With the turn of the new year just beyond the horizon, many companies have already settled into their 2015 business plans.
1. I will offer more support to my channel partners
Sales enablement is the biggest challenge faced by both partners and vendors today. This would require vendors to see profitability through their partners’ eyes. Vendors will need to meet partners at their preferred medium. Are you partners active on social media? If yes, vendors will have to dedicate more time into filling their social profiles with training and partner resources. If you don’t already do this, you probably should.
2. I will focus my attention to improve my partner experience
This could potentially boil down your partner portal. Partner portals and other partner relationship management systems are often underutilized on the partner end. The challenge is in identifying why. Does it offer all features that could be of value to your distributors and resellers? Is it an automated system that requires minimal fields? Does it require manual methods that partners must administer before taking an action? Is it a single hub for POS submissions, real registrations, and co-op requests?
3. I will stop offering generalized, one-size-fits-all campaigns
Partners are already knee-deep in vendor-approved strategies that just don’t quite fit their needs. Vendors need to rethink and re-establish what they over their partner communities. A tailored approach to partner strategies will be more successful for both the vendors and partner.
4. I will make the step into the modern, digital strategies
Channel partners often struggle with a lack of manpower and antiquated strategies. As a result, a majority of their Co-op and Market Development Funds go directly into trade shows, direct advertising (such as print and radio), and other analog marketing strategies. Vendors should STRONGLY consider using their channel marketing budget in a more progressive manner by providing the funds to more digital technologies and strategies.
5. I will pay attention to partner feedback
Partner retention is, in our opinion, the most overlooked key metric in the channel. Unhappy partners translates into an increase in partner sign-offs. Whether it be feedback on your products, partner portal, or even email response times, vendors should make partner satisfaction their number one priority.
So there you have it, our top 5 list of channel management resolutions for vendors to adopt. What are your vendor plans for the new year? Let us know in the comments.