Many companies rush immediately to begin their partner programs and start recruiting channel partners just to discover that what they planned does not drive revenue. Have you launched a partner program after seeing what other vendors in the channel space have done and then started recruiting the right partners to help you run your program appropriately and drive sales? Ensure that you avoid these common missteps to deliver a bigger impact with your partner program. Let us dig into some common mistakes made while launching a partner program.
Things to avoid while launching a Channel Partner Program!
1. Setting vague Partner Program goals.One of the foundations of good channel partner programs is defining the program goals—nonspecific or vague goals won't lead to meaningful outcomes for the businesses. However, setting some realistic and well-defined goals assures that the channel partners and companies are collaboratively on the same page. Therefore, setting SMART goals is the key to driving success in partner programs. SMART goals are the ones that are:
- S: Specific
- M: Measurable
- A: Achievable
- R: Relevant
- T: Time-based
2. Not recognizing the ideal Channel PartnersWhat kind of channel partners would be the right fit for your partner program? What type of channel partners are you planning to recruit? Since it is a common misperception that it is essential to recruit as many channel partners as possible, many will find that unfortunately, it won't help drive the desired results. Seasoned channel managers quickly discover that the majority of their revenue gets derived from highly engaged partners, not necessarily a higher number of partners. Highly fitting partners are often enough to derive the desired outcomes. That is why it is essential to identify the right partner profile fit for the program before launching it. However, in order to find the right fit, here are a few questions to be addressed before beginning with the program partner recruitment.
- What type of businesses are your ideal partners dealing in?
- What can you do to motivate them to join your partner program?
- What type of partners can be ideal for your business?
- How can you reach the ideal partners?
- How can you recruit channel partners?
- What incentives or rewards structure would be beneficial for the channel partners?
3. Ignoring Appropriate Partner OnboardingPartner onboarding plays a crucial role in setting up the partner program right from the beginning. Once you have seen that partners are signing up for your program that doesn't mean that you are accurately on the right path to success. There is a long way to go! The partners signing up for your program don't guarantee that they can perform how you want them to unless you help them with the selling process. Appropriate partner onboarding should lead to knowledge-sharing sessions, making partners familiar with the core features and benefits of your products or services, equip them with the resources they need, drive partner engagement and training, and certifications if required; all of these things are a part of the partner onboarding process.
4. Complicated reward models.Once you have onboarded the partners, it is time to retain them. And what else can motivate partners to stay with the programs other than an effective reward model? Yes, you got that right! An effective reward model can also be a substantial contributing factor for the channel partners to perform well. And rather than complicating the whole reward system, make an easy model to help partners imagine the rewards they can earn by making sales. This is where you can make a difference and stand ahead of your competitors.
5. Managing Channel Partners across multiple systems.Managing channel partners in multiple systems can be difficult. Therefore, rather than following a distributed system which may create ample complications time, following a centralized approach to managing the whole partner program can be the right choice. Managing channel partners across multiple systems is not an issue with integrated modular PRM solutions.
6. Poor communication and training.Training, support, and communication are vital in channel partner programs. However, training the partners to make them the best fit for your company is entirely up to you, as the partners do not know the product the way, you do! So, conveying how your product fits in the industry and sharing its benefits can only be transmitted through effective communication, training, and certification sessions.
What is the key to avoiding common channel partner program mistakes?Every problem has a solution; therefore, following a few answers to the issues can assure the desired outcome! Here is something that experts suggest you must follow! The issue: Not being selective in choosing ideal partners. The solution: Creating a reliable process and vetting the candidates can help build a healthy channel ecosystem. Using technology for implementing the channel partner recruiting and vetting process can be helpful. The issue: Inadequate support and lack of training The solution: The technology that makes training and certification easily accessible and scalable facilitates regularly updated education to the channel partners. The issue:Inconsistent communication. The solution: Create an outreach schedule to make sure that the partners see your involvement and communicate consistently. Automating channel management activities can be helpful. The issue: Relying on manual tools. The solution: Manually managing the channel data, information, and communication with channel partners. Think again! A single centralized platform can help streamline the partner program and channel management.
Bottom Line!While thinking of launching a channel partner program, the partner knowledge and relationships with them need to be nurtured continuously with desired attention and fresh reward models. However, avoiding the common mistakes mentioned above and following the innovative ways of managing the channel partner program solutions can ensure the desired outcome. What is more interesting about investing in automated solutions is they can help channel managers spend their time efficiently and cultivate the processes that can be the flourishing rewards later for the business. Explore Vartopia's PRM solution now to get familiar with a seamless, innovative way of handling and managing the channel partners like never before!
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