Recruit Profitable Channel Partners by Implementing Well-Defined Incentive Programs
Do opposites attract in the manufacturer-partner relationship? Probably not. When you’re searching to recruit profitable channel partners, you tend to look for synergy.
Establishing synergy means putting channel partners under the microscope of scrutiny and decrypting these essential characteristics of partnership profitability:
- Business goal alignment
- The ambition to make money
- Transparency with channel data
- Partner understands why you’re scrutinizing them before partnership
- Partner takes the time to get to know you
- Availability and openness to training
- ‘Strategic’ partnership mentality; not exclusively transactional-based
- C-level support of relationship
- Business environment tailored to manufacturer-partner relationships
- Ability to establish honest relationships with end-users
- Not threatened if you sell direct or work with competing distributors, resellers, franchisees, etc.
When smart manufacturers look to recruit profitable channel partners, they look for companies that don’t sit around and wait for deals, but rather, engage with their vendor and get behind their brand (e.g., seek training opportunities, take advantage of Co-op/MDF offered incentives, report POS/inventory data to facilitate stronger channel insight and market trends, etc.).
Recruit Profitable Channel Partners – The Value of Channel Incentive Programs
If you want to recruit profitable channel partners to sell your offering, engage in your incentive programs, and special pricing agreements have to be best-in-class. Channel partners have seen A LOT of promotions and incentive opportunities, so it is your job to not only make sure these programs are profitable, but also cognizant of partners’ objectives, roadblocks, and specific business needs.
Even the best (potential) partnerships will fail if your channel incentive programs don’t live up to their expectations. That’s why it’s imperative to view your channel programs from abroad, a 360-degree perspective that considers each and every aspect that may lead to inadequate ROI.
Why your channel incentive programs fail to produce an adequate ROI for you and channel partners:
There have been many prosperous channel partnerships only to be tanked by poorly implemented channel incentive programs. It’s critical that program implementation takes on a comprehensive, methodical approach that leaves no room for question or mystery.
How to Improve Channel Incentive ROI for you and channel partners:
Manufacturers that are in tune with the competitive and fragile nature when trying to recruit profitable channel partners realize the importance of well-defined programs. Channel partners are experts in their respective industries and functional segments. The responsibility falls on the manufacturer to enable partners with the appropriate incentives so that they can capitalize on their efforts. Confusing program parameters and cumbersome qualification processes defeat the purpose of this essential ideology.
Ultimately, successful recruitment and long-term channel partnerships stem from a mutual understanding of trust. Partners will be more than ready to invest in your business if they can be convinced you are committed to their success—and have the necessary justification to prove it. The more transparency runs through your communication and policies, the more confident partners will be to help generate revenue.