In a year that has seen more adversity, strife, and separation than ever before, it’s interesting to see a natural coming together of people and companies with a goal to make their clients lives easier.
It’s no secret that, even before 2020 darkened our doorways, those of you in the channel faced huge challenges from channel conflict, to gaining mindshare with the right Partner types and roles, to driving demand through and with Partners. In the past, you, as a Vendor, may have tried throwing lots of different solutions or programs at these problems all the while not knowing if things were working, whether or not you had overlapping solutions, or if you had a big gap in your infrastructure or professional services that made your whole channel infrastructure and program weak.
So if you’re just developing your channel, rehabbing a dilapidated one, or reinventing programs and infrastructure where do you start?! Below are your four key elements of any successful channel with links to resources that can help you every step of the way.
- It all starts with your program: If you haven’t got a solid program, then your Partners will either be running around not knowing what to do first or they will be walking all over you. Building a solid channel program specific to your industry and Partners is clutch. If you haven’t given your program a facelift in several years you may want to think about how trends and market conditions have changed your needs. Just ask Larry Walsh of The 2112 Group or check out this blog talking about 2019 Channel Lessons for the Next Decade.
- If you build it, they will come: Ah…no they won’t. Once you build a solid program you need to promote, promote, promote. Then think about how you recruit the right Partners. First profile your gaps, then build a recruitment program.
- Your infrastructure matters: PRM, portals, “To” Channel Comms, “Through/With” Partner Demand generation, Deal registration, through-channel sales enablement, oh my! So many options, so many integrations, so many that don’t play well together. Consulting an expert is advised so you aren’t making crucial mistakes or missteps and spending too much money on things that won’t get used.
- Driving demand with Partners: This subject could be its own blog unto itself. While Partners are inherently salespeople, they still need structure and processes in place. Salespeople also need to leverage your content including video and static content while enabling you to track their interaction. If they need a little more support think about engaging a through-channel managed marketing service but make sure they don’t purchase a list and start beating it. Of course, incentivizing Partners sales teams and providing MDF so they can be successful is clutch.
Enter the Channel Marketplace
As you can see, there are so many elements in a well-built, productive channel. Hopefully this gives you a framework for gaps that may be missing. Need more help? Reach out to our Concierge. There’s no obligation. Our goal is to put all of these successful organizations together to guide you through the process and create your best channel.