When it comes to Channel Partners, stay ahead of the Learning Curve

01.27.22 07:00 PM By Vartopia Team
Consistently providing high-quality training for your channel partners is a wonderful way to spread information across your network of channel partners in a way that has less friction than traditional channel marketing. Partner Training is knowledge sharing; marketing is selling, and your partners know this. It is best to not try and disguise this but embrace it and double down on the value your organization is providing via structured learning to your partners. It is a win-win for you to equip your partners with the best training possible. First, begin by acknowledging the gaps in your Partner Training Program, and the gaps in the knowledge your partners have of your solutions. Are the gaps your partners experience a direct result of poor training material delivered by you? Sometimes that is a tough pill to swallow. If the end goal is mindshare, try deploying certification and training with maybe an incentive, or SPIFF tied to the completion of a specific Partner training Program, within a certain time frame to drive higher adoption of that course material.

Are you still wondering why do you need to train your partners?

Your internal sales enablement and product marketing teams are a breadth of knowledge when it comes to your products, and how to communicate effectively about them. This is displayed every time a new employee joins your company on day one. The same level of care and sophistication should be applied out to your channel partners.

Align Your Partners with Your KPIs

Your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) help you track various components of your business. Product, marketing, and sales teams all live and die by KPIs, or as of late, these are called MBOs or OKRs. For Example - if one of your business's KPIs for the year is to increase the number of deals registered by 25%, it is important to make this clear in your Partner Training Program, and let partners know how to go about achieving these goals. Aligning your channel partners with your business KPIs will help you measure the ROI because you will be tracking the performance of your partners against outcomes at the end of whatever period you are looking to measure. KPIs might vary from organization to organization; for some, the KPIs can be: 1. Number of deals registered 2. Number of social shares 3. Number of new sales reps certified 4. Overall increase in channel revenue 5. Decrease in sales cycle length Seeing positive movement in any, or all these KPIs is a strong signal that your partner training content, and structure is well thought out and successfully deployed amongst your partner base. The next question becomes, are these KPIs aligned with your company goals? The closer alignment can be driven between your organization, and your partners the more orchestrated and sophisticated your partner program will appear to the outside world.

Partners need to know the “why”

Once the partners are equipped with the proper knowledge, they would look forward to getting the certification done to seek growth. A well-designed Partner Training Program can help your partners increase participation and motivate them towards getting certified. Identifying your goals and breaking them into small targets or milestones can make your training modules more manageable. Understanding your partner's accomplishments and rewarding them with certifications gives them accreditation to their learnings. Being an indirect seller is not a walk in the park. You could be responsible for knowing about hundreds, if not thousands of different vendors and all their products. To be effective with an end customer, a mental Rolodex needs to be kept up to date for sellers within channel partners, easily pulling out products that help to fill the gaps their customer is experiencing. One of the biggest mistakes we see vendors make is assuming that partners understand why the training program they are being asked to take is relevant or important, or even remotely aligned to the end goal of helping the end customer. For a direct sales team, this is usually obvious. This product fills this gap. For an indirect seller with thousands of products, helping them to connect the dots increased the likelihood they will remember you next time their customer needs help. Request a Demo today to explore Vartopia’s platform and learn how our partner portal helps you to drive the Partner Training Program, thereby keeping your Partners stay updated.

Vartopia Team