New Age Channel Partner Engagement Strategy for a Successful Channel Business

01.19.23 02:00 PM By Vartopia Team
Have you ever thought about your channel partners' declining performance or engagement?    Well, it is not just about the decreasing numbers in sales. Have you ever wondered about a channel partner who has joined strongly and was flourishing in driving business in several aspects with their skills, and suddenly their engagement decreased over time?  What was earlier looking like a promising partnership has quickly vanished. Indeed, a disheartening scenario!  But what exactly has happened? And you never know when this can lead to further performance declines.  That is where partner engagement comes into the picture. And when the partner engagement decreases, you may struggle to search for the answers to questions like  Where did I lack?  How can I keep the channel partners engaged?  And how can I prevent this occurrence of disinterest in my partners?  Are you also struggling to get answers to these questions? No more wondering what went wrong. Let us delve into understanding everything you need to know about Partners Engagement.    

What is Channel Partner Engagement?    

Channel Partner Engagement refers to the process of enlisting your channel partners to stay active within the Partner Program and encouraging them to add value.  

What is Channel Partner Engagement Strategy?    

A Channel Partner Engagement Strategy includes enriching mutual trust and appropriate knowledge sharing for enhanced partner involvement.  

Elements of a successful Channel Engagement Strategy: 

Partner engagement is the crucial component of partner programs that do not always require strong financial investments. Infuse your partner program with the elements below and start moving toward an effective channel engagement strategy.  

1. Begin by connecting your internal systems   

Whenever vendors or manufacturers sell their services or products through varied channels, they often rely on spreadsheets, emails, or other traditional ways. This process sometimes feels disconnected as the information is not shared on time.    Therefore, to overcome such disconnecting system issues, a connected channel partners network is required to bridge these gaps with effective communication.   

2. Level up your visibility   

One cannot fix what one cannot see. And the same applies to the partner portal. You might see everything running all right, but what is happening externally may not be visible. That is why a centralized system is needed where a unified platform can help gain insights into the program that may help better engage the partners or review their performance.

3. Keep your sales partners updated with up-to-date data

Keeping your channel partners updated about the latest sales pitch, new features, and product positioning is indeed a challenge. And it is crucial at the same time; that is why having up-to-date information for your channel partners at their fingertips all the time is necessary.   Delivering this up-to-date information to the channel partners is essential to keep them engaged.   

4. Make decisions based on data

Making decisions based on data-driven analytics is always more beneficial than making decisions based on assumptions and, indeed, can increase the partner's engagement and performance.    With complete insight into conversion rates and channel performance, the ability to spot trends and lead response time can be improved. Getting hold of this data could help make more informed decisions for channel partners that will lead to enhanced engagement.   Get these above-mentioned channel engagement strategies right and help your channel partner sell more and ultimately engage more.     

Benefits of having Engaged Channel Partners    

  • Knowledgeable and enthusiastic channel partners tend to sell more.  
  • A highly engaged partner is a more loyal partner. 
  • Highly engaged channel partners contribute significantly to valuable insights. 
  • Engaged partners take the initiative to promote your products. 
  • Positively impacts the brand 

How to Plan for Channel Partner Engagement?   

Creating a Channel Partner Engagement Strategy is essential to identify how engaged the channel partners are, how they will represent the brand, and how you can improve this engagement for the longer term.  This entails having an internal process set up to ensure channel partners actively participate in the partner program. Here is how we can encourage the partner's engagement. 

1. Recruit the right fit

It will undoubtedly be a waste of time if you do not recruit partners aligned with your business values and objectives. Therefore, recruiting partners that are the right fit is the only way to get it done. So in order to identify the right fit, consider the following for your recruitment strategy.  
  • Create your ideal Channel Partner Persona 
  • Set your recruitment goals 
  • And be transparent throughout the process. 

2. Create an effective Channel Partner Onboarding

Once you have got the right fit, a common blunder that often happens is missing out on the appropriate onboarding process. Your partners won't understand everything about your products once they have signed up with you.  The appropriate knowledge sharing and teaching them all the essentials of your business while making them understand your goals and products is what is needed during the whole process.    Therefore,    
  • Make a warm welcome for the Channel Partners 
  • Encourage learning 
  • Encourage feedback 
  • Automate processes 

3. Nurture Channel Partnerships 

This is where most organizations lack and struggle. You can't just onboard a partner and then go quiet. An effective way to have healthy relationships is to nurture them consistently. Therefore,   
  • Communicate with your channel partners regularly 
  • Provide Training and Certifications to the channel partners 
  • Align mutual goals for growth 

4. Develop a Partner Engagement Model

A Partner Engagement Model includes a set of guidelines that the channel partnership team utilizes to nurture the relationships. Engagement models may differ based on a company's unique goals, so build a partner engagement model that works explicitly for your business.    Here is an example of a Partner Engagement Model that could help:    

Partner Value Model    

The Partner Value Model is a partner engagement measuring method based on a partner's potential and future value rather than focusing on the current value. It is typically a short-term internal vendor resourcing and engagement strategy implemented on the formal partner program tiers.    

5. Measuring Partner Engagement

Measuring the success of the partner program is crucial. Therefore, measure partner engagement based on the KPIs mentioned in our next blog, "How does a successful channel partner engagement plan look?"  

Wrapping Up!    

Incorporating the right Channel Partner Engagement Strategy within your channel program is crucial. What is more complicated is finding the right one.  Stay tuned to our next blog for deeper insight into Partner engagement plans and ways to increase partner engagement. If you are looking for ways to provide your partner with tools to improve engagement, Book a demo with Vartopia today. 

Vartopia Team