There are many benefits to investing in a channel marketing partner program, and marketing teams are beginning to take notice. In fact, many companies expect channel sales to increase in importance over the next few years.
According to CSO Insights, 64 percent of companies say channel partners contributed to their annual revenue. Recognizing the potential to increase sales, marketers are taking a growing interest in reimagining their channel programs. That’s why many are setting more ambitious partner goals for 2019, looking to expand and improve on their existing channel sales efforts.
Of course, a channel program is successful only when marketers execute a well-defined channel strategy and follow best practices. We’ll share a few tips and tricks to help you take charge of your channel program in the year ahead.
Build a strong channel program.
By following a few best practices, you can build out a strong channel program that will help increase your revenue and grow your business. The most successful channel partner programs have the same things in common:
– Clear strategy and guidelines. It’s important that you define your program goals and guidelines clearly. Being as clear and descriptive as possible when creating your strategy will ensure you and your partners are on the same page.
-Strong onboarding and training. You should make it a point to enable your partners to sell more for you by providing strong onboarding and training materials. Your partners can’t sell what they don’t know about, which is why this is such a critical part of building out a strong channel program.
-Clear, consistent communication. Partners want to feel like you’re in a partnership. Show your partners you’re there for them by keeping the lines of communication open and make yourself available to support partners when they need it.
-Engaging content on partner portal. The initial training and onboarding shouldn’t be the only resources your provide for your partners. Share useful, relevant content on your partner portal to encourage engagement and drive sales.
-Technology to manage program. The most successful channel programs have the same things in common—and that’s an investment in partner relationship management (PRM) technology (like Allbound) to help them manage their partner program.
Invest in the right technology.
Investing in a PRM platform is an important part of taking charge of your channel marketing program. With the help of the right PRM solution, you can improve your communication and collaboration, streamline tasks, empower your partners to sell more of your products, and take your channel program to the next level.
However, finding the right PRM solution is key—not just any software will do. It’s important that you choose a tool that meets your needs. While we estimate that 80 percent of PRM solutions overlap in features and functionality, a few key differentiators make meeting your channel goals a breeze.
Personalized prospect pages, partner analytics, marketing automation opportunities, marketing development fund (MDF) management, and integration with your existing CRM are all critical features that will help you take charge of your channel program.
Bring a lackluster program back to life.
Of course, there’s always a chance that you’re responsible for managing an unsuccessful program that you didn’t build out to begin with. If you’ve inherited a lackluster program, there are a few ways you can bring it back to life:
-Share content that partners want to engage with.
-Improve communication with your partners.
-Invest in a PRM tool to improve collaboration.
-Explore co-branding opportunities with partners.
-Make smarter use of marketing development funds.
Are you struggling to reinvigorate a lackluster channel marketing program? Download our ebook, 4 Steps for Rebuilding Your Channel Program for Recurring Revenue, to learn more about how you can revive your program and accelerate your channel sales in the upcoming year.