Top 10 tips for Partner Relationship Management
What are the right steps you need to take to get the most out of your indirect channel partners?
01. Select the right Partners – quality over quantity
You’re about to embark on a collaborative business relationship and you want to make sure you have the right Partners who share your objectives and goals.
Putting your trust into another business to handle your customers is a big deal, so ensure you do your homework and research your potential Partners.
02. Create clear objectives and goals
Be clear on your objectives and what you want from your Partners.
You will not get the results you need if you are not clear and transparent on your goals and objectives.
Trust is the key part of this new relationship, and both you and your Partner must be honest and in agreement on what you want to achieve.
03. Define your benefits to Partners
What is in it for me? From your research you should know what motivating factors are key for your Partners – whether it’s revenue, leads, marketing support, training, certification etc.
Understand what motivates your Partners and position your programme correctly. You need to stand-out from your competitors and add real value to the Partner base.
04. Build your PRM (Partner Relationship Management) infrastructure
Creating and building the right platform is an important one. Chances are you are competing in a crowded marketplace. You need a PRM infrastructure and platform that makes it easy for both you and your Partners.
Blueprint works with its clients to understand the environments of both the manufacturer and its Partners and creates tailored solutions that make programmes easy-to-use, effective and market-leading.
05. Get the onboarding right
You’ve done your research, defined your programme, built the infrastructure, invested time and money, it’s now vital you launch it correctly. Start building those Partner relationships, invest time and resources to understand their businesses.
Make sure you’re launching the programme to Partners as a whole (not just the business owner) and involve all aspects of their organisation – management, sales, marketing and support teams.
Excite, inform, and engage them.
Support your Partners with the necessary training, assets, and resources they need to successfully sell your product. Creating a whole host of assets and templates without consulting your Partners can be a huge waste of resource and funds.
Find out how your Partners communicate with their customers, collaborate with them, support them and not only will it drive their opt-in, but you will see results throughout the channel.
Get the balance right – don’t bombard them with too many emails but don’t send them too few that they forget who you are; don’t switch them off with exhaustive and irrelevant information but equally don’t provide them with ambiguous or fluffy content so that they don’t understand what’s required.
Getting the balance right is where Blueprint comes in. We will speak with your Partners, understand their needs, listen to their requirements. A one size fits all approach does not work – know your Partners, segment your audiences and personalise your communications.
08. Support and account management
All too often, manufacturers launch a Partner Programme with a flourish and fanfare and promises that fade over time. Keep the energy and momentum going.
Make sure you segment your Partners – focus your time on the Partners you know will maximise the return. For the wider base, look to automate procedures and use technology to provide the account management and support.
09. Monitor and measure the programme
Data is everything. You are investing time and resource in to this programme, so make sure it delivers – monitor and measure every aspect.
Speak to your Partners, constantly review the sales data, measure the enablement tools.
Learn and adapt.
10. Evolve the programme
The best Partner Programmes are the ones that never rest on their laurels. Pilot new tools, incorporate feedback and learning, adopt new technologies.
Always be working on what is next. Be bold, be brave. Be innovative.