Training and education are of most importance when it comes to building a profitable channel partner program. Channel partners provide companies with an expanded opportunity to promote and sell their products and services at a lower cost. The success of this partnership is determined by a company’s ability to equip channel partners with necessary sales training and marketing collateral.
According to Kapost, the most common complaint, cited by 65 percent of sales teams, is not being able to find content to send to prospects.
Channel partners are the direct link to the customer; therefore, they act as an extended face of your brand. The way partners present a product or service influences customer perception. Proper training and streamlined access to product materials help ensure partners take the target brand message to market, and accurately position brand value with every customer interaction.
CHANNEL PARTNER PORTALS BOOST SALES
Providing marketing materials to partners is critical to sales success. Kapost reports that failing to align sales and marketing teams around the right processes and technologies cost B2B companies 10 percent more of revenue per year ($100 million for a billion-dollar company).
In addition, message and design continuity can be a challenge when multiple channel partners require different branding and content from your organization. To meet the demands of channel sales enablement, many distributors, like Phoenix-based tech provider, Avnet are turning towards online training for channel partners.
The goal of channel partner portals is to facilitate mobile access to sales-critical content and training in context with each rep’s sales workflow. Channel partner portals like Avnet Premiere empower sales success by offering one central location for uploading and sharing knowledge around the benefits of their solution, thereby alleviating inconsistencies between business goals and sales execution.
From a single, central location, channel partners can:
- Deepen their understanding of your products/services
- Achieve specialization through training modules
- Complete product certification to enhance their own value
With a partner program established, you can easily expand into new markets and enhance connections within your industry.
ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS OF A SUCCESSFUL CHANNEL MARKETING PROGRAM
Online training programs tend to be more convenient than in-person programs, as they allow participants to take the training when it’s convenient. This ultimately allows for flexibility in learning that suits each value-added reseller’s particular business environment. Moreover, channel partner portals reduce the cost, time and resources required for coordinating in-person sessions. Online training is an all-around cost effective marketing tool as you can easily update training modules, certifications and materials as solutions evolve.
Online training programs should be structured to address some of the most frequently asked questions, as well as more technical questions to help partners successfully sell your solution in the channel. You’ll want to offer a training program that equips your partners with information on how to fight the competition, build customer loyalty and improve return on investment.
Also, make sure the information you are providing through your channel marketing program is relevant and timely. It is important to make sure that if you are offering training, it is the latest and greatest available to your partners. You’ll also want to make sure that partners can readily reach out to your team via email, live chat or a dedicated phone number should they have questions.
Your online training program should also include incentives that correspond with the time commitment for training. In some cases, your partners may have an understanding of your solution but aren’t meeting sales targets because they aren’t motivated or aren’t comprehending how to best communicate the benefits. Help your partners meet their goals – and increase your ROI – by giving them something in exchange.
QUALITY AND CHANNEL PERFORMANCE EXCELLENCE
A key aspect of any successful channel marketing program is how you manage your partner channel. Make sure to consistently market and communicate the value of your training program. Use portal data to improve program offerings, as well as encourage the adoption and usage of portal services.
Oftentimes, companies overlook the importance of actually promoting and evaluating the effectiveness of their training programs. This is a vital step in the success of your channel marketing program. By collecting feedback, you outline places for improvement, take into account contextual relevance and deliver relevance at scale.
Blending your channel partners into your company can be a challenge, but when done correctly you can increase sales efficiency and fill your pipeline with qualified leads at a lower cost
Get your channel sales enablement plan in place by downloading The Complete Guide to Unifying Your Sales and Marketing Efforts.