What does a successful Channel Partner Engagement plan look like?

01.26.23 02:00 PM By Vartopia Team
In our last blog, we went over the channel partner engagement strategies and their elements. In this post, we are sharing some suggestions for building a partner engagement plan and metrics to measure and increase partner engagement.     

What is a Partner Engagement Plan? 

A Partner engagement plan refers to a well-thought-out engagement plan that clearly articulates the types of relationships you wish to foster with your channel partners.  An effective partner engagement plan doesn’t always have to be complex; a well-thought step-by-step process could be enough. Let us delve into getting familiar with the elements of an effective partner engagement plan and how to create one.  

Elements of a Successful Partner Engagement Plan 

A critical question that often comes to the channel manager's mind is, "How do I create a channel partner engagement plan that actually works?"  A strong partner engagement strategy can result in more successful programs. And find suggestions on how to build a stronger partner engagement plan that really pays off!   

Here are some tips for developing a successful Channel Partner Engagement plan:  

1. Building Strong Relationships

Building stronger relationships with the channel partners are essential on all levels. When stronger relations exist, the channel partners and vendors achieve higher value and satisfaction. Therefore, building and nurturing relationships with channel partners can lead to higher partner engagement.  

2. Develop Partner-Friendly Content & Programs 

Take the time to understand the challenges often faced by channel partners and ensure to structure the of user-friendly programs that help address their requirements and challenges.    

3. Foster Consistent Communication 

Fostering constant communication with the channel partners is the key to fostering relationships with the channel partners. Keep your partners updated about any changes in products or services or any other critical information that can help them convert leads.    

4. Structure a Partner Enablement Framework

Create and structure a Partner Enablement Framework that results in: 
  • Higher Conversion Rates
  • Accurate Forecasts
  • Lower Partner Attrition
  • Shorter Sales Cycles
Your Partner Enablement framework should incorporate all these key components: - Partner training, Partner's Goal Alignment, sharing sales & marketing collateral, providing partners incentives, and many more.   

5. Measure & Track Channel Partner Engagement

A channel partner program requires a process for measuring partner engagement so that the team knows when to continue investing effort and time to bring higher engagement levels.  Therefore, the common metrics that need to be measured include revenue, pipelining, participation of partners in planning meetings and QBRs, utilization of portal and content, keeping upgraded with advanced training and certifications, and many more.   

How to increase Partner Engagement?  

Increasing partner engagement is one of the foremost concerns. Here are a few tips for amplifying partner engagement.    

1. Make it personal 

Understand your channel partners and motivate them to perform better. Understanding your channel partner's goals and why they engage with your program will help you develop the kind of trust that may lead to long-term loyalty.    

2. Reduce friction 

Eliminate Friction in partners' working experience. Make it easy for partners to access your partner program information and engagement, make claims, seek support and receive funds. Choose digitally enabled management software that minimizes friction and encourages partner activity.    

3. Create a memorable partner experience 

Create a memorable experience for your partner. If you want to see your partners presenting your products and maintaining your branding, make sure that you treat the partner marketing teams special too. Utilize joint campaigns, launch activities, experimental marketing, and more stuff to create a buzz for the program, build momentum and celebrate success. 

4. Foster loyalty 

Bring loyalty to the partner programs with appropriate incentive management and help them boost conversions with personalized and targeted messaging.   

5. Gamify rewards 

Leverage your channel partners to motivate them. Reward them with exciting incentives and other reward structures to increase overall participation.   

6. Maintain focus 

Encourage your partners to perform better by focusing on their requirements and needs. Strive for sustainability and consistency through targeted analytics and predefined KPIs.  

7. Create custom activities

One of the foremost parts of creating better partner engagement is understanding that each partner is not exactly like another. Therefore, you should segregate, and tailor different challenges based on your diversified partner community.  

8. Engage your partners everywhere 

Keep your channel partners in the loop about events or other activities regarding a brand or products & services. This will keep them encouraged to take advantage of all your branding efforts to the customers they are looking to sell to.  

9. Knowledge is the Key

Engaging channel partners with company knowledge and providing required training and certifications is a great way of keeping them engaged: incorporate training modules to ensure they follow your defined compliance plans, services or product-specific training, and several others.   

How to measure Partner Engagement?  

Measuring partner engagement can be one of the crucial parts of your partner program. Indeed, enhanced revenue is the topmost indicator of measuring success, but several other metrics need to be considered to measure partner engagement.  Here are a few KPIs that can be used.:   

1. Partner Portal Login 

Channel Partner Relationship often relies on consistent communication, which is why partners should have regular access to your partner portal, indicating a huge sign that partners are engaging with it.  Therefore, tracking and measuring the activities performed in the partner portal can indicate how they are engaged with the tools you are providing.    

2. Channel Partner Experience 

The whole channel partner experience is often measured by fusing and growing both Partner Engagement and Partner Profitability. Measuring this could help measure partners' overall experience while providing data on program initiatives that are considered successful in enabling and engaging channel partners.    

3. Marketing Efficiency 

Measuring marketing efficiency includes the number of marketing campaigns a channel partner runs to promote the offerings can be a good indicator that they are well-engaged with your brand.  This allows you to prioritize allocating marketing resources to the channel partners who are executing effective marketing campaigns and producing desirable outcomes.  

Bottom Line  

Creating a partner program where partners are well engaged is crucial. Making them feel appreciated and engaged is a great way to drive long-term loyalty in partnerships. That is why having a well-defined and executed partner engagement program is vital. Change the way your channel partners engage with you! Request a demo today with Vartopia to see how Vartopia's modular PRM could help foster better channel partner engagement. 

Vartopia Team