Motivating a channel partner, such as one of your distributors or resellers, to increase channel sales, is different to motivating your own workforce. When encouraging your own staff, your priority is to focus them on your company values or business goals like customer service, sales performance or even product quality, so that they can relay these principles directly to your customers.
Your channel partners require a much more straightforward approach. Specifically, a product they can sell easily, to maximize profits with minimum fuss.
For the best results, you need to inspire your channel partners to sell your products and services, over and above those of your competitors – who will also be clamoring for attention. Your priority needs to be ensuring they are incentivized to concentrate on your offerings and equipped to provide best-in-class service when it comes to selling them.
How can you get more from channel partners?
The key is to develop a strategy to engage with them. The good news is, you can engage in a number of ways:
- Invest in time and resources. Concentrate all your resources in one place for ease and focus. Example, utilize an online platform that encompasses incentives, goals & targets, promotions, claim forms, e-Learning, and rewards in one place.
- Group your partners according to size, so targets and rewards can be efficiently allocated, managed and made available to all.
- Position your company messaging at the forefront to attract attention and maintain momentum. Vehicles to achieve this include hype days, giveaways and incentives.
- Provide adequate training for partners so they feel confident about your product and are able to communicate key messages easily. You might manage this through remote e-learning or on-site training days.
- Offer rewards for good performance with tiered options available for different levels of achievement. Options could range from shopping vouchers up to incentive travel for high level successes.
Make it Personal
In order to get this across and make an impact with your channel partner, develop your relationships. The more contact you can facilitate the better: it will keep you and your products top of mind and will allow you to understand your partner better. Incentives put this into practice, as they give you an excuse to keep in touch with partners in a positive way. So not only will your partners benefit, but you will too.
Make it Easy
As a channel partner, if you had to choose between an easy sell and a hard sell, it’s pretty obvious which is more appealing. In a crowded marketplace, if you can make it easy for your partners to sell your services they’re likely to sell more of them.
Make sure they have everything they need, from pricing to sales brochures, and make the pricing systems straightforward. If it’s easy for your partner to calculate profits and see exactly what’s in it for them, they’re going to be all the more motivated to do a good job for you.
Logic suggests the more partners you have, the more opportunities there are for your products to reach the end-user. But this doesn’t necessarily always happen. The more channel partners you have, the harder these relationships can be to manage and performance levels will drop.
Make sure your channel team can efficiently manage and support your partners; anything beyond this will lead to wasted time and effort.
A well-managed and motivated channel is a force to be reckoned with and will help to make your business a success.
Getting more out of your sales channels
Incentive schemes are the perfect way to improve engagement with your brand and drive a consistent level of high performance, not only internally but with your channel sales partners too. The right channel incentive can reap major rewards for your business – keeping your brand top of mind and encouraging your sales channel teams to prioritize your products and services above others.
By Dan Kelly, Enterprise Sales Director, 360insights