Channel partners are a third-party business that partner with a manufacturer or producer to resell the services, technologies or products they offer. In order to build a successful partner relationship, you need to select a company that is invested, motivated and trained, with the incentive to grow your business (Gary Morris). Without these, your partnership may not be as beneficial as you would expect. You need a company you can rely on to sell your products and sell them well. To achieve this, you must consider the best tools to use with your channel partners, and these come in the form of enablement tools (Gary Morris).
What are enablement tools?
When you create a channel partnership, as a company you want to ensure they have all they need to be successful in selling your products or services. Your role here is to walk your channel partners through every stage of the sales process, and with enablement tools, you can help your partners generate quality, personalised sales collateral with the correct branding without the need to depend on your marketing team (Mindmatrix). By supporting your partners with tools, training, and resources, you ensure they understand your brand vision. This knowledge encourages them to represent your business appropriately therefore will sell your product or service successfully and maximise your revenue (Emma O’Neill). After all, the main concern for channel partners is whether they will be able to sell your product or service profitably, so you need to do all you can to ensure they do.
Work-flow training tools
We’re all familiar with the typical training courses we have to take, whether it be in college, when starting a new job or just for your own education and knowledge. But how beneficial are these training courses, and how much information do we retain and apply to our work habits? Apparently not a lot. According to the Harvard Business Review, participants in traditional curriculum-based training forget 80% of what they have learned within 90 days (Frank V. Cespedes & Yuchun Lee).
The solution? Work-flow training tools. Rather than wasting time with training, incorporating work-flow tools into your partner’s working day will educate them whilst doing the job, achieving two goals simultaneously (Gary Morris). Not only is this a time-saver, but your partners are more likely to keep the information. These work-flow tools will help guide your channel partners in business planning, marketing planning, incentive planning, and more effective selling (Gary Morris).
Demand Generation Tools
Learning how to budget, forecast outcomes and calculate ROI is essential for your channel partners, but there are few demand generation tools available that include these. Marketing forecasts require a lot of analysis, research, and navigation in order to produce detailed reports (Maria Pergolino). So, ensuring your partners are using the best tools available will benefit your company and improve your report accuracy. Enabling tools (Marketing Budgeting, Forecasting, and ROI Tools) provide your partners with a planning and simulation tool that creates an ROI-based plan with business outcomes based on the tactics, levels and goals selected (Gary Morris).
Enablement tools are used to streamline manual tasks and improve planning, turning a good partner into a high-performance partner (Gary Morris). Assisting your partners throughout the partnership creates a strong relationship and people you can rely on to complete tasks to the required standard. You are providing them with the tools and assistance they need to excel. Instead of implementing a technology solution and waiting for partners to work out how to use it, you must ensure the tools are integrated into the partners’ business processes (Regalix). Learning about your brand, product and services is all essential for your partners to sell successfully, so training and educating whilst working is likely the most beneficial way of doing this.