Building a versatile partner engagement model
Understand why vendors need to update their partner profiles regularly and ensure the partner engagement model deployed for each partner profile type is relevant at all times.
Partner engagement is when your partners are:
However, partner engagement is also the #1 challenge in a channel sales model. In fact, a Study by SiriusDecisions reports that program adoption by partners can be as low as 20%. Mindmatrix recently presented at the SiriusDecisions Summit 2018 in Las Vegas on the topic of Partner engagement. Our blog this week offer some excerpts from the presentation to give you a step-by-step framework that you can use to drive partner engagement.
To develop a successful partner engagement strategy, you need to understand your partner personas. Who are your partners? What are their key strengths and weaknesses? What motivates them. Answer these questions to define your partner persona accurately.
Measuring your partner's performance - Because, you can't fix what you can't measure
The next step is to measure partner engagement: Remember that revenue is not the ONLY metrics to measure partner engagement. You can score your partners and measure partner engagement index based on the partner activities such as
You need a solid foundation to build strong partner relationships. Make sure your partner training and onboarding programs are easy-to-understand, access, and are truly value-adding to your channel partners. Here are 3 elements that can help you take your onboarding program to the next level
Your partners have multiple vendors and will focus primarily on the products/services that are the easiest to sell. You need to make it easy for your partners to sell your products/services by bringing the tools TO them, rather than expecting them to come to you asking for help to sell. Examples include − Plug-ins for email marketing with asset recommendation, Calendar integration with asset push, Opportunity sync through Vendor-Partner CRM integration, automated opportunity creation via emails, etc.
It's not just about telling your partners what to say, it is also about telling them how and when to say it. Use machine learning and AI to walk your partners through every step of the sales process. Examples include
Drive engagement by helping your partners succeed faster. One way to do this is by starting at the bottom of the funnel, helping your partners focus on and monetize their existing book of business first and then helping them move to the top of the funnel for future lead generation.
Partners often lack critical marketing skills/resources; suppliers that use concierge services to help partners deliver demand programs reap greater results. A Sirius Perspective Marketing concierge services help your partners
The level of ease associated with selling and marketing your product has a direct impact on how often your partners engage with your brand and push it. You can make it easier for your channel partners to market and sell your offerings by providing them with
It's the little things that count−even in partner relationships. Let your partners know you care for them and are willing to help them succeed. You can do so by assisting your partners from behind the scenes through activities such as
Work to protect your channel partner's interests and eliminate channel conflicts with a strong deal registration system. Don't just provide MDF, offer them guidance on how to use it. Make it easy for your partners to reach out to you. These little things go a long way in building strong, lasting partner relationships.
We sum up by quoting Maria Chien from her article in the SiriusDecisions Blog, "Suppliers often mistakenly view partner engagement as just another marketing or sales objective, to be checked off when a partner initially commits to the partner program or begins down the path to training/certification. This treats engagement as a one-time transaction instead of an ongoing effort that must be sustained over time.
So… remember to keep at it..always. Partner relationships are just like any other relationships. They need to be constantly nourished to be successful.
Mindmatrix is a leading provider of PRM software, channel partner marketing software and sales ecosystems enablement solutions including partner portal software. Since its inception in 1998, Mindmatrix has been focused on helping companies sell more, faster. A pioneer of sales (direct & indirect) and marketing enablement technology, today Mindmatrix is the only company offering a fully unified platform (Bridge ™) that connects and enables sales (direct & indirect), marketing, alliances and partner ecosystems. Backed by Mindmatrix's innovation and expertise, Bridge expands sales ecosystem enablement beyond its traditional boundaries to cover not just Sales Ecosystem Enablement, but also Partner Marketing and Multi-vendor Solutions Management