No matter how well your channel program is doing, there’s always room for improvement.
If your goal is to take your program to the next level, you need to develop, implement, execute, and optimize an effective channel strategy.
What is a channel strategy?
At a very basic level, your channel strategy describes your processes for getting your products into the hands of customers.
As a technology vendor selling powerful digital solutions to other businesses, you will likely have a channel strategy that focuses on working with value-added resellers, systems integrators, and other partners who go to work on your behalf.
When you begin putting your channel strategy together, you’ll need to think about how you’re going to set your partners up for success.
Optimizing your channel starts with incentives.
Would you work for free? We didn’t think so—and your partners won’t either.
When it comes down to it, the cornerstone of any successful channel program is a generous incentive schedule. Just to be clear: When we say incentives, we’re talking about money, or at least something comparable (e.g., an all-expenses-paid trip to Hawaii).
Generally speaking, the more incentives a channel program includes in its channel strategy, the easier it will be to drive the desired behaviors in partner sales teams.
Keep in mind that, when it comes to incentives, paying your channel partners when they close deals isn’t enough on its own. For the best results, you need to incentivize your partners across a number of different vectors, including:
- When they complete training or certifications
- When they register deals—and when they take each step along the way (e.g., updating deal close dates, stages, and amounts)
- When they actively track and report on campaign participation
- When they demonstrate their loyalty to your channel program with repeated business
What can you do to improve your channel strategy?
The most successful partnerships are built on a foundation of empathy. The more you see things from your theoretical partner’s perspective, the easier it will be to build a program that makes their life easier.
In this light, here are three additional tips you can implement to build a stronger, more successful channel program.
1. Implement an effective deal registration program.
Let’s cut to the chase: If deal registration isn’t a core component of your channel strategy, it’s all but impossible to get the results you’re hoping for from your channel. By implementing a robust deal registration program, creating fair rules, and enforcing those rules transparently and evenly across the channel, you encourage your partners to spend more time going to bat for you.
2. Invest in tools to make your partners’ lives easier.
Who doesn’t want to work with people and companies that make their jobs easier? Help your program reach its full potential by investing in modern technology built specifically for the channel. For example, Vartopia recently unveiled EZ Update, a feature that lets partners easily provide real-time updates from any connected device without needing to log in to a portal.
3. Give your partners the tools and resources they need to succeed.
As is the case with many things in life, you’ll get out of your channel program what you put into it. If you launch a program and think your work is done, chances are you won’t be thrilled with your results. On the other hand, if you take a proactive stance to your program and really try to help your partners succeed, the results will be better. To do this, offer whatever training support partners need and publish helpful content in your portal. To make sure you’re doing all that you can, reach out to partners and ask them what they need, and deliver on that.
Ready to rock your channel strategy?
Whether you’re thinking about launching a brand-new channel program or are looking to give an existing one a face-lift, Vartopia can help.
Request a demo today to learn more about how powerful channel technology can bring simplicity, speed, and profitability to your channel program.