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20 Necessary Tools to Enable Channel Partners to Sell

As a channel professional, you likely wear many hats. From marketing to and with partners to signing partners, training, onboarding, and reporting, there’s a lot you’re juggling at any given time. 

Thankfully, as partnerships have grown in popularity as an effective tool for growing revenue, technology supporting partnerships professionals have developed in tandem. Especially as all workplaces have moved remote over the past two years, digital resources are more important than ever.

Content Marketing & Analytics Tools

When you’re working to attract partners, you have to spend a lot of time planning, creating, and distributing content. These tools can help streamline your efforts as you work to attract partners and show off the partners you’re working with. 

Project Management Tools

Whether you’re a team of one or interfacing with a larger marketing team, it can help to utilize project management tools to keep track of your ongoing projects and tasks. Instead of feedback getting lost in tons of email threads, all comments from everyone on the team exist in a central location.

You can also use project management tools to track co-marketing campaigns with partners and coordinate work with contractors.

Asana

Asana is a popular project management tool for keeping your team on the same page. Using Asana, you can create boards, timelines, and calendars. You can create individual tasks as part of those more extensive projects. Use tasks to assign work and keep track of project progress across multiple team members.

With the reporting and portfolios features, you can get a birdseye view of how projects are progressing. Using tasks and the inbox feature, it’s easy for your team to see exactly what they need to do, in what order. 

ClickUp 

ClickUp is another fantastic project management tool that’s slightly more advanced than Asana. ClickUp allows you to create workspaces, folders, and lists to track projects of all sizes. The advanced features and highly customizable format make it an excellent tool for large teams to use on various projects. However, it also requires more setup to get started than other project management solutions.

Trello 

Trello is the most straightforward project management tool on this list. With Trello, you can view your projects on boards and group tasks by status. For example, you can have Backlog, In Progress, Review, Approved, and Complete statuses, which can organize your ongoing projects. 

Trello is very easy to set up and is best for small teams and projects that don’t require a lot of custom functionality.

    Allbound has been known to increase partner engagement by 376%

    Content Management & Social Scheduling Tools

    It can feel impossible to keep up with all of the blogs and social media posts you’re creating. Instead of tracking everything in a spreadsheet and manually posting new content, use these tools to stay on top of your content marketing efforts.

    Buffer 

    Buffer is a social media scheduling tool that supports most major platforms. Use Buffer to queue up your social media posts in advance. This is a great way to ensure you have content promoting your partners and ecosystem spread out across your editorial calendar.

    Hootsuite 

    Hootsuite is another powerful social media scheduling tool that offers social media advertising and conversation management. Hootsuite is slightly more complicated but makes up for the complexity with extra capabilities. 

    If you run ads for your partner programs or conduct paid co-marketing campaigns, this is a good option.

    HubSpot 

    HubSpot is a content management system and CRM that can be used to house content, contacts, and company data. Use HubSpot to create and manage blog posts and landing pages. By housing your contacts within HubSpot, you can conduct deep tracking on partner engagement and provide in-depth analytics on co-marketing campaigns.

    Virtual Meeting Tools

    Now that it’s harder to meet in-person, virtual meeting tools allow you to connect with partners and team members worldwide.

    Calendar Management

    Gone are the days of listing all the times you’re available for the next week and your partner not being able to make any work. Now, you can use these tools to let partners find the time that works best for them and book directly on your calendar. 

    Bonus: some tools will even let you automate reminders, meeting join links, and follow-ups.

    Calendly 

    Through COVID, Calendly has become the industry standard for scheduling. You can use Calendly to set up your available time and set up different types of meetings people can schedule with you. As a bonus, Calendly integrates with your conference platform of choice to send an invite with the meeting link included. You can also set up workflows to remind invitees of your upcoming meeting and follow-up afterward.

    Chili Piper

    Chili Piper takes scheduling one step further with their Concierge tool. Chili Piper only allows qualified individuals to schedule meetings and can route interested attendees to the best fit team member for their needs. This is ideal for larger partner programs with multiple partner managers owning different industries or partner functions.

    Clockwise 

    Unfortunately, when your days fill up with meetings, it can be hard to get any work done. Clockwise helps you find and block focus time in your day, so you have time to handle all of the action items from your meetings. When you get your team on Clockwise, you can optimize internal meetings to reduce the amount of fragmented time for you and your teammates.

    Virtual Meeting & Transcription Platforms 

    These tools allow you to meet virtually with your partners and channel management teams as well as transcribe those meetings so you can be more accessible for individuals with disabilities and make it easy to reference notes later.

    Otter.ai 

    Otter.ai provides meeting transcription and notes in real-time. This is not only an enormous time-saver but also essential for accessibility. Otter.ai automatically joins your Zoom, Google Meet, or Microsoft Teams event and transcribes the conversation, sharing it with all attendees afterward.

    Something particularly beneficial with Otter.ai and other meeting transcription tools is the ability to search conversations. When your sales team uses a transcription tool, you can search meeting notes and transcriptions to understand how often partners were mentioned and ensure deals are properly attributed.

    Zoom 

    Zoom has become the virtual meeting platform for connecting with your internal team and meeting with partners. Use Zoom to meet virtually with your partners from anywhere in the world. If you or someone else isn’t able to be in front of a computer during the meeting, they can call in and join via audio-only.

     

      Content Management & Social Scheduling Tools

      Digital Engagement Tools

      While email is excellent, these tools allow you to take digital engagement to the next level with integrated video messaging and instant messaging.

      Video Message Tools

      Use these tools to create personalized video messages for your partners. You can walk them through proposals, slide decks, and product demos.

      Journey 

      Journey is a powerful tool for creating multi-media “journeys” for partners. Use Journey to record videos, share documents, and host forms for your partners to fill out. This is a great way to begin partner onboarding and can be particularly useful for walking partners in different time zones through resources.

      Loom 

      Loom is a video message tool you can use to record videos and screen shares. Use Loom to record your screen and face simultaneously, walking a partner through your PRM, resource library, or explaining how your tool works.

      Instant Message Tools

      Send quick messages and files back and forth with your team via these platforms.

      Microsoft Teams 

      Microsoft Teams is a great option if your team already leverages the Microsoft Office Suite. Use Teams to send instant messages, share files, and host video calls. Microsoft Teams is best for communicating with your internal partner team.

      Slack 

      Slack also allows you to send instant messages, files, and host video calls but can be used for connecting with other teams. If both you and your partner’s teams are on Slack, it’s easy to set up a Slack Connect so you can have a channel to communicate with each other.

      You may also consider setting up a Slack workspace for your ecosystem where partners can connect, share ideas, and highlight wins.

      Pipeline Forecasting Tools

      Monitor your partner and prospect pipeline with forecasting tools. You can also use this platform to report on partner performance and share key insights with your team.

      Salesforce

      Salesforce is one of the most powerful CRM tools on the market. Around for years, Salesforce has established itself as the CRM of choice for many organizations. Use Salesforce to organize your prospects, customers, and partners. Within Salesforce, you can use Custom Fields to attribute deals to specific partners, even specifying which partners sourced vs. influenced the deal.

      Partner Management & Engagement Tools

      The partner management and channel enablement tools can help you track your efforts, organize resources, manage partners, and align your team on goals.

      Partner Relationship Management

      A PRM is the best way to onboard, train, and engage your channel partners. Organize all of your content and partner conversations in one spot with a PRM.

      Allbound 

      Allbound is a powerful PRM known to increase partner engagement by 376%. Use Allbound to house your partner training and enablement resources, engage with partners, and introduce powerful automation into your partner management processes. 

      Allbound lets you simplify your entire partner lifecycle from qualification to onboarding and enablement, all the way through marketing collaboration and deal registration.

      Through Channel Marketing

      Through channel marketing is essential to selling to your partner’s audience. Leverage through channel marketing to expand your reach and close more deals.

      xAmplify

      xAmplify supports lead generation campaigns, sales enablement, co-branding, and channel analytics. Use xAmplify to simplify your channel marketing efforts and automate redundant work.

      Ecosystem Management

      As your ecosystem grows, it’s essential to understand where each of your partners sits, how they’re all connected, and the client or prospect overlap you may experience.

      Crossbeam

      Crossbeam is a robust ecosystem mapping tool that allows you to visualize which prospects and clients of yours overlap with partners. By determining your overlap, you can prioritize qualify and prioritize specific partnerships.

      Reveal 

      Reveal helps you to identify ideal partners based on overlapping personas, industries, and complementary products. From there, you can uncover opportunities to partner on deals and enable each other to close more opportunities. As you use Reveal with your partners, you can track opportunities and analyze your results.

      Grow Your Channel in 2022

      In 2022, you can no longer manually manage all of your tasks as a partnerships professional. These tools allow you to automate redundant tasks, streamline your efforts, and exponentially increase your success rate.

      Allbound is the leading channel management and partner engagement platform. Request a demo to get started today.

      Ali Spiric