Technology in the channel is great. When it works. The right channel sales tools help teams achieve channel key performance indicators (KPIs). And when a channel team is hitting its KPIs, this increases channel sales and boosts company revenue. The best tools facilitate automation, communication, and collaboration. They drive accelerated performance through training, data, and reports.
However, with so many tools available, it’s essential to invest in the right ones. In this article, we’ll review the difference between good and bad tools. And we’ll show you how you can avoid this problem and pick the right tools for your needs.
Let’s review why using the wrong channel sales tools can kill scalability.
They disrupt your current workflow.
Obviously, the best tools are those that boost your partner’s workflow. But even the best ones require at least a short-term adjustment in behavior to adapt to the new way of doing things. However, these changes should be mostly positive and match the current workflow of your reps. The wrong sales channel sales tools are those with a tedious onboarding process that impacts their workflow in the long run.
They create burdens for your IT department.
Most sales acceleration tools may say they integrate with Salesforce, but many times, they do not. In these situations, IT teams are required to pick up the pieces and develop expensive custom integrations so you can sync them with your CRM. Flawed integration can slow your team down and create unnecessary burdens for your Salesforce and IT departments.
They clutter your CRM.
Equipping teams with acceleration software should enable them to gain insight and improve effectiveness. The best tools filter data and leverage situationally specific metrics to ensure that partners are always empowered to sell. However, the wrong tools add extraneous custom fields and come with poor reporting capabilities. These tools slow reps down, clutter your CRM with too much information, and make the sales process as clunky as these tools’ user interfaces.
They create siloes.
Generally, channel programs have dozens of components, in addition to their acceleration tools. However, it’s important that your software contains a mix of partner incentives, training, sales, and enablement elements. Those that don’t can lead to an inconsistent customer experience across your partner channels. To avoid siloes, partner sales tools must facilitate communication, enhance synergy, and drive engagement.
Choosing the Right Channel Sales Tool: A Checklist
Unsure how to pick the right tools? Answering the following questions can help.
Evaluate your needs.
- What limitations are you experiencing with your existing partner portal (or channel tools if you don’t already have a partner portal)?
- What key problems is your channel experiencing that you need a partner portal to solve?
- What will define success for your new partner portal?
- What do your current partner onboarding and training processes look like, and how can you improve them?
- What feedback have you received from your partners about what they would like to see?
- What is your budget?
Consider the user experience.
- How intuitive is the user interface?
- How easy or difficult will it be for your partners to learn how to use the tool?
- What sort of onboarding is required?
- Is it mobile-friendly?
- What other tools does your new partner portal need to integrate with?
- Will the customer success team assist in successfully integrating your other tools?
- How soon can your channel be up and running with the new tool?
Evaluate its onboarding and training capabilities.
- Will the tool simplify onboarding and set your partners up for success?
- Does the tool allow you to keep channel reps up to speed with the courses you create?
- Are there partner certifications you can set up within training to help your partners succeed?
- Can you create quizzes within the portal to keep your reps up to date?
- Does the training incorporate gamification to keep partners engaged?
What’s worse than not having the right technology? Having disjointed tools that don’t integrate with each other. Allbound takes the idea of the outdated partner portal and turns it on its head by accounting for the entire sales and marketing ecosystem. Allbound facilitates partner relationships and drives comprehensive results and initiatives. From robust features and integration to partner onboarding and training processes, Allbound is designed to cater to the demands of the modern channel.
Latest posts by Nicki Kamau (see all)
- The Allbound Podcast: Partners Are Customers of Your Partner Team - November 2, 2017
- Why Using the Wrong Channel Sales Tool Kills Scalability (and How to Fix It) - October 12, 2017
- Why Partner Programs Are Great, with Liz Lederer - September 22, 2017