Managing your Channel Partners for A Successful Relationship

In today’s competitive business environment, every company looks for innovative ways to increase profitability. In order to be profitable, organisations must grow sales. By utilising partnerships, B2B businesses are able to reach new markets, increase the number of sales, and increase the exposure of their brand, all achievable with minimal extra costs.

Channel marketing is the practice of working with a third party to take your products or services to market. (Triptych, 2018). Channel marketing is often used by companies that sell services and products across multiple industries but can be used by any organisation. Channel partners can become an extension of your sales team, promoting specific products to a specific audience and increasing the potential of converting prospects. But effectively managing partner relationships and devising strategies that generate results can be time-consuming and difficult. In this blog, we have suggested steps to follow, to ensure successful management of your partners, in order to see results and generate ROI.


There are many types of channel partnerships, so be sure to do your research and choose partnerships that align with your business goals. The most familiar are Channel Value Added Resellers. These partners take your product to market, with an added profit margin, often directly increasing sales of your products.

Alternative partnerships don’t sell your products, but sell products, software or solutions that support your products. The benefit of this type of partnership is that you can offer customers a full business solution, as opposed to an individual product. Each channel partner has their own pros and cons which should be established before making a final decision.

Managing your Partners


With an effective channel partner management approach, you can generate a huge amount of profit. When working with your chosen partners, ensure that you know what products they sell and how they promote those products. It is crucial that you open up communication lines with your channel partners, so you can discuss anything that you might be thinking about, whether it is a new marketing strategy, a product launch or even a sales forecast. You also have to make sure that you’re not sabotaging your channel partners. The last thing you want to do is to appear like you’re not interested in understanding what their needs are. Knowing this will go a long way in helping you understand what your partner’s need from you to be successful.

Shared Goals & Values  

Openly communicating with your partners means you can plan your strategy and set shared goals and objectives. Working together, but towards different goals, is not a recipe for success. People buy products or services from companies that appeal to them on some level. So, if your target customers do not connect with your chosen channel partners and their marketing messages on some level, chances are they will not purchase. With this in mind, it’s important to understand your partners’ values and ensure they are aligned with your own. You are now working towards building a strong and mutually beneficial relationship.

Tailor your Marketing to Specific Audiences

Understand the audience your partner sells to. If the audience attributes are the same as your own target audience, then work together to define an ideal buyer persona. If your reason for establishing a partnership is to reach a new audience, then take advice from your partner, who has experience selling in this market. Once you understand your audience, you can ensure your marketing campaigns are relevant and tailored around their needs. Ensure the right partners are promoting the right products to the right audience, on the right channels with the right messages.

A good way to manage this is by creating a suite of marketing material in-house, that can be sent to your partners to use to promote your products. These templates, which can be used across a variety of channels, such as email, social media, and web, should be built so that each partner can customise elements according to their brand, and their audience’s needs, but maintain a consistent overall message and design. This presents a cohesive, national, partner effort.

Team Effort

Show your partners you are committed and help them set up campaigns. Not only does this build up a rapport, but it provides an opportunity to gain insight into how they intend to use the marketing material, giving you the opportunity to make suggestions and recommendations.

Supporting your partners with training is another way to empower the relationship and encourage success. You should provide technical training and sales training. If you share your expertise, then your partners will see that you care about them enough to give them the benefit of your experience and knowledge. You will build a strong relationship with them which is the backbone of how to manage your channel partners to generate ROI.

Track Performance

Often, there isn’t a solution for partners to easily track, analyse or report on the usage of all of their material. This lack of insight and data means neither of you can accurately understand how successful the partnership is, and how to optimise in order to grow your partnership.

Suggest marketing platforms or tools that provide easy access to important metrics. Define the metrics that are important to you, and request reports on these metrics. It’s easy to determine the success of your partnership solely on the number of sales closed, however, your partners will influence their customer base in other ways. For example, their efforts could be creating a community, or hugely increasing the exposure of your brand. Though these might not be generating immediate sales for your products, they are valuable marketing efforts that are likely to generate sales and loyal customers in the long run.

A partner scoring system, based on all metrics that are important to your business, will give you actionable insights that should drive business decisions and allow you to forecast ROI.

Joe Allen

Joe has vast experience and knowledge accumulated and honed as a New Business Development Manager and Relationship Manager. Presently the Director at Belu Media.

Responsible for generating new business clients, looking after existing clients, sourcing new ventures and managing the company.

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