If you are a manufacturer or a B2B company owner, you will need the right channel partners to get your products (or services) to the market and eventually to the end-users.
Joining hands with a well-established brand or a niche market player is not easy but can be extremely rewarding if you get certain things right. The key to success lies in your ability to add value, build strong relationships, and effectively navigate the world of channel partnerships.
In this blog post, we have explained channel partner programs in detail and listed some extremely useful ways using which you can become a successful channel partner.
What is a Channel Partner Program?
As the name suggests, a channel partner program is a program in which a manufacturer or B2B business collaborates with independent individuals or organizations (known as channel partners) to promote, sell, and market its products or services.
Who Could Be Your Channel Partners?
Your channel partner can be any individual or organization who enters into an agreement to distribute your products or services to a new market. That person or company mustn’t be your employee.
Channel partners are usually organizations that buy a sizable volume of your products or services with an aim to sell in their own market. Channel partners can include:
- System integrators
- Value-added resellers (VARs)
- Various other third-party entities
Channel Partner Program Benefits
The benefits of channel partner program are:
- Increased brand awareness: Channel partners have deep pockets in their own marketplaces. When they partner with companies, they can considerably enhance their brand awareness.
- Faster product entry into market: When channel partners take a brand’s product into a new market, its entry is smooth and seamless. With least resistance, the product is more likely to succeed and gain more popularity.
- Boost in sales and revenue: Channel partners play a huge role in enhancing a brand’s sales volume and revenue. When a brand registers increased sales and income, it also generates higher profits.
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Ways You Can become a Successful Channel Partner
Successfully navigating the world of channel partnerships requires a strategic approach. To thrive as a channel partner, you must do the following:
1. Find the Right Partners
Before diving into a partnership, it is indispensable to find the right partners. To ensure compatibility, conduct thorough research and due diligence. Here are some effective ways to find the right partners effortlessly:
- Identify your niche
- Know your partners’ needs
- Understand their pain points
- Know their preferences
When you gain a sufficient understanding of your partners and what they need, this knowledge will guide your partnership decisions and help you deliver value to your partners.
2. Actively Reach Out to Potential Partners
Selecting the right partner is the foundation of a successful channel partnership. Consider factors such as the partner’s reputation, market presence, product quality, and alignment with your business goals.
After finding the right partners, actively reach out to them. Try to select a partner that has enough resources to invest in the partnership, is willing to make those investments, has the technical capabilities to work alongside your company, and can feasibly undergo cultural integration. Once leaders identify potential partners, they can propose an agreement to them.
3. Develop a Channel Partner Agreement
After reaching out to your partners, work out on a channel partner agreement. The channel partner agreement must:
- Define shared partnership objectives
- Elucidate every duty of yours within the partnership (What unique value can you bring to the partnership?)
- The resources you will dedicate to the partnership
- Terms and conditions for how your partner should market your products/services
- Highlighting your skills, resources, or expertise complement your partner’s offerings.
4. List the Metrics to Track Channel Partnerships
Management guru Peter F. Drucker famously said, “What gets measured gets improved.” That’s why it’s extremely crucial to measure and monitor results. That’s why it’s extremely critical to regularly assess the effectiveness of your partnership.
Track key performance indicators (KPIs) such as sales revenue, customer satisfaction, and lead generation. Use this data to make informed decisions and adjust your strategy as needed.
5. Make Partner Onboarding and Communication Smooth
Successful channel partnerships are built on trust and collaboration. Open lines of communication and establish a rapport based on mutual respect. Make partner onboarding and channel communication as smooth as possible.
Develop strong relationships with your partner’s team, including sales, marketing, and support. When working on the relationship, remember trust is an important ingredient.
Partner onboarding is crucial because your partners need to know how to properly promote and sell your products or services.
After joining hands with your channel sales partner and signing the agreement papers, invest in training and certification programs. Consider using the right resources to manage team-to-team relationships. Apart from that, identify training and development opportunities that can facilitate seamless integration between partners.
6. Provide the Right Incentives to Channel Partners
Did you know that providing channel partners with the right incentives can enhance profits and sales by 40%? A study titled ‘The Current State of Channel Incentives’ conducted by Silicon Valley Research Group found the number.
When it comes to selecting the right incentives, you can choose from market development fund (MDF), sales performance incentive fund (SPIF), co-op fund, wholesale discounts, and more. Offering the right incentive will not only enhance your bond with channel partners but also build your credibility and their confidence in your brand.
7. Leverage Partner Relationship Management Software
You must be aware of Customer Relationship Management software, which is used to manage customer information and provide them with customized service and support. Likewise, there is exclusive software designed for partners. That’s known as Partner Relationship Management (PRM) software.
The right PRM software can enable you to interact with partners efficiently and record the leads partners contribute. High-quality PRM software can also help in creating partner portals, onboarding partners, sharing sales assets and resources, among others.
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Everything said and done,
Success in the world of channel partnerships is an ongoing journey. Becoming a successful channel partner requires dedication, a strategic approach, and a commitment to delivering value to your partner and customers.
At LoyaltyXpert, our high-quality loyalty programs have enabled a wide range of businesses to forge strong relationships with their channel partners. If you want to become a successful channel partner, contact us today and get a free demo.