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Increasing Channel Sales in a Pandemic

Remember the movie Groundhog Day with Bill Murray? Working during a global pandemic can feel like you are living your own version of Groundhog Day. You’re stuck at home, days have turned into weeks, weeks have turned into months and escaping the monotony of your daily work-from-home routine can be challenging. Although it feels like there is no end to this unforgettable chapter in your life, you have to remind yourself that you are encountering problems you’ve never dealt with before and you are resilient. You’ve learned to be resourceful with fewer resources, to embrace change and to be a channel-champion for your partners. Here are a few more helpful tips to get you through those channel challenges:

Rely on Referral Partners

In addition to your regular onboarding process of recruiting traditional partners, build out a lower tier for your referral partners. Allow these lower-tier partners to refer opportunities and receive an award for doing so; this can be an incentive for closed opportunities or an incentive for new opportunities. This will help speed up the sales cycle and provide a low barrier to entry by waiting to onboard some partners until they spend more time demonstrating their value. It’s fairly inexpensive to pay out a referral and it’s a way for you to observe the self-qualification of those partners that will naturally rise to a productive partner position. Help partners get in, spend less time onboarding and help new opportunities get into the pipeline and close.

Organize Your Content

Because we can’t go onsite, having a quick playbook of short videos demonstrating a product or functionality can be extremely beneficial to partners. Create product playbooks by organizing your content in such a way that partners can grab blocks of assets without searching across different portal pages or different folders. Organize them into a playbook that can be favorited quickly by the partner so that they can easily find that content block. These content blocks can have talk tracks, information on the competition, training videos, scripts and quick role play videos.

Create a Partner Advisory Board

Similar to a client advisory board, creating a partner advisory board can help build lasting relationships within your partner program. It can be as simple as asking partners what they want to see in the portal, getting honest feedback on the portal, products, or the company, and creating a space where they can speak openly. It can be as easy as setting up a call on a quarterly or semi-annually basis, asking for feedback and just making partners feel more included in the process of coming up with the content and strategy around their partner program. Make sure to also follow up and provide feedback on future plans or what the next steps are.

You may be surprised at how many channel chiefs are experiencing the same challenges you are. If you would like to meet with and talk to other channel chiefs and find out how they are working through their obstacles, join our Channel Chief and Chill discussions every Wednesday morning at 9 am MST for North America and every Friday morning at 9 am GTM for Europe. You can sign up for your respective region’s discussion here

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