Building partner trust is the key to successful channel programs. Take a moment to consider if you have delivered on all the promises you have made to your partners in the last 6 months and if they have belief in your products and programs. A strong foundation for partner programs is built with their best interests in mind, and then yours.
Fake news kills partner trust. Trust is one of the most important things in any relationship, and this foundation is crucial for success and growth. Partner trust starts with your programs and your products. If they can't go to market and trust that your solution is going to perform, they're not going to do business with you. Your programs must deliver on the expectations you present.
Putting the requirements and benefits of your partner program on your partner portal is a great way to hold your organization accountable. This holds you responsible and reliable to your commitments. To avoid confusion from either party you will need to implement processes to manage all the commitments and expectations.
Here are the top 4 things we recommend when building trust with your partners.
Start by having an honest representation of your program offering. It is best not to embellish, be upfront and truthful about what you can deliver. If you are not ready for an element don’t communicate a commitment to it. It is easier to add things later, then to overcommit and underdeliver. Your partners will thank you and they will be happier with your program if you commit and execute well.
Put processes in place to ensure nothing gets left behind. Consistency exists when processes are not only strong but followed. Your partners will follow the processes you expect if you hold them accountable. This applies internally as well. If you say a deal registration will be approved within 24 hours, approve it within 24 hours. If partners are expected to register deals within your portal, don’t accept them via email. Follow through on your processes and you will build trust and set expectations for both sides of the relationship.
- Follow Up
Provide your partners an opportunity to communicate with you and offer feedback. Listen to what your your partners have to say about your program and products. Compile the data you receive and act on it. Proper follow up will create an environment of trust and foster long-term relationships.
Trust is a two-way street. Look for opportunities to trust your partners, and acknowledge them when they follow through. Provide partners with opportunities to trust you as well. Building trust takes time and dedication, showing your partners your dedication to them will build long-term successful relationships.
Quit creating fake news within your partner program. Take action on the steps above to build a lasting relationship with your partners. Strong, solid, well-executed programs ensure the trust of your partner programs and benefit you both in the long run.
This content was originally presented by Raegan Wilson, Chief Channel Officer at Channel Squared Consulting, as part of a Lightning Round presentation on the “Top 9 Things Channel Chiefs Must Do in 2018 to Transcend the Performance of Their Channel.” To watch the entire presentation featuring a host of top channel strategists, CLICK HERE.