3 Tips for Moving Partners from Awareness to Evangelism
Channel partners are key stakeholders for vendor providers, but are often overshadowed by the emphasis around building relationships with their own clients and potential customers. With almost 60 percent of best-in-class businesses extending their sales and marketing capabilities with active partner channel programs, according to recent research from Aberdeen Group, genuine, productive and consistent engagement with channel partners is a must for vendors looking to optimize their channel programs and stand out above the rest. IT providers need to learn how to best leverage their channel-partner relationships to ensure success on both the vendor and partner side.
So, how can providers better engage with their channel partners and turn them into their biggest advocates? Here are a few tips to help ensure you’re on the right track:
1. Make them an expert on your brand. Make sure your channel partners have all they need to sell your services well. Give them the resources and information to ensure that they know your brand and understand the financial potential of how partnering with you can increase their earnings. From there, start bringing partners into deals that you’re working on so they feel in the loop and part of the process.
2. Engage, engage, engage. Once your partners understand your unique value proposition and where you fit in regard to their clients and prospects, it’s time to build on the relationship. Begin consistently engaging with partners on potential deals and, once trust is established, partners should follow suit and work together with you, not separately.
3. Create a support system. For a channel partner to be an advocate for your solutions and products, you will need to win deals together. This will create a support system where the partner is your biggest fan, actively promoting you to their clients and prospects. Additionally, the partner can provide unique insight to assist you with getting the inside track on deals to be best positioned for winning jointly..
At the end of the day, engaging with your channel partners should result in having the partner lead with you on deals and trust you completely with their own clients. Equally as important, you should become a critical part of your partner’s earnings. Do this by consistently looping them into deals, staying on top of communication and providing opportunities that don’t just benefit you and your company, but both parties.
If providers don’t make a change to better engage with their channel partners, they might miss out on opportunities, relationships and revenue that the channel can provide. With the year off to a booming start, there couldn’t be a better time to re-examine your channel program and learn how to move your partners from awareness to evangelism.