How to retain your partners better than your competition!
Are your partners loyal to you? Are you doing everything to create a long-term association with your partners?
You are answering emails on time, helping with Requests for Proposal(RFPs), sharing leads but sometimes you cannot help but feel like your partners are open to the next best thing and would leave you in a heartbeat?
Sometimes, it is outside of your control.
Product market fit perfection is missing, pricing is misaligned, strategic goals between your organization and the partner are not flowing well together… the list goes on. So, our advice to you would be to focus on what you can control to keep your partners coming back for more.
Let’s dive into some ideas you can take back to your organization so that you can sleep a little better each night knowing your partners are not going anywhere, anytime soon.
1. Turn your partners into Batman
Lao Tzu quoted “A leader is best when people barely know he exists…” Take that into everything you do with your partners. It is going to be hard, and your ego might take a hit but when your partners feel like you care more about them being the hero to the end customer than you being Superman, they will keep coming back for more. Next time you and your partner get a win together, blast it across social media, talking about how amazing they are, and how no other reseller could have won that deal. After all, it is pretty easy to defend that without Robin, Batman would not be the superhero he is today.
Let your partners have a say in the KPIs they agree to, and even more importantly let them tell you how they want to be incentivized and rewarded. Letting their voice be heard will double down their desire to stand by your side through thick and thin.
2. Transparency never hurts
Being open and transparent with your partners is a great way to build a strong long-term relationship. Transparency is a two-way street but focusing on your side of the relationship is the best way to kick things off.
Strong relationships start with building off a foundation built with equal parts trust, and transparency. Deploying purpose-built PRM tools sets the right expectations that you will not hide anything from them, and you are willing to spend money to make their life easier.
In Accenture’s report, “Make Music, Not Noise,” they found that, “companies that help their channel partners share customer data and generate leads are 63% more likely to exceed their revenue goals through channel partner networks.”
3. Instagram… for the channel?
Before you blow this idea off, read on. As a channel manager, are you really good at creating engaging content on LinkedIn? Or maybe you have found a lot of success as a social media influencer on Instagram. Take a look at your partner’s social profiles and suggest some thought leadership on ways they can improve their social presence. Short term, it has absolutely zero benefit for you, however long term that small investment in their social success could have profound impacts on the sustainability of your successful partner program.
Maybe do an SEO audit, help them write prospecting emails, optimize their tech stack. Invest in the relationship, and their success, and they will not be swiping left anytime soon.
Think of different things you can do for them that do not involve your product or service at all! You can thank us later.
4. All about Benjamins $$$$
At the end of the day, your organization is in the business of making money, and launching a partner program is just one example of a route to market to do that. That being said, it is not cheap, and a large part of partner enablement is understanding the incentives that need to be given to drive the desired end partner behavior.
Make sure it is loud and clear, front, and center when reps log in to your Partner Relationship Management (PRM) Software. This is how you earn money; this is how you earn more money, and this is how you make a ton of money with us. Do not make your partners dig through 17 pages of partner contracts that were signed 5 years ago by a lawyer who no longer works there. It is super simple, on the home page of your partner portal, make the first thing they see be a hero image that links to the latest SPIFF for that quarter. Spend $7 on Fiver or have your Graphic Design team whip something up that is eye-catchy.
A loyal partner can and should be seen as more than just a sales engine for your organization. A partner who is in it for the long haul helps drive market visibility, enhances your brand recall value, and overall, just helps contribute to your chances of success.
Ready for us to help you build a partner program that destroys your competition? Request a demo today.