Low confidence can chip away at your channel partners’ sales performance, and the result is one that will probably be a drain to your bottom line. As the late football great Vince Lombardi once said, “Confidence is contagious and so is lack of confidence, and a customer will recognize both.” So, how do you boost partners’ confidence and improve channel sales performance? Glad you asked.
Sales is a tough business, and not for the weak or faint of heart. Rejection is a common aspect of sales, and salespersons have to have thick skin and an attitude of perseverance that screams “DO OR DIE!” every time they don’t get a sale or a conversion. Sales is just one of those careers where confidence is mandatory if you want to achieve any type of success. For real though, high sales performance and low confidence just do not mix.
So, the performance of your sales channel partners rests in your hands. Either you can set them up for success and watch the coins roll in, or you can let the cards fall where they may and risk a loss in revenue. Either way, the ball is in your court to help improve channel sales performance.
And because we’re all in this together, and we want you to have a sales channel full of rock stars, we’ve rounded up the best tips and techniques to keep your sales channel partner performance flying high and knocking it out of the park.
Build a strong culture of collaboration and support
- Although building your company culture takes time, fostering a culture rich with collaboration and support is the quickest way to give your sales team a much-needed boost in morale. You want your channel partners to like working with you, right? A strong culture in your sales channels will yield higher performance, greater job satisfaction, and less overall stress. Channel partners also need to understand that they are not alone in the channel and can turn to you for any necessary support.
Provide a safe and open forum to give and receive feedback
- You need a way to gauge the pulse of your channel partners. Having an open forum not only builds morale in your team but will lead to higher satisfaction. Channel partners want to know that they are being heard. And they also want feedback on what they are doing well in addition to receiving opportunities for improvement.
Implement an incentive rewards program
- Nothing like a little friendly competition to help keep your channel partners motivated and engaged. Bragging rights are always good for the (sales) soul.
- Make sure the program you implement is not overly complex. Otherwise, your channel partners will think it is not worth the trouble to participate. Then you are totally defeating the process.
- Although cash is king, you can up the ante by letting channel partners choose their rewards. Or offer a range of rewards that your partners can choose from. This makes it easier for you because you do not have to waste valuable time deciding which incentives will make everyone happy. And don’t slack on the rewards. Throw in some A-list rewards (a trip to paradise, anyone?) to get your channel partners highly motivated.
Automate sales processes
- With all the amazing digital tools on the market, it makes no sense to have your sales team and your partners’ team scraping the bottom of the digital barrel. Invest in SaaS tools, such as a CRM or a partner portal, to prevent your sales team and partners from time-wasting manual processes. The time you save will equate to more leads, and ultimately, more conversions. You already know what that means – more money in the bank for your business.
Set long- and short-term goals…and targets
- Channel partners keep their eye homed in on the prize, so you probably went into the partnership with clear goals aligned with your business objectives. However, if your channel partners have reached a performance plateau, throw some targets in the mix to inject a burst of motivation.
- Rule of thumb: Remember, your channel partners are not your employees, they are your partners. And KPIs for channel partners will not be the same goals you set for your in-house sales team.