Channel partners can be vital assets for any organization. They extend a business’ reach in the marketplace and provide more opportunities to market and sell products. But in order for a channel partner to perform at pique efficiency, a company must provide these partners with the necessary content and tools.
In other words, it’s crucial to have a channel enablement process in place that will equip your partners with the resources they need to make the sale—and, in turn, help you make your number.
As such, if your channel partners are underperforming, before looking for potential flaws in their execution, first check to see if your plan for them is underdeveloped or misguided. In particular, the Product, Marketing, and Sales teams should lead this process to be sure their strategies are water tight.
Here’s how each of these departments can most effectively enable channel partners to get the job done. It’s crucial to have a channel enablement process in place.
Create a Strong Product Message
If the market isn’t seriously considering your product, you may have to develop a clearer and stronger product message. This involves revisiting your Product Strategy to create a compelling message that will communicate the true value of your product. This message will also make it clear why someone should buy your product compared to your competitor’s solution.
After all, you can’t expect buyers to determine the value of your product. And if you make them work to figure it out, they’ll move on to another option in the marketplace. Be sure to compose a message that speaks to your audience’s needs and doesn’t solely promote your product.
By devising the most engaging message possible, your channel partners will have the product resources they need to get consumers’ attention and drive conversions.
Execute an Effective Marketing Strategy
If consumers aren’t eager to buy your company’s products, you may have to rework your Marketing Strategy.
With a strong Product Strategy in place, the Marketing team should be set up to convey the value proposition and market placement of the products. But many Marketing teams miss a key ingredient that top-performing organizations use to nail down their plans: deep customer insights.
Without data about your audience and target market, you could risk pointing your solutions at the wrong markets and missing your number.
By using market research to clearly define positioning statements for each product and where these products fall on the life cycle of adoption, Marketing can not only enable the Sales team but also channel partners to effectively engage prospective customers.
Align Sales Channels with Customer Demand
If Sales channels overlap in their functions, costs and customer frustration can rise rapidly. To best allocate each channel, the Sales team must be able to distinguish competitors in each channel market, how to ensure proper coverage across the channel network, and the economic model for selling through each channel.
This way, each channel partner will understand their purpose, place in the market, and ultimate goal when seeking and communicating with new customers.
Get Started Planning Your Year Now
Before your channel partners even have a chance to underperform, you can do everything possible to prepare them for the year ahead by aligning your company’s strategies. As SBI found, best-in-class companies are structuring their 2016 plans according a common process.
And we’re prepared to map this process onto your organization’s set-up for the best chance at success in the coming year. Register for the “How to Make Your Number in 2016” consultation workshop today, and we’ll arm you with the research and resources to need to beat the estimates.