Four Tips To Manage Partner Network Effectively

Mumbai: Indirect channel is an essential part of a company’s sales and marketing strategies. Most companies are totally relying on their channel partner network for growth and success. Hence, it is inevitable for enterprises to ensure seamless support to their ‘extended arm.’

Companies having worldwide reach and who work with a large number of partners, sometimes may find difficult to manage the entire ecosystem. While management of partner network is not just a mere management of large sets of partners, it is also very important to frame proper incentives and rebate policies for the channel. Most of the enterprises today leverage on the digital tools and platforms to manage their partner ecosystem efficiently. However, organizations who intend to step into the channel business may need a road map to frame their channel management strategies.

Here are four tips for companies who want to add value to their channel ecosystem.

1. Partner Enabelment

Enablement is always a core of any partner program. It is very critical to ensure that partners pose required technical and marketing skills to position their respective OEM partners in the market. Digitization has facilitated a free flow of information and it is very easy to leverage on the plethora of digital data to carve out a right set of partner enablement modules. Constant upgradation in skill sets and training are two important components of channel policy of any organization. Therefore, it is vital to make sure that the partner enablement programs are not only at par but arms partners with all tools to compete in the industry.

One way to do this is by offering training-as-a-service and self-paced training models to encourage partners to learn about vendor offerings. Other effective ways are roadshows, partner meets and webinars which will be focused on enablement of not only partners but their sales representatives.

Also Read: How To Give Digital Strength To The Channel?

2. Performance Evaluation

Most of the companies have great channel strategies, however, when it comes to evaluation of partner benefit from a particular channel policy, enterprises lack a proper mechanism. Target achievement is definitely the most important area of performance evaluation, however, sales numbers is not only the thing partners contribute to enterprises.

Partners are the best lead generator for vendors and can be a crucial source to get updates, especially in the regions, where vendors lack visibility. Similarly, partners engaged with government bodies can make the way for vendors to play in the government domain. Hence, it is very important for vendors to chalk out a proper performance evaluation plan to provide key benchmarks and performance indicators.

3. Be Loyal With Partners

Having a productive channel program in place is very important to ensure a healthy and long term business engagement with channel partners. At the same time, it is vital to ensure a greater level of transparency in partners’ engagement. Most of the companies also pitch large deal through their direct sales arms.

This may lead to a confrontation between in-house sales team and partners. In such a scenario, it is important for vendors to have a strict deal registration policy in place to avoid any dispute over the deal lock.

Also Read: Are Channels A Potential Lead Generation Source?

4. Every Partner Is Unique

Among the various tiers of channel partners, Platinum, Gold and Silver partners are considered to strategic partners of enterprises as these partners are engaged in large corporate deals. However, it is important to understand the entire value chain of partners are key for an organizational success. Vendors need to acknowledge that every partner is unique and has different requirements. Therefore, a same set of policies and structures will not work for the different sets of partners.

Vendors may incentivize partners by offering solution rebates for sales and upfront discounts for a new deal registrations. At the end, it is very important to keep the channel partners motivated and upgrade their knowledge on the industry changes.

The channel industry has evolved drastically in recent years and to match the industry standards, it is significant for both vendors and partners to constantly evolve and grasp new changes. Channel program is a powerful medium to ensure partners get their deserving dues. Vendors should explore more and more digital means to go more deep with partners on an engagement level.

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