Channel partner programs

4 Ways Vendors Can Sharpen Channel Communications

Tin can communication

We’ve all done it. You get into a rut communicating to partners. The same old email here, the same stale newsletter there. Unfortunately, what ends up happening is a global tune out of your entire channel. Why should they care when it feels like you don’t?

Keep in mind your partners are working with between five and 25 different vendors. If you want to ensure they are educated, engaged and enabled, you need to give them a reason to care. Stop leading with “we have the best {insert whatever here}.” Instead, showcase the value of your partnership: “We will help you grow/transform/improve/streamline your business.” Partners need to know you understand, care, and most importantly, you can help their business.

Why does it matter? If your Partners don’t feel supported, they’re going to look elsewhere.

So how can you spruce up your communications to your channel to ensure you’re communicating to partners the way they want, with the information they want? Consider these four steps.

1. Ask your team WIIFP: What’s in it for Partners?

Don’t bury the lead. Your value-add should be the first sentence. You want Partners nodding their head yes. Yes, that’s my pain point. Yes, that’s my challenge. Yes, that’s the piece of information I’m looking for!

2. Don’t bombard

I know, I’ve said this a million times…sorry if you’re sick of hearing it. See what I did there? Partners not only hear from you (and your CAMs and perhaps some rogue team members sending one-off emails) BUT they’re also hearing from their 25 other Vendors. It’s too much to digest. So stop…just please stop! Aggregate your communications and create a strategy (with cadence built in) so you’re not sending an email for every little thing.

3. Be social

This ties in with the above. Knowing where to communicate to partners is just as important as knowing when to communicate. When they get your email, they’re busy. They’re looking for another email or rushing to a meeting. But when Partners are on social, they’ve finally got some downtime. They’re more likely to engage with your LinkedIn post or tweet — and even better, they’re more likely to remember to go back and read your earlier email touching on the same topic.

4. Be yourself

Stop writing like you work for a tech company…yeah, you heard me. You’re in the channel! How would you pump up your internal sales team? Start by making it more fun, engaging, and honest.

Communications to your channel are crucial for keeping partners engaged and enabled. Other suggestions? I’d love to hear them!

Author: Heather Margolis

Heather Margolis is president and founder of Channel Maven Consulting. Read more Channel Maven Consulting blogs here.