Enable your Partners-in-Success with updated materials, sales tools, and help them optimise their knowledge of your products and services to position them for success.
Channel enablement is a crucial part of maintaining successful channel partnerships. Your channel partners stand at the frontline of your business. To help them succeed, they need specialised tools. Are you providing updated materials and a consistent structure so that your partners can position your products and sell them, or implement an efficient structure? Are you providing the right messaging and value proposition?
Here are 10 specific tools you can use to enable your channel sellers. They look similar to tools you create for your full-time staff, but personalising these tools to help fit the purpose of your channel partners can greatly contribute to the success of your business.
A salesperson needs to find leads, connect, identify customer’s needs, present product and services, and resolve any possible objection to close a sale. The sales cycle can be longer or shorter, but there are different steps involved, with clear to-dos. Your channel sellers need different materials to handle each stage, and you should provide them. For instance, at the start of the sales cycle, sellers need a pitch deck to carry out customer-facing presentations. You can create some sales aids too. This way, you prevent your product or service’s value proposition from being diluted by sales materials created outside of your company.
They might need pricing and estimates of return on investment at the consideration stage — the ROI — which they can show to their customers to convenience them. Work with your top channel sellers to find out what materials they need. Likely, the further down the sales cycle, the more materials your channel partners will need. And you can help to provide them.
Nothing speaks more powerfully about your product than a happy customer. If you can accumulate a list of testimonials, your channel partners can also use them to sell. This can be in the form of a well-produced video, or a prepared deck with real customer opinions.
For certain businesses, having things like an online calculator can help your channel partners get the answers fast. This also works for putting together prices when the pricing structure is complex. Or, you might utilise automation to come up with a templated system that can generate customised reports for their customers at the click of a button.
Business with a more technical nature may also benefit from solution playbooks, which are armed with spec sheets, marketing collaterals, and other aids. Often, channel sellers need more than product-oriented enablement. They require a way to integrate the value of your solutions with theirs.
If there is a ton of materials that you have to put together and organise in an easy-to-digest way, having an all-in-one portal makes information access convenient and easy. It is also a good way to streamline the messaging and communication strategy.
A highly customisable system of this calibre is BI WORLDWIDE’s Learning eXchange (LeX), which can be engineered specially to fit your company’s needs. LeX brings a centralised learning experience that can allow you to curate, administer and prioritise information into a single source of truth. Channel partners can easily access everything they need on one user-friendly dashboard, with full search capabilities for easier recall. LeX also comes with standard reporting to track and assess your channel partners’ learning efforts and impact incremental revenue.
Once you have a portal of channel partner information, incentives, and programmes, you want to make sure that every new channel partner is welcomed and goes through an onboarding process to learn how to access information and earn rewards. You can also set up a checklist to ensure that every channel partner gets the same access.
Even in an era where remote work and meetings are normalised, it is good to have physical events. It’s good to think about digital capability, yet also organise intimate face-to-face meetings. Perhaps, you can conduct training online, but arrange for networking sessions that can be best conducted face to face.
Your channel seller may have questions, and providing easy avenues where they can get answers is an important way to establish trust and loyalty. Have support ready for them, either in the form of a chatbot or a compiled list of frequently answered questions. For the high-tier channel partners, you might even find it worthy to assign a partner account manager.
If having 24/7 support is not financially viable, having events hosted by your technical or marketing experts is useful for partners so that customers can clear any doubt. These can be held at a set cadence of once a month or once a quarter.
You want your channel sellers to succeed as it boosts revenue for you. But what’s in it for your channel sellers? Show them the benefit of having your solution onboard through data-driven measurements, in easy-to-visualise charts and graphs. These insights can convince them that pitching and pushing your solutions also help their business.
Gamification can be used in learning and development to ensure that your channel partners benefit from the enablement tools. You can set up certification and badges that channel sellers can earn after doing mini-quizzes or surveys in a portal. This completes the feedback loop and lets you know if the channel enablement tools you have created actually work.
Alternatively, you can conduct a Secret Shopper Campaign. Announce the campaign's launch to let your channel seller know that an appointed customer will randomly call resellers or distributors to test their knowledge and ability to deliver content. Those who delivered the best presentation of your solutions will receive a special reward.
This not only motivates your channel sellers to be on their toes, but it’s also a great way to get close to the ground, to see if your partners demonstrate the expertise required to recommend solutions from your business.
Do you have all of these channel enablement tools? What might your company be lacking now? Consult with BI WORLDWIDE for a comprehensive channel enablement solution today and build a successful channel partner strategy that benefits both you and your partners-in-success.