Partner relationship management is tough at the best of times and with so much change in the world, right now it is harder than ever.
We've pooled together learnings we've gathered in the last twenty years, into a list of top tips to help you get the most of your sales channel partners.
1. 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
2. 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.
3. 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 is revenue, leads, marketing support, training, certification.
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.
4. Build your PRM 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 it’s clients to understand the environments of both the manufacturer and it’s Partners and creates tailored solutions that makes programmes easy, effective and market-leading
5. 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 that relationship, invest time and resources to understand their business.
Make sure you’re launching the programme to many (not just the business owner) and involve all aspects of their business – management, sales, marketing and support teams.
Excite, inform, and engage
Support your partners with the necessary training, assets, and resources they need to successfully sell your product.
Providing a whole host of assets and templates and then dumping them on a platform can be a huge waste of time and money. Listen to your partners and work with them on what they need.
Motive your partners and make it easy for them to work with you.
Get the balance right – don’t bombard them with too many emails, don’t send them too few that they forget who you are, don’t switch them off with exhaustive and irrelevant information, don’t provide them with ambiguous or fluffy content that they don’t understand what’s required.
Getting the balance right is where Blueprint comes in. We’ll 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.
8. 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
9. 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