As companies grow, they often begin to think about how they can scale to reach more customers. They can do it in-house, building teams of channel management and customer engagement experts, salespeople, marketers, relationship managers, product training specialists and others. At some point, however, the question becomes whether it makes more sense to establish a network of external partners to sell products and services to a broader customer base. Putting a partner program in place is a win-win for all involved, but it, too, can become unwieldy when a company’s capacity to engage, manage and nurture those relationships is exceeded.
That’s where dedicated channel management services come in.
Channel management services help you continually engage your partner community to maximize their success, and thus yours. Done well, channel engagement can make a huge difference to your bottom line. Let’s take a look at four of the common challenges organizations face as they try to engage their partners — and how channel management services can help.
Solving 4 Channel Partner Engagement Challenges
1. The Challenge: Channel Growth
The competitive battle for eyes and ears in the technology space is intense — and that’s no less true when it comes to attracting, developing and engaging partners. They are always looking for solutions that will meet their customers’ needs while maximizing their own success. Channel growth is, in equal measure, a validation of your offerings and your partner program. Innovation, expertise and exceptional support are expected. When new channel partner onboarding has stalled and existing channel partners are languishing, it affects your ability to scale up, reach new markets and increase revenue.
How Can Channel Management Services Help With Channel Growth?
No matter how exceptional your portfolio and partner program may be, prospective partners must be continually engaged and educated. They need to understand how your offerings benefit their customers and enhance their ability to grow profitably, and why they should invest in your technology instead of your competitors’. Once they become a partner, that same level of outreach is important to ensure they are well-equipped to embrace product and service innovation, manage shifting customer preferences and help you expand into new markets. Channel management services help you attract the right partners and drive higher revenue through continuous engagement.
2. The Challenge: Revenue Per Partner
If channel partners have lost interest in achieving targets and resellers are promoting competitors’ products instead of yours, your sales will take a hit. There are myriad reasons this may be the case, from stalled product and service innovation to the debut of a disruptive new technology to partner programs that are out of sync with best practices. Sometimes, it’s simply a mismatch between what you’re offering and your partner’s ability or desire to sell it. Engaging partners who are ready, willing and able to sell your portfolio is essential.
How Can Channel Management Services Help With Revenue Per Partner?
Would you rather have lots of partners who sell your portfolio tangentially or handpicked partners whose focus and capabilities match yours to a T? Every partner has their own area of specialization. Channel management services maximize the effectiveness of your channel programs by identifying the best partners to transact and grow your business. Such services also focus on delivering training programs, sales planning and support, and other capabilities that empower partners to sell your products more effectively, ultimately delivering higher value across your entire ecosystem.
3. The Challenge: Partner Satisfaction
When your sales, business development or account management team no longer has the bandwidth to engage your partners as desired, it raises the risk of dissatisfaction and attrition. The risk rises even more when there’s an inability to accurately gauge partner satisfaction indicators and do something about them. It costs more to find and onboard new partners than it does to keep productive ones in the fold, but in a fast-moving industry, you may not have the time or capabilities to engage and manage your channel effectively.
How Can Channel Management Services Help With Partner Satisfaction?
Keeping partners active and engaged is more than a matter of intuition and relationship finesse. It requires data-driven strategies that leverage deep analyses of proven partner satisfaction indicators, from account manager calls to demo participation. It also requires a high level of training, support, enablement and dispute resolution that reassures them they’ve made the right choice of vendor to go to market with. The right channel management services help you engage with your partners, grow your relationships and actively build your channel — without losing focus on your core business activities.
4. The Challenge: Brand Loyalty
With technology evolving rapidly, it can be tempting for partners to stray as competitors announce new products and services. To counteract this, innovation on your part is essential. So is a top-notch partner program whose incentives and rewards are aligned with current business models. Equally important are partner services that help them build a pipeline, grow profitably and expand into new markets when they’re ready. But this can be a tall order when your primary focus is product and service development, rather than partner engagement and channel development.
How Can Channel Management Services Help With Brand Loyalty?
When it comes to brand loyalty, the partner experience holds a great deal of weight. According to a CompTIA survey, insufficient pre- and post-sales support is the second largest reason a reseller drops a vendor partner program. Channel management services can help you and your partners identify areas ripe for revenue expansion and boost partner engagement through:
- Insight-producing analytics
- Opportunity identification
- Growth strategy and planning
- Partner incentives and rewards
- On-demand sales campaigns
- Continued support, training and/or education for partners
Transform Your Channel
Outsourcing channel management services is a great option for companies looking to build pipeline and increase sales with the help of a knowledgeable, enthusiastic and enabled network of partners. Engaging a channel management services expert can:
- Increase the size and/or geographic reach of your partner community
- Improve and nurture effective partner relationships
- Optimize channel programs for better engagement and higher sales
- Help you focus on innovation while a trusted expert manages your partners' portfolios and revenue growth
About the Author
David Mustafa serves as a Sales Director within the Customer Management Services organization of Shyft Global Services, a division of TD SYNNEX. David has been with the company since 2010 and holds more than 20 years of experience managing high-performance teams in various industries. Driven by an entrepreneurial mindset, he is passionate about diverse business opportunities, transformative strategies and developing leaders for the businesses of the future.