3 Trends to Revolutionize Your Manufacturing Business

It’s no surprise the manufacturing industry has one of the most complex selling models. With a rapidly changing sales environment, keeping up with the times in the current market can make it difficult to maintain a competitive edge.

As more manufacturers shift from their legacy selling models, which were based on in-depth product knowledge and relationship development, they are finding the importance of to-partner marketing, sales development, and so much more.

We’ve discovered a few trends to revolutionize your manufacturing sales and increase revenue growth:

  • Update Your Selling Model –  Get on track with industry trends by paying attention to your own analytics and benchmarks. The best way to analyze your future ROI is to look at your past. You must learn the industries best practices for portfolio expansion, spending on sales metrics, and revenue ratios to optimize your investments. Gain the greatest amount of leverage by unlocking your company’s maximum customer revenue potential.

  • Investigate Best Practices – Forward-thinking manufacturers no longer rely solely on the quality of their products to win deals. You must become empowered with the latest technology to set your sales and service teams up for the greatest success. This means expanding the use of platforms beyond CRM. Implementing the latest PRM and Marketing Automation platforms can give your company the competitive edge it needs to surpass expectations.

  • Optimize Your Data – When it comes to partner data, it is vital to know your partners inside out. Find out who is performing best and what systems they prefer, then optimize your marketing programs to align with your partners selling solutions. Next, look at your customer data and find out which campaigns they prefer from your partners. Compare analytics and determine why certain content resonated deeper than others, and use the data to create a deeper connection with customers.

For more information about modernizing manufacturing, watch ARO, Ingersoll Rand’s Customer Case Study with Impartner and find out how the implementation of our PRM transformed their partner experiences and helped bring their manufacturing company into the 21st century.

Security Cobblers Need Great Shoes: Impartner Lets Them Walk the Walk

The quest to provide an excellent customer experience rages on in corporations everywhere. For companies who sell through indirect channels, that quest is focused on their partners – their true customers. The competitive challenge is to ensure that their partners' journey is a strategic competitive advantage from start to finish – and the foundation is a powerful Partner Portal. Giants like Xerox and emerging tech companies like Tegile are reinventing their Partner Portals with commercially available Partner Relationship Management (PRM) solutions that allow them to harness the power of their channel and ensure it is a key differentiator and growth engine for the corporation.

A Higher Standard

For any corporation, the stakes are high when it comes to ensuring the solutions they chose are secure – including PRM. Unlike the proverbial cobbler who made quality shoes for everyone in town, neglecting their own children, companies on the security front lines, such as A10, Carbon Black and now Fortinet, must select and deploy SaaS solutions with the highest possible level of security. As security vendors it's only natural that their companies will be held to a higher standard.

At Impartner, that’s why we’ve built our PRM to meet the strictest security standards in the market – and is one of the reasons network and security companies from A10, Carbon Black, eSentire, LogRhythm, and Entrust, to Ixia, Rackspace, ViaWest and now Fortinet, can rely on us with confidence to provide a great partner experience and protect their most sensitive data.

What Makes Impartner So Secure?

For starters, we’re the only PRM vendor to meet the security standards necessary to be listed on the Salesforce AppExchange®. Other key security highlights include:

  • Three tiers of sandboxing, with two separate development environments, staging and production, for true data isolation.
  • Certifications for stringent security standards including the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and Burp Suite security testing.
  • Data exposure only through secure APIs and services with multiple abstraction layers.
  • Robust logging and auditing capabilities to ensure compliance.
  • Single and multi-tenancy combined into the industry’s ONLY hybrid-tenancy model, delivering instant security and product updates through its multi-tenant web app, and the ability to customize, through its single-tenancy partner-facing portal.

To learn more about Impartner’s security protocols and seamless network integration, click here. And if you’re in the market to reinvent your partners' experience with a new PRM and want the assurance that the solution you choose was also chosen by some of the industry’s top security corporations, click here and see how we can help you walk the walk.

The Next Generation of PRM Has Arrived

Notice anything new about TreeHouse Interactive today? We’ve changed, well…everything!

Welcome to our new name, our new branding, our new company…and a disruptive new PRM technology that changes the game for this fast-growing industry.

Moving forward, as a reflection of the critical role partner portals and PRM play in imparting critical information to partners, we’ve now officially switched to our new name, Impartner, which reflects that combination. Along with it, we hope you’ll like our new contemporary look and feel, which evolves today right along with our technology.

This isn’t just a change in name. Today truly marks a new era in the PRM industry.

Let’s face it, this industry isn’t new. We’ve been around for a while, and together with other competitors, we’ve been driving the industry forward step by step.

However, like any technology play, the big leaps come not when the early adopters have had their fill – but rather, market transformation happens when the technologies get modularized into products a broader market can adopt.

Today marks that day for PRM. With the launch of Impartner PRM, we announce the industry’s first truly modularized solution that takes PRM into the broader market. We’ve made the process so simple and so non-disruptive, that in three simple, yet highly engineered steps, we can help customers choose, purchase and deploy an enterprise-class PRM solution in just 30 days.

We’re excited about this day for Impartner, but we’re more excited about what we can do for the PRM industry and meeting what is fast-becoming an insatiable market demand to transform the customer journey.

If you sell through indirect channels, the front door of your relationship starts with your partner portal. In 2015, great products but a poor customer experience can make or break your business success and drive your partners to other vendors.

If you’re facing organizational barriers in getting your team aligned around transitioning your partner portal, to help you make your case and get your team in action, check out our new eBook, “The No. 1 Reason Your Partners May Love you Anymore…And What To Do About It.”

Ready for a more info? Click here to request a demo.

Join us today in transforming your partner relationships.

Transaction and Process

Transaction and process are a couple of words that are often used interchangeably though they mean different things.  They’re not opposites like jumbo and shrimp that would make an oxymoron.  Transaction and process are a pair more like data and information.  They’re related not as synonyms or antonyms but through a hierarchy.  You can cultivate data into information and a transaction frequently happens at the end of a process — for instance, a sales process yields a sales transaction.

I believe that vendors think in terms of transactions but that customers think more about the process.  "How many closed deals can I expect this quarter" is a vendor thing while, "how does this product solve my business problem," encapsulates the customer.

Much of this could be applied to the channel.  As we’ve observed before, sometimes partners look and act like equals in business while at other times they behave more like customers.  So it’s good to ask ourselves if our partner-facing systems meet our partners’ needs for processes such as education, marketing, or lead nurturing, or are we treating these processes more like transactions focusing on our desired end result instead of their ongoing needs?

Everyone needs the insight and knowledge that a process provides when dealing with something new.  That’s certainly true for partners that are betting their futures on a relationship with your company.  That’s why any partner program has to have a balance of components that appeal to both needs — transactions and processes — and I mean that in both directions.  Partners need transactions like getting paid and vendors need processes like understanding the pipeline.

But here’s the thing.  You can manage partner level transactions with not much more than spreadsheets to keep lists of various things that are important to the relationship. But even with this you’ll top out and either have to hire more people to manage the spreadsheets or decide to get a Partner Relationship Management (PRM) system.  Without a PRM system, you’ll still just have a lot of data and not much understanding of how your channel works, i.e. its processes.

When you get a PRM system the big benefit will not simply be headcount reduction or more accurate record keeping, though both are useful.  The biggest benefit you will discover is your ability to expand your relationships with your partners by better understanding the processes they use to get results.  The ability to know more about what drives partners, and most importantly, to understand which ones need a little help and that starts when you collect partner data within your main business processes and analyze it. 

Business itself is a process not a transaction and a process orientation helps everyone better understand needs on the way to the transaction.  Understanding process can enable businesses to trouble shoot transactions for bottlenecks too.

The fact that a business expects to be ongoing for the indefinite future speaks volumes about the importance of process.  Without a firm process orientation there’s always a danger things could grind to a halt.  I’ve seen many companies with channel operations that have built their own PRM systems.  The thing that many have in common is a focus on transactions with the partner base.  When these companies ask me what they can do to improve business flow through the channel I invariably tell them to investigate the efficiency of their processes.  At that point the confusion about transaction and process becomes clear and often the vendor discovers that there’s a lot unknown about how the channel works.

When you cross over from transaction-oriented spreadsheets to process driven channel management, you inevitably step into your customers’ shoes and that forces you to see the world as they do through processes rather than only through your eyes that tend to look for transactions. 

This is less rocket science than common sense.  I see the same thing happening in CRM as businesses migrate from pure transaction oriented CRM to process orientation.  The reality is that we live in a hyper competitive era when multiple vendors might be able to supply the same needs.  The vendors that do best are the ones that put on a pair of their customers’ shoes.

Managing Your Channel Partners Like a Baseball Team?

Running a partner channel is a bit like running a baseball organization. In baseball you primarily see the big league talent, but that’s the tip of a big mountain of ice. The minor leagues constitute the majority of any good organization’s baseball effort for the simple reason that the big leagues have an insatiable need for talent. The more talent that an organization can develop in-house without going to the veteran free agent market, the better.

A channel organization is like that in some respects. The vendor has an unquenchable thirst for talented partners who can take the vendor’s products to market, implement and service them, and generally represent the organization and the brand in a credible way. Also, the channel, like single A baseball, is a great proving ground for emerging talent. A vendor might not expect a small new partner to provide significant new revenue right away, but as in baseball, the emerging talent is the future of the organization and a good reason to offer programs that nurture it.

So how do you accomplish this without alienating your established partners who are generating the lion’s share of revenue? Offering the same discount levels to emerging partners who might buy limited quantities would only upset the established partners and it probably wouldn’t do lot of good either. Without the headcount and infrastructure to add appropriate value to the vendor’s goods, a small partner might simply resort to wholesaling the goods, which would likely further alienate the major partners.

Regardless, a wholesaling arrangement isn’t even what a new partner is typically looking for. These prospects—to use a baseball term—are trying to build new businesses and assistance along that dimension is more likely to help both the vendor and the new recruit. This means almost everything but big discounts are important. To be fair discounts may be important too, but they are at the end of a long chain of events that require marketing development funds, co-branding, product and sales training, leads, deal registration, and more.

In baseball new recruits can expect to join a team and to be cared for and nurtured 24/7 as they develop their talent and play games. This is a good place to disconnect baseball and the channel because no vendor no matter how benevolent can afford the time and resources needed to build up partner prospects. This being capitalism, it’s reasonable to expect the partner to shoulder most of that responsibility.

This is another reason why building and maintaining appropriate and adequate partner relationship management systems matters. PRM is not just for managing your big and successful partners, it’s also a mechanism that implements your procedures and processes for developing new ones efficiently and economically. The PRM system helps make developing new talent affordable to the vendor. It’s also an important sales tool for the vendor.

Consider this. If you are new company interested in a channel relationship in a market space, you’ll gravitate to the vendors who can demonstrate an interest in making you successful. You’ll want favorable pricing for sure, but if that’s all you look at, you’re probably not ready to join a channel because you don’t really understand what’s most important to your success. So the desirable new partners are the ones that see value in your channel apparatus and you should make every effort to ensure that they see your value.

The same strategy can also be useful in recruiting larger partners, especially if you need to take them away from a competitor. The quality of your channel programs is on full display in your PRM system and it’s accessible all the time. In either case, the message to your partners and potential partners is that you know how to help them be successful. It’s not much different from a vision of the World Series to a minor league player.

How Will Channel Marketing Evolve in 2015?

I was recently asked by the Channel Marketer Report to share a few predictions on what channel sales and marketing trends I expect to see in 2015. However, in order to look forward, we need to reflect back on the trends we’ve seen to date and how they may change or evolve this year.

In the last several years we have seen companies making great strides towards integrating their partners into their CRM ecosystem and using Partner Relationship Management (PRM) to make it easier and more profitable to do business with them. We are still seeing a considerable increase in PRM implementations.  Our PRM business is up 98 and 87 percent, year over year, for the last two years respectively.  We expect this trend to continue in 2015 for those who have yet to invest in PRM or for whom a homegrown PRM has out lived its usefulness.

In order to earn partner attention and loyalty these days, it takes more than a portal for just deal registration.  The best partners expect the manufacturers they represent to drive demand to them, help them create their own demand, and provide them with productivity tools.  This is why we see functionality like Partner Marketing Enablement technologies becoming more popular in 2015. 

Once companies have their base PRM system installed and begin to see the benefits, a natural next step is to find a way to make the partner experience even better.  On demand automated co-branding of collateral, on demand automated outbound demand generation campaigns, and advanced partner locators or marketplaces will become even more popular in 2015 because they help the partner create their own leads and better manage their business with a particular vendor.

As companies invest more in partner success, however, they will become more interested in partner performance.  Certainly vendors have always been concerned with direct sales performance.  For many, getting to a point where they can measure partner sales performance vs. targets is an attractive objective in itself.  For those who have already made that move, however, performance will be measured on more than just revenue.  Understanding partner performance in terms of training competency, certifications, lead acceptance rates, deal registrations submissions, close ratios, engagement with emails and web content will begin to be used for a more complete view of partner performance individually, and with respect to other partners in a program.  Fortunately, PRM technologies are evolving to meet these requirements and help companies better gauge partner performance and ultimately, achieve greater channel success.

To read the predictions shared by additional channel thought leaders, view the entire contributed article on the Channel Marketer Report website.

Erich Flynn, CRO
TreeHouse Interactive

Partner Pyramid aka Whole Product for Partners

A partner might not be a customer exactly but it’s never a bad idea to think of partners in that light, at least in some instances.  Last time we delved into the partner experience and compared it to the customer experience and discovered some similarities.  But we can take the comparison further and rather than emphasize the customer aspects of the relationship, look into the business attributes.

First time vendors setting up a partner channel are prone to making the rookie mistake of thinking, “If we build it, they will come.”  This come and get it approach to the channel often results in an inevitable disappointment as vendors realize that potential channel partners don’t share their enthusiasm.  But it’s not enthusiasm; it’s hard business sense that drives things.  Partners need to be shown in good detail how they can make money working in the channel and that usually goes far beyond vendor promises that “You can make money selling our stuff because we offer big margins.”  

This brings us back to the notion of whole product.  In an end user situation it means the core solution plus all of the policies, procedures, programs, and outreach that assure customers that they’ll be successful not only in productively using your solution but in interfacing with your company.  Partners are no different though their whole product needs are.  Consider these needs and you’ll get the idea.

Partner value proposition

Your value proposition starts with margin but by no means ends there.  It encompasses everything from the robustness of your product to how easy it is for partners to register a deal, leverage your marketing and content, create invoices and make returns, and, oh, yes, get paid.  It also relies on your brand and product reputation in the marketplace.  If your major competition has a more visible and trusted brand it will attract more partners simply because the competition will appear easier to sell.  But everyone has to deal with differentiation via competition, which is why, all things being equal, you want to be the company that’s easiest for a partner to deal with.


Your partners are like anyone else, they don’t want to spend a day on-site when an hour online might suffice.  That goes to the heart of ease of configuration and deployment.  You can always improve product usability and for that reason you should never stop asking partners how to do this.

Business processes

Many partner programs are made or broken on their business processes and for good reason.  Your processes make up the part of whole product that your brand and product don’t.  Your business processes are what make you easy or difficult to work with and they require constant monitoring.  Processes typical to a partner channel can include business onboarding, ongoing ease of doing business, easy access to technical support and service materials, well thought out terms and financing programs, deal registration, and marketing cooperation and marketing funding support.

Partner community

Very often we think of partner relationships as bi-lateral between one vendor and one partner at a time.  After all, partners don’t want to share their knowledge of customers and deals in a forum where others could scoop them and that’s completely understandable. But when it comes to product and business process improvements you might discover a different reaction.  A community organized around sharing in these domains usually turns up many good ideas that benefit all parties because ideas mature quicker and with greater detail when many heads consider a problem and provide solutions.  So don’t rule out a partner community.

The role of PRM

Most of the partner processes mentioned and many others, are best supported by a robust PRM system.  For example, one process not already mentioned is integration with CRM.  PRM is not CRM, it is a specialized platform for managing the relationship between the vendor and the partner.  But data and process flows need to work bilaterally between the two management systems for maximum effectiveness.

PRM should support everything else in the partner relationship.  However, if a vendor is using separate spreadsheets to manage its partner program, that vendor may quickly discover that the spreadsheets put an effective cap on the size of the partner population it can manage and thus the revenues it can drive through the system.  This is not to say that a manual, spreadsheet based system can’t work, but it does imply limitations based on volume, size and, importantly, error rates in all of the business processes managed by spreadsheets.

Automating your partner business processes will maximize the utility of your partner program by providing much better support for partner initiatives and reducing the time it takes a partner to get something done.  It will also reduce the inconsistencies and errors associated with even the best intentions in a manual process.

All this boils down to a partner’s ability to make money and control costs in your program.  It’s what everyone aims for but it’s a more realistic way of getting there than simply opening the doors and saying come and get it.

The Single View of the Vendor

In the CRM world we often hear about the single view of the customer and how important it is. Briefly, for a vendor, the single view means capturing all of the information that is relevant and knowable about customers so that the vendor can best manage the customer lifecycle. This means knowing about support issues, billing problems, and sales processes in progress so that no one on the vendor side is surprised during any customer facing process. 

The favorite example is a sales process when the customer has outstanding service issues. It’s generally thought, quite rightly, that a customer will not be in a frame of mind to make an additional purchase when there are outstanding support or service issues.

This all makes so much sense that the single view of the customer is no longer in debate, it’s table stakes for being in almost any business. However, there is a version of this scenario for companies who sell through channel partners that’s now just coming to the surface and it doesn’t get the same play though it should. 

With a direct model customers know who they are dealing with and who the responsible party is but with an indirect model there are more moving parts. There may be a manufacturer or primary vendor, as well as one or more partners that add value to the solution that the customer seeks. For example, a kitchen cabinetmaker might employ an indirect model for the simple reason that partners might be able to do a better job of interacting with the end customer to design a kitchen, select materials and styles, manage cabinet installation, and provide after sales support.

Rather than developing all of this expertise in-house, the cabinetmaker will likely be happy to provide discounted cabinets to partners who can take on these services. But what about the customer? The customer will most likely want to purchase a finished kitchen, from a single company and not a bunch of parts and disparate services that he or she has to then manage and assemble. The customer will want to ensure that the job is done by experts from initial design to final trim and the customer will need the assurance that the whole process including manufacturing the goods by the vendor as well as installing them by the partner, goes smoothly. In fact, that end customer likely won’t know, or even want to know that there are several different companies involved in her purchase. That’s the single view of the vendor.

For value added resellers, simply claiming to represent the manufacturer is not enough these days, for the simple reason that it doesn’t achieve a level of confidence in the overall solution. Since the customer is looking for an integrated chain of value-added product and services, the vendor and partner need to work together to convey that understanding through their actions, not just their words. Two ways to do this include utilizing on demand co-branding to demonstrate their relationship and to provide those end users an easy to use online partner directory, or where to buy option, on their website.

Automated on-demand co-branding simply means providing the partner with sales, support and marketing materials that represent both the vendor and the vendor partners’ brands so that information is presented jointly from both parties. Co-branding is a great way to convey the subliminal message that vendor and partner are mutually supporting the customer.

A good partner directory is another excellent approach for demonstrating solidarity to customers and a commitment to your partners. Since most vendors can’t be experts in every vertical market and geography, a directory that lists all relevant partners for a particular customer need is a good way to demonstrate competence, especially for the individualized customer situation. Adding a partner’s expertise, certifications and even end user reviews of partner services to a directory moves the partner from simple product reseller and vendor the from simple manufacturer to the status of a combined solution provider and solutions sell better than products.

That’s what a single view of the vendor is all about. It’s demonstrating to the customer very early in the lifecycle that the vendor-partner pair not only has the capability to deliver the goods, but it also gives the customer a clear understanding of roles and responsibilities throughout the lifecycle.

Conventional PRM does a great job of mostly back office processes like managing discounts and payments, onboarding new partners, managing marketing funds, deal registration, and more. But these aspects are usually hidden from the customer and do little to inspire the confidence needed to deliver a single view of the vendor. But partner marketing enablement technologies like automated on-demand co-branding and partner directories or locators are two good examples of customer facing features that can enhance both the partner and vendor’s image and help close deals. 

The single view of the customer might no longer be up for debate, but the single view of the vendor is just entering the mainstream.

For more on this topic, view the on-demand webinar.

Justifying a PRM System

I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of trying to gauge how far a company should go in developing an indirect channel before deciding to invest in a PRM system.  The answer today is different from it might have been a few years ago but it boils down to that old chestnut — “Go win a game, then we’ll think about getting you a helmet.”

As you might guess there are many situations in life where you can’t practically get below a bare minimum of support if you have any expectation of succeeding. If you’re going to play football at any organized level you need a helmet (and pads) and that’s all there is to it.  Or, another example, even your Sunday morning softball team still needs some balls, bats, and gloves.  You get the idea.

So from that perspective I shake my head when the question of PRM systems comes up. In the software world, the equivalent of playing without a helmet is trying to run a business with spreadsheet record keeping. It’s a tried and true practice with a predictable downside. While it might be true that no one plans to fail, not starting off with a PRM system could be considered a failure to plan.

Many years ago companies used spreadsheets in lieu of CRM systems because they were readily at hand and enabled smart people to model sales processes within them.  Alas, a model is not the thing itself and too often a model won’t stand up to volume, which is what happened with spreadsheets in CRM.  Among their many shortcomings, spreadsheets don’t have databases and the models they represent are ill equipped for high volume operations.

Fast-forward to the partner channel and you can see the same trouble. Companies getting involved with the indirect model sometimes use a combination of CRM, spreadsheets, and labor to run the channel.  But even discounting the labor, not having the right tool for the job puts the whole operation at risk.  Without the appropriate investment in partners, the partners in turn could decide that a vendor is not serious about supporting them leading to slower growth than expected and that becomes a downward spiral. 

Still, cobbled together systems tend to work well enough for the company’s first few partners but if the program becomes successful (and that’s the point of the program, right?) the spreadsheets can represent a not so happy, happy problem.  

Implementing a PRM system into a partner program that’s breaking its cobbled together system at the seams isn’t free of challenges, the major one being conversion. Employees need to adapt to the new system and both they and partners need to adjust to business processes now built into a system rather than being administered only by people.  

So, for instance, with a PRM system monitoring service level agreements, some partners might discover the hard way that they haven’t been following up on leads in as timely a manner as they thought.  Long term, having that knowledge might be good but it might also ruffle some feathers the first time an SLA expires and some sanction swings automatically into action.

Then too, a manual deal registration system might not afford all of the protections that partners expect and this can easily be one of the things that drive ultimate adoption of PRM.  But not before more partner feathers are ruffled.  

But the biggest reason for automating the PRM function is time and timing.  If time is money, partners and vendors alike don’t want to be burdened by inadequate systems that don’t operate as fast as they do.

In my view, this all boils down to catering to the partner experience.  Just like the customer experience (CX) in CRM, the partner experience (PX) is a way of measuring the things that contribute to success.  As with CRM you can develop metrics and use analytics to figure out how well your organization is performing for its partners and if you find something that needs fixing, you have all of the evidence and justification you need.  

That’s something you won’t get from spreadsheet management.  You may be able to collect a lot of data in a spreadsheet but you might not be able to convert it into the information you need to run a successful channel.  So, my answer to the question of how many partners you need before you invest in proper channel management tools is simple — one.  You need one partner and a vendor determined to make the channel a successful and integral part of the business. Given how much PRM technology is available today through software as a service (SaaS), it doesn’t make sense to start with anything else.

Getting a New Partner Up and Running

Once new partners are registered and approved for your channel efforts, it is important to give them what they need to be successful. Here are a few steps to take in order to better insure your new partners start off in the right direction.

Define Expectations

Your partners should understand what you expect of them in the partnership. While general partner program concepts should be made clear to them before they apply, very clear expectations are needed once you bring them onboard. For example, what is the expected timeframe for closing an initial sale? Create a solid understanding with your partners of what the expectations are so that they know how to plan and budget resources accordingly.

Have a Concrete Training Schedule

Every partner is different, but you should be able provide them with a detailed schedule to follow in order to receive the best information and training they need to be successful. Your most skilled partners, those that have more experience in your industry, may take less time than inexperienced partners to get up and running, but they all should have a schedule to follow for getting them where you want them to be.

Get Involved Early

On the first partner sale, you should be involved as much as you can. Make sure your partners are trained on handling objections and questions pertaining to your product offering. The more they know what to expect, the faster they can increase their sales and provide real value to your channel efforts.

Provide Additional Incentives

A general principle to increase early partner sales is to use incentives. For a new partner, additional incentives on the first sale or group of sales can speed up learning and training. It motivates them to move quickly through beginning stages of on-boarding and ramp up. It gets them motivated to produce immediate results. With that success, they will also be more motivated to focus on selling your product(s) vs. a competitor’s.

Follow Up 

Once your partners have gone through training and initial sales processes, it is important that you follow up with them to get their feedback. This should happen shortly after their initial sale, so you know how to help them going forward. Ongoing communication should be part of your channel marketing practices too. As you identify roadblocks to success, work together to remove them.

Creating a good relationship, as well as a good understanding of products and processes, should be your initial focus. There are many different ways you can approach getting partners up and running. These are just a few that other channel marketers have found success with. What approach have you used that was successful in getting new partners up and running?