When the COVID-19 pandemic struck in 2020, businesses experienced one of the biggest societal shifts most people will have ever encountered - and the question on every vendor's mind was how to navigate the path for channel partner success.
The traditional office-based world shifted to a more virtual mode of operations, which will see less face-to-face exposure and more reliance on technology.
In this situation, it is now more important than ever before for vendors to keep partner engagement and communication high. With less physical presence, vendors need to remain present, to stay at the forefront of their partners minds and keep motivation and focus in place, to lead them on the path to success.
But where do channel vendors start? Here’s four simple steps for channel partner success:
Step 1 : Embrace a new mantra
Start by establishing the mantra; Activate, Amplify, Satisfy.
- Activate engagement by planning simple, fun ways to increase knowledge transfer.
- Amplify your mission by establishing an ‘always on’ presence in the minds of sales reps.
- Satisfy sales people through recognition or reward.
With this at the forefront of your mind, you’ll be set.
Step 2: Plan your way to victory
Aim to align the key targets and goals you and your partner want to achieve. This also means aligning your SPIFs to the quarterly business plan. In addition to this, outline and think about the modern buyer’s journey and how can you help the sales reps support that journey at every stage.
Ensure you have a clear idea of how you’ll support the ‘Activate, Amplify, Satisfy’ mantra by planning how to best structure challenges to motivate sales people. Undergoing training, sharing product information with prospects, sharing company posts, increasing webinar attendees, logging opportunities early and of course closed business are all relevant examples of where you can encourage desired behaviors and subsequently recognize and reward these.
It’s also important to make rewards attainable, relevant and deliverable. Cash, gift cards or merchandise, remain the most desirable rewards.
Step 3: Add ladders and remove barriers to success
Evaluate where you can streamline processes and make things easier for your partners. For example, rather than having several tools to deliver different aspects of your plan – find one that ticks all the boxes. Sales people’s time is precious, help them by making everything accessible through a central engagement and rewards platform.
Having all resources to support discussions with prospects, as well as performance trackers and social achievement tools (e.g. leaderboards, badges) in one place means there are several different reasons to keep going back and engaging with the plan.
Step 4: Share the success with your partners
With the business leaders, reinforce the commitment you have made to help your partner’s business succeed and the ROI that your investments can deliver. This will showcase the value of this approach for future programs that you may wish to run.
Equally, when the sales people achieve a micro-challenge, celebrate this with them and if possible others. Use these moments to create excitement through recognition of what good looks like. Success is infectious, if people see others achieve and be rewarded one of two things will happen; they will want a piece of the action, they will become competitive. This healthy competition, motivation, and team spirit is exactly what we need to foster in order to drive success.
For ideas on how to focus partners and develop a strategy that breeds success, speak with our experienced and knowledgeable teams, who can advise on an appropriate path to guide your channel partners. Book your demonstration today.
By Dan Kelly, Enterprise Sales Director, 360insights