As the current market gives and takes, we are given more time to focus on optimizing our channel operations, but we have fewer resources and facetime with our partners. Pre-pandemic, channel managers have aligned partners from the top-down—starting with their own organizations’ end goals in mind and then figuring out how partners fit into the strategy. With the world turning upside down in recent months, so has this process. Summarized from a recent webinar as part of Impartner’s Build a Better Channel Series, Purechannels CEO and Impartner Channel Chief Advisory Board Member (CCAB) Glenn Robertson joins Impartner CMO Kerry Desberg to discuss how to dramatically increase partner experience, partner effectiveness and drive partner revenue.

Start at the End

The best results happen in the end, so why not start at the end? Most companies focus on their needs and goals in mind, but what about our partners’ needs? According to neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) communication therapy, the best judge of our communication is the impact that it has on the recipient. The focus and emphasis are on the recipient dictating success, rather than the deliverer expecting or assuming it. Focusing on your partners means placing more emphasis on their choices; choice of solution, choice of service, choice of support, choice of how they do business, and who they do business with. Choosing to shift your focus from your needs to your partners’ needs will create more emotionally driven decisions for your partners and affect their buying decisions within your channel

Customer Experience to Partner Experience

Drive to create and provide the best partner experience in our channel ecosystem, partner experience should be the focus at the starting point, and we need to place more importance on partner experience throughout the program process. When was the last time you asked your partners what they want? If you don’t ask your partners what they want, you will never be able to deliver what they need. Partners exist to help with sales, to allow ease of doing business, and to generate leads. Knowing what partners want at the end, means knowing where to start and creating less chance of disconnect. By putting partner experience first and relating everything back to partners’ needs and wants, we are far more likely to get the desired end results.

The Five E’s

Based on research, surveying, and data, Purechannels developed a model for achieving the ultimate partner experience. There are Five E’s that are critical to creating a good partner experience. The Five E’s focus on engaging partners, educating partners, enabling partners, evaluating the process, and then evolving over time. There is no necessary starting point to this model, you can jump into it at any point and it will still be relevant and cyclical. Ask what your partners’ needs are, respond to those needs, and understand what you need to do to ensure partner success. Continue to base your actions on your partners’ needs in every part of this cyclical process. It’s never-ending change and you can dive in and start and stop at any particular point. People change, businesses change and your channel experiences change.

The bottom line is that good partner experiences drive good customer experiences. You need to provide contemporary solutions for the current climate and offer expertise, insight, leadership, and help your partners make more informed decisions during this uncertain time. We are living in a strange period in world history and now more than ever companies need to shift their focus on their partners’ wants and needs and create a wonderful partner experience. That’s where Impartner comes in, Impartner provides the tools necessary to give your partners that world-class experience. Create customized partner journeys, empower partners with insightful resources and actionable training, and energize partners to be more productive by providing them a personalized partner experience. Visit impartner.com/demo to learn more.

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