Pro Tips for Scaling Your Channel Partner Program

Posted on January 31, 2017

By Matt Hensler

Tags: ,

channel partner program

You’ve implemented your channel partner sales program. Congratulations on the wise decision! If your foundation is in place, you’ve already defined partner types, identified personas, and mapped a partner journey for your partners.

Now comes the hard part: Scaling your partner program to expand top-line revenue in new regions and markets.

 

There are many things you should consider as you work to develop partnerships and build your program. To scale, it’s important to focus on the following:

Understand Your Resources

Supporting your partners is step one in creating a successful channel sales program. But in the day-to-day scheme of business operations, finding employees to provide consistent support can be a challenge.

That’s why it’s crucial to have an accurate overview of your organization’s current resources. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What personnel are dedicated to the channel team?
  • Which departments are you borrowing resources from (marketing, sales customer success, operations, etc.)?

From overseeing partner relationships to managing the success and development of individual partners, it’s important to ensure you have the capacity to scale in the first place.

Be Steadfast—But Flexible

Sure, strategy is vital. But it’s difficult to execute without flexibility. Just as you manage overarching business development with distinct goals—goals that are measurable, actionable, and specific—it’s important to balance strategy with execution.

Be sure to stay true to the processes you’ve already implemented. It’s impossible to scale with a continuously changing playbook. As you recruit prospective partners, it’s important to ensure that they are committed to you and your long-term vision.

That said, don’t follow process to a fault. As you scale, be willing to correct your course. Partners should be ready to commit to a partnership that’s dedicated to developing a plan to reach both of your goals. But you should also remain open-minded.

And sometimes, this involves adapting and improving your own processes.

Leverage Success Stories

Success stories are a motivating factor in closing business and attracting new customers. So why not use them to grow your channel partner program?

As you build out your program, it’s important to remain proactive. What specific partners have you helped? Where can your organization demonstrate success? And when did a specific partnership help improve an organization’s business and customer relationships?

Leverage success stories—with both prospective and new partners. The more that prospective partners can relate to your organization, the more that they can envision the possibilities of working with you. And the more you can use examples to onboard new partners, the better.

Experience is the best teacher, as they say.

Anticipate Future Growth

It goes without saying, but as you scale, you’ll learn a lot. Some of your assumptions will ring true; others will get challenged. It’s the nature of the game.

As you learn, it’s important to anticipate how your own growth impacts your future needs for resources. Forecasting your current and future staffing needs in relation to your strategic business objectives enables you to address growth from a more comprehensive perspective. And balancing supply and demand helps ensure that your partner program doesn’t get stagnant.  

 

Matt Hensler

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