Channel partner programs

The Three E’s of Channel Management

The Vendor-Partner relationship has evolved and in today’s crowded Channel management ecosystem, Partners have more Vendors than ever from which to choose. As a result, staying top-of-mind has become the number one priority for Vendors. This shift in thinking has trickled down to all elements of the Channel.

Effective Channel management is about managing Vendor-Partner relationships. Vendors who think about Partner success in tandem with business success have a leg up on the competition.

So what should Vendors focus on with their Channel management strategy? There are three fundamental concepts of Channel Management. Each component works to nurture the Vendor-Partner relationship and ultimately drive Channel and business growth.

EDUCATE: Learning facilitates improvement

Effective education is more than a newsletter or sharing the occasional PowerPoint. It’s about consistency and allowing Partners to receive and leverage the information they need to strengthen their position, strategy, and results. Keeping your Partners up to date on the latest industry trends and customer insights helps them make the best business decisions. With interactive webcasts, connections to leadership, and comprehensive enablement materials, Partners gain knowledge needed to maintain a competitive edge.

EQUIP: To accelerate demand generation

The best way to grow revenue is to help Partners strengthen relationships with their existing and prospective customers. Provide support to build their pipeline with the most powerful marketing and prospecting resources. Leverage robust tools and resources created for your Partners and help them understand their buyer’s journey. Thanks to digital transformation, it’s easier than ever to foster growth with tools that seamlessly promote and co-brand the Vendor-Partner relationship, pointing to the strength of both. Turnkey marketing campaigns, for example, accelerate your Partners’ ability to promote products and services and drive more demand.

ENGAGE: Information is power

Partners are not just an extension of your sales team. They have an ear to the ground, their own set of opportunities to pass along and insights into your joint customers. Take a consistent and proactive approach with Partner communications to engage in powerful, collaborative conversations. Remember, every Partner situation is unique. Create multiple paths for conversations including blogs, portals, webcasts, live events, and feedback loops. The more your Partners become a respected and valued part of your team, the more demand they create.

By educating, equipping, and engaging your Partner community, you not only jumpstart Channel strategy but make Channel management more streamlined. Keep in mind, these three concepts are not one-time actions to check off a list, they provide a strategic framework for building collaborative partnerships. Consider this a tactical outline to transform Channel programs into a powerful and agile Channel management strategy.

Author: Heather Margolis

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