Simple Steps to launch your Channel Partner Program

02.09.23 02:00 PM By Vartopia Team
Building a channel partner program is not a straight line that, when implemented, can give a fruitful outcome. It's a lovely mess that not only requires financial investments but also needs time investment, and a well-defined step-by-step plan, providing a clear vision and smooth implementation. Worried about launching your Channel Partner Program? Here’s a simple step-by-step process that may help! 

Simple Steps to Launch a Channel Partner Program.

1. Define a value proposition


Channel Partner Program A well-defined value proposition provides an edge. It's an essential component that helps determine whether people will bother learning about your offering or not. It provides a clear vision to the people of what they will be getting by using your offering.    

2. Craft a customer-centric sales process 

Customers already know about your offering at this step, but now what? Does that mean they know about your product or services so they can quickly make a purchase? Well, no! There is still so much to do! Like understanding the entire buyer journey, what steps are involved in the sales process, what needs to be done at each stage, how many steps there are, and many more!    Therefore, creating the sales process from the customer's perspective is essential. customer-centric sales process  

3. Benchmark your competitors 

You must have heard of the phrase “Keep your friends close but enemies closer; it is the time to apply it. Perform thorough research to understand what your competitors are doing.  What is their target audience, how are they offering their solutions to the customers, how they are developing relationships with their channel partners, and what other essentials?  This research will provide insights before beginning with your channel partner programs and developing your channel sales strategy.  

4. Begin with one Partner Program only 

A partnership program can include various types of partners, including Distributors, VARs, alliance partners, referrals, MSPs, and ISVs. Additionally, you should take care of a multi-tier process with offerings to be considered. Well, where so much has to be done, worrying about trying to be all things to all types of partners might feel overwhelming.  But wait, you gotta slow down, partner! With so much hassle, do yourself a favor that begins with only one partner type or partner program. And you will certainly discover that if one partner program works well, the others will undoubtedly fall into its place.  Pro Tip:Begin with a partner program that identifies the partner tier with the largest potential as the highest priority.  

5. Recruit & Onboard Channel Partners   

Before beginning with your partner program, understand what type of you require and how they are going to benefit you. Understanding this could help you select, recruit, and onboard the right channel partners. And with this, ensure to consider the following to get the best fit: 
  • What goals do you have for your partner program?
  • What verticals do you want to break into?
  • What type of channel partners will be the best for your program?
  • How do you want your channel partners to distribute your offerings?
  • What advantages would this potential channel partnership bring?
  • What skills or proficiencies do you want in your channel partner?

6. Create Detailed Product / Service Training  

Once you have recruited & onboarded, create a detailed product brief and provide the service training before the channel partners walk into the market with your offerings.   

7. Leverage a Channel Partnership Lifecycle Model

Utilize a Channel Partnership Lifecycle Model that helps outline the key metrics and necessary elements to drive the partnership forward. One of the best ways to leverage the channel partnership lifecycle model is to outline the partner program goals.  Here are the steps to understanding the standard channel partnership lifecycle model. Utilize each stage & take the steps towards your goal.  
  •       Develop Partner Program & Onboard Channel Partners 
 Develop a channel partner program & onboard the selected channel partner efficiently. Train your channel partners and understand the rules of partner engagement. Share everything required to meet your company's expectations and see how well you both have agreed upon mutual goals.   
  •       Co- Market the Product/ Service 
 Co-marketing the products or services comes with the partner onboarding and familiarizing them with the offerings.  And this brings upon another hurdle of exercising whether the onboard partner's marketing efforts are successful. What would indicate that the channel partners are developing their pipeline the way it was expected, or do they require or expect certain elements to make their deals qualify? Everything needs to be identified as a succeeding stage of the lifecycle model.   
  •       Review & Manage 
 Here comes the final stage of the lifecycle model, where reviewing & managing the channel partner's performance comes in. At this stage, you need to verify whether the channel partner's efforts have succeeded or not.  There could be varied parameters that help analyze the channel partner's performance at each stage.   Pro-Tip! Measuring and analyzing the success at each stage is imperative, so understanding what parameters could help can becomplicated to figure out! Well, no looking further; we have brought that for you! 

Key Indicators for performance at each lifecycle!!  

1. Develop Channel Programs & Onboard channel partners

The performance indicators that mark the successful completion of the stage include: 
  •  A number of registered channel partners.
  • Training & certification completions by onboarded partners. 

 2. Co- Market the Product/ Service

The performance indicators that mark the successful completion of the stage include: 
  • Content and knowledge base sharing
  • Openness with the channel partners regarding offerings and updates
  • Number of registered deals

 3. Review & Manage

The performance indicators that mark the successful completion of the stage include: 
  • Revenue generated
  • Return on Investment
  • Number of closed won deals

Bottom Line! 

The golden rule to have an effective and successful channel partnership program is "Work Backwards!!" Set your KPIs with a few metrics with the help of checking closed conversion rates, total addressable market, standard sales channel length, and many more.  All you need to do is narrow down your focus and start leveraging to outline the elements of the Partnership Lifecycle Model and then work backward from your enterprise goals to establish the partner program KPIs.  Got a channel partner program? It's time to nurture your partner program with the right stage-by-stage development strategy.Vartopia can help bring this clarity to your partner program with accurate implementation, progress tracking, and increased partner engagement. Book a demo today to learn how Vartopia can help!  

Vartopia Team