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  • Writer's pictureRichard Israel

Five Keys to Channel Excellence

My dozen plus years’ experience and industry knowledge has taught me that there are five keys to driving channel excellence. If you can continually improve your channel performance in these five areas, you will achieve channel excellence!

 

1) Have a Partner Program Plan and stick to it:

A successfully executed partner program requires a unified plan that is well thought-out and intelligently designed. It should align your partner strategy with corporate goals to achieve the financial results and outcomes (partner economics) that you are seeking.


2) Recruit the right partners:

The most important, but often most overlooked part of your channel business is recruitment. Not recruiting enough of or the wrong type of partners will result in failure right through the funnel. It does not matter how good your training, your sales enablement or the sales team is if you are not bringing in the ideal partner for your channel.

3) Increase Partner Retention through Great Onboarding:

Great onboarding has a huge impact on an individual partners success. Provide each new partner with the tools, the training, the education, and the confidence to sell your product and service and then help them get their first sell right out of the gate. The faster a partner gets their first sell, the more likely they will be productive.


4) Improve Partner Productivity with Frictionless Sales Enablement:

The key to having great sales enablement is ensuring that your content resonates with both partner and customer. Your collateral, training videos, FAQs, product demo’s, etc. should all be kept up to date and as current as everything on the direct side. Most important is making it easy to access your content. The experience for your partners should be frictionless. If you force your partners to jump through hoops to access, they won’t. Conversely if it is easy (frictionless) to find and use all your sales enablement tools than your partners will embrace them!


5) Engaged Partners Sell More:

Driving partner sales begins by engaging with your partners. You are driving an emotional connection between you and the partner. Therefore, the more you engage with your partner the more loyal they become to you, your team and importantly your product or service. One of the first questions you should ask your partner account manager (PAM) about a partner is “how are you engaging with partner X this month?”. This will tell you most everything you need to know about your partner and their commitment to your partner program which is ultimately what drives their productivity.

 

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