Improving Channel Sales Force Productivity in Three Easy Steps

Posted on July 15, 2016

By Jen Spencer

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Sales productivity is the number one challenge for nearly 65% of B2B organizations, according to The Bridge Group. For someone who’s been in the industry for years, perhaps this comes as no surprise. Regardless, when you factor in channel partners who work in various capacities—and for numerous organizations—we bet that optimizing and maintaining productivity is undoubtedly at the top of your organization’s list of priorities.

At its core, sales productivity translates to maximizing results while minimizing expended resources. And with channel sales, this means putting your partner reps in the best possible position to sell for your organization. Need help improving sales force productivity? Don’t fret. Instead, consider these three easy steps.

1) Treat Them As An Extension of Your Sales Force

Finding new channel partners is a relatively simple task. Onboarding and training them, however, is a different story. And one of the biggest mistakes that a company can make is sharing limited information with their partners.

Let’s face it. If you can’t trust your partners, they shouldn’t be in your channel in the first place. When you bring on new reps, you can’t just toss them in the deep end and assume they already know how to swim. It’s imperative to consider your channel as an extension of your sales force.

Unlike your internal sales force, your channel has other things on their plate. Whether you like it or not, chances are, they’re selling for a direct competitor. If they struggle to get information from you, they may end up recommending a competitor’s solution over yours.

Again, treat your channel like family. Communicate with them as often as your internal team.

2) Individualize The Sales Process

Oftentimes, channel partners are not masters of every single feature of your product. Instead, they’re experts in specific fields—and they’ve mastered the sales process for a specific type of solution.That’s why it’s important to shift from a one-size-fits-all to a more centralized, needs-based approach. Rather than focus on the what of selling, it’s important to highlight the how.

Enable your partners to understand the situations that would be an ideal fit for your organization’s solutions. Help them identify which opportunities are a good fit. And finally, engage them with an individually-relevant, needs-based coaching and performance process.

3) Provide Intelligent Content Recommendations

Talk to any sales reps, and we can guarantee they’ll admit that communication research is a pain. Rather than hang your channel out to dry, consider implementing an automated tool that recommends relevant content to sellers at the time they need it.

The most effective form of content interaction is based on data such as prospect’s titles, sales process stage, and verticals, ensuring that your prospects are engaged at all times. Lucky for you, automated software draws your channel in with content that’s rankable, shareable, and usable.

From content such as messaging and competitive differentiation to collateral such as case studies, channel partners are provided with content that’s proven to bolster the sales conversation, no matter the stage of the buying cycle.

 

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