We know you’ve heard it: “you’ll always be my little girl/boy.” Well, mom, we made it. We’re adults! Your mom can’t tell you not to eat ice cream for dinner anymore, but there are still a few pieces of motherly advice you should take with you to work; no matter how big of a channel partner program you’re running, or what your job title is. Here are five pieces of moms advice that you should take to your partner program:
In the world of PRM (partner relationship management) and channel sales, you talk to an abundance of people, we understand. It’s easy to get wrapped up in your never-ending to-do list and forget about the human aspect of your job. This was probably the first lesson you learned as a kid and it’ll apply to the rest of your life: treat others the way you want to be treated. In terms of your partner program that means having the most up-to-date content ready and uploaded on your PRM platform, give them incentives to sell, and acknowledge when your partners are exceeding your expectations. Would you want to know about the status of your deals/rewards? If the answer is “yes” (and we bet it is), then let your partners know before they have to ask.
Lifehack: treating your partners the way you want to be treated can save you both time. If that’s not a win we don’t know what is.
This piece of advice definitely becomes more real the older that we get. The paper comes from trees argument now falls flat, who would have thought? If you utilize channel partners then you probably have MDFs or have heard of them. Market development funds are used to help improve the results you get from partners and can be anything from rebates and discounts to cash. It’s nice to think that our partners spend their days selling just for us, but unfortunately, that isn’t the case. Ask what your partners need in order to increase sales. Discounts may work for one partner whereas rebates may work for another. MDFs aren’t a one size fits all category and should be used strategically. But once you’ve decided to utilize MDF’s then it’s imperative to set KPI’s. Key performance indicators ensure that your MDF’s are being used properly and you’re seeing the results you originally projected.
Picture this: your PRM platform is finally live, you think you’ve uploaded every piece of content a partner needs and within 24 hours you get an email asking for something you forgot. Ring the alarm! Pull out the emergency kit! Just kidding. This motherly piece of advice might just be the one that keeps you sane. While a new partnership takes a lot of planning and prep, it’s impossible to prepare for every possible outcome. It’s an unfortunate thing, but there are going to be partnerships along the way that don’t work out. If you work hard to get a partnership off the ground and it still fails, it’s not the end of the world–you’ll both be okay, we promise. That loss might be the thing that gets you to the partner of your dreams. Be flexible.
The importance of sharing is still prevalent as an adult, even though we traded our Hot Wheels and Barbies for spreadsheets and sales. Sharing insights to your partners about how their deals are performing through the pipeline can boost morale. Partners should also be notified when there are updates with your product or within your company. Your partners are an extension of your team, it’s time to start treating them as such. Transparency between you and your partners leads to greater understanding, trust, and communication within your partnership. Partners that feel like they’re a part of your team will be more inclined to boost their performance for your company versus a different partner who’s more distant. Scheduling recurring meetings biweekly or monthly is a fantastic way to get open communication going and further build on your relationship.
Don’t limit yourself, don’t settle for the first PRM to come your way. Where do you see your partner program in five years? What do you need in order to achieve that level of growth? Make a list of the features that are important to you, and don’t be afraid to let the PRMs that you’re demo-ing know what your needs are up front. You know how big you want your channel to grow and it’s worth waiting for the PRM that allows you to develop your partner program as you envisioned.
We might be all grown up, but the best advice we’ve ever received still comes from our mothers. Let your mom know how much she’s done for you, and your channel partner program, this mothers day.
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