A channel partner is usually a third-party business or individual that promotes and sells products, services or technologies for a manufacturer or service provider through a partnering bond. This is usually done through a co-branding relationship. For the growth of a company, channel partnerships prove to be a high impact strategy. Moreover, a good partnership can provide access to new customers and references that bring in business.
The different types of channel partners can be independent dealers, distributors, independent sales representatives, vendors, retailers, consultants, systems integrators, technology deployment consultancies, value-added resellers, and other many other organizations.
A Channel Partnership Strategy
A channel partner generally distributes goods and services. The various types of channel partnership options to distribute your products and services can be:
• Selling products and services through your partner: Product companies usually sell their products through a third party storefront.
• Your partner sells with you: In this case, partners sell your products as an up-sell or missing value proposition. Any company that offers your service as a way to expand their offerings comes under this category.
• Your partner sells for you: Any partner acting as the promoter or seller of your product comes under this category.
Benefits of a Channel Partner Program
Choosing your partners wisely and establishing strong relationships and developing a culture of sharing with them can prove to be really helpful for the growth of your business.
Below mentioned are some of the key benefits of channel partnership programs:
• Increased Revenue:
Increased revenue is one of the key benefits of channel partnership programs. Well managed partnership programs can help to create significant growth in sales and distribution of products and services. These kinds of programs are beneficial for both parties. For vendors, it not only generates revenue but also helps to enhance their sales footprint. On the other hand, the vendor’s partners can also develop revenue for their businesses.
• Advanced Expertise and Resources:
Channel partners usually have the authority to access a vendor’s full range of human and financial resources. These resources may include product and market training, technical support, marketing assistance, co-opted funds, campaign templates, and more. All these resources can help to build a stronger market presence.
• Improved Range of Products and Services:
In today’s time, developing a comprehensive range of products and services that meet the requirements of customers while also managing cost and resource constraints is a key issue for almost every company. In such cases, channel partnership programs can be really effective as these can assist in improving the range of products and services that both the partners are offering. Additionally, this helps in fulfilling the demands and needs of customers, without the need for additional development cost or time investment.
• Market Credibility:
The name recognition and reputation being associated with large vendors helps in building credibility with potential customers. This further help to generate new cross-selling opportunities and even provide access to certifications and licenses that may be unavailable previously.
• Access to New Markets and Customer Segments:
Channel partnership programs not only helps to drive new growth by scaling the sales operation but can also be very helpful in expanding a particular business into new markets or customer segments that might be difficult or not possible to reach on your own.
How to Reward Channel Partners?
Without any question, channel partners play a critical role in the growth of business and brand sales. Developing your program around incentivizing the channel can help to augment sales, create new markets, and stimulate greater partner loyalty. Many brand owners have realized the importance of appreciating and offering their channel partners the due rewards that they deserve. Earlier a cash based bonus was the most common way to reward and appreciate channel partners.
However, with the development of technology and its convenience, brands are finding newer ways to engage with their channel partners. Now, many brands understand the importance of offering innovative and more meaningful rewards to their channel partners to gain their loyalty.
Personalized rewards programs are perhaps the best option that most brands are using these days to woo their channel partners. For instance, gift cards and vouchers can be given to motivate the partners. No wonder that gift cards are gaining popularity as they give the power of choice to the receiver. Many channel partners prefer to do their shopping using these gift cards and vouchers. Brands can also avail the option of personalizing the gift cards for various occasions, based on the accomplishment and adding that personal touch.
Other than this, businesses can also use loyalty programs along with Artificial Intelligence to offer personalized rewards to their channel partners. This also gives the flexibility to modify the reward points depending upon the sales on a real time basis. All these innovations have made the entire channel partners reward programs more transparent, enabling the best channel partner to get the reward that he/she deserves.
Apart from the above-mentioned rewards, different types of rewards that companies mostly offer to their channel partners include gift vouchers, away days, meals, points based rewards, gifts, recognition awards, leadership boards, city breaks, etc.
If you are planning to develop your channel partnership program, it is important to understand that building a strong network of partners is based on factors like trust, faith, and group effort. Just make sure that your partnership is mutually beneficial from the start. For more about channel loyalty program, Get a FREE quote from LoyaltyXpert.