B2B Channel Partnerships in a Nutshell
Have you ever considered treating your b2b channel partnerships more like the relationship you share with a loved one?
There’s plenty of fish in the sea—a timeless cliché that has helped console the pain of friends and family members for generations. But even with its sunny optimism and whimsically romantic connotation, there is something brutally ironic behind this idiom’s intention: There isn’t plenty of fish in the sea.
Finding the “perfect one” doesn’t always rely on the hinges of patient positivity or buoyant personality to transpire.
It takes work.
It takes putting yourself “out there” and overcoming your fears; it takes transparent communication, even if that means feeling uncomfortable in the process; and takes gathering your predetermined (unrealistic) expectations, and throwing them out the windowsill.
As strange as it may sound, b2b channel partnerships and romantic partnerships share several commonalities. For one, it’s easy to develop a relationship with someone, but it takes a very different philosophy to develop a relationship that maintains longevity, respect (of another’s best interests) or encourages the success of third-party ventures.
After all, inside the business of b2b channel partnerships is not a congregation of cold-blooded, heartless corporate robots—it’s a place of human emotion and diverse individuals with different perspectives and monetary objectives.
1.) Don’t Tarnish B2B Channel Partnerships just because it’s Over…
You’ve exerted endless hours of time and energy into curating the perfect b2b channel partnership. You’ve developed a mutually beneficial relationship that has led to a two-way stream of success. You listened, provided adequate training, designed unique financial rewards and did everything in your company’s power to ensure the success of your channel partner. But, for one reason or another, your channel partner has decided to move on. Although at first, this can seem like a stab in the back, it’s imperative to never assume your channel partner’s motivation for leaving as negative.
Don’t take things personal by ignoring emails, “unfollowing” them on social media, talk negatively about them, or disregard the accomplishments you made together.
Maintaining a good reputation within your industry relies on the ethical standard and class in which you display during all facets of b2b channel partnerships.
After all, they might provide you with a profitable lead or consider reinstating their business with you altogether.
2.) Define The Line Between Appropriate and Invasive Communication
Sometimes realizing you’re being a nuance rather a reliable and/or actively involved channel partner is hard to differentiate.
But, you have a mouthwatering incentive program that you know can completely transform your channel partner’s motivation to accelerate sales and productivity. However, limiting your messaging to an email or phone call twice a week without a reply can be extremely frustrating. Or perhaps you unintentionally ignore your channel partners who are attempting to reach you with the same vigor.
So, how should one go about balancing communication when managing a few b2b channel partnerships?
- Actively listen to your customer, and get a feel for their attitude, which will provide a better context of the current state of the relationship.
- Outline a business plan/ market strategy before establishing an active partnership.
- Provide easy-to-navigate partner portal features that limit confusion and accelerate productivity.
- Be responsive, and they will (hopefully) do the same.
3.) Implementation of Automated Software Shouldn’t Be Used to Limit Channel Engagement
Employing a SaaS (software as a solution) or PRM (partner relationship management) provider, such as Computer Market Research, to limit personalized ‘channel’ engagement is a surefire way to coerce a once fruitful relationship, and destroy it.
Streamlining channel managerial processes and/or authorizing accurate claims via automation technology are immensely beneficial, but if these advancements are used to implement a virtual “wall,” instead of fortifying and/or optimize b2b channel activity—it’s being harnessed for the wrong purpose.
Advantages for automating channel management, include:
- Eradicating channel conflict
- Increasing partner loyalty
- Eliminating human error
- Increased productivity
- Reduce labor costs
- Limit miscommunication
- Measure channel incentive campaign effectiveness
Leverage the Power of Automation to Rid your Team of Channel Partner Ambiguity
Founded in 1984, Computer Market Research (CMR) brings years of experience into the indirect channel sales industry.
Through our state-of-the-art automated software, businesses can amplify their BB marketing efforts via a clear and concise platform that robustly and intuitively assists the managerial process of channel partnerships. From optimizing trade promotions to customizing unique program guidelines, from building effective distribution channels to establishing transparent and objective BB communication—CMR helps businesses maximize their marketing efforts with distributing partners that are built around a common goal of success. Our cost-effective SaaS application is the perfect tool for any business looking to strengthen their bond with channel partners through innovative solutions, which converts data into intelligence.