If you’re an IT vendor selling through channel partners, just about everyone in your organization, including you, can take small steps to help achieve channel success. Here are 10 things I’ve found increase mindshare, build relationships, and increase the return on your channel investments.
Following these best practices on an ongoing basis will help you reach your ultimate measurement of channel success; revenue growth for both you and your partners.
- Take time to learn about your partner’s business model, their strengths & weaknesses, and how your solution fits into their overall strategy.
- Call your partner and ask how you can help them grow their business – and be prepared to follow through.
- If you’re in marketing, take their sales reps out to lunch and find out if your marketing campaigns are helping or hurting their sales efforts.
- If you’re in sales, take their pre-sales engineers out to lunch and find out what challenges they are having selling your product.
- If you’re in engineering, ask a rep to take you to meet a customer and hear what they think of your product (and your partner).
- If you’re an executive, show executive commitment by visiting your top partners, thanking them for their business, and listening to their needs.
- Mention your partner in a social post – highlight what they do, thank them, or anything else that gives them positive recognition.
- Explain how your SaaS model will help your VAR start the journey towards recurring revenue and boost the margins as an add-on to what they’re already selling today.
- Make sure your field and inside sales reps are aware of all partner deals that have been registered, and what’s in the partner pipeline even if not yet registered, to minimize channel conflict.
- Don’t call every day asking for the status on that hot deal…unless you’ve got a new way to help them close it.
One caveat; for best results, make sure that these actions are done in full communication and coordination with the channel sales team, particularly with Channel Account Manager (CAM) who owns the relationship with the partner. CAMs appreciate all the help they can get as long as they know what and when they’re getting it!
What else are you doing to help your channel partners succeed?