In a recent poll, that we conducted with 156 Channel Sales VPs, over 45% of the respondents defined their channel enablement as the existence of a certification program.  This is certainly one aspect of channel enablement but a complete enablement program contains many other elements.  Here is a list for reference:

 

 

Process Support

  • Lead generation assistance
  • Lead registration
  • Defined Sales process steps for the product you sell
  • Technical and functional inquiry support
  • RFP response support
  • Legal support
  • Integrated POS/Inventory management

 

Knowledge Management

  • Certification programs
  • Portals for product collateral and enablement content
  • Integrated price promotion and notification
  • Push-based product updates and news
  • Trigger event content for use in generating demand
  • Upsell/Cross-sell recommendations

 

Performance Feedback

  • Real time sales performance via dashboards and reports
  • MDF usage and results
  • Peer comparison within the partner sales force
  • Peer comparison (stack ranking) across vendor partner base
  • Price promotion leverage and results
  • Certification status and progress

 

Let’s dig in to one aspect – enablement content.  Your partners need certain sales collateral and tools to effectively sell your solutions.  You should take an inventory of your current enablement content and determine the gaps. The important take away here is that you should consider all enablement content within the context of what a buyer needs along their journey to purchase. 

 

Once you have your enablement content in order, consider using tools like Zift Solutions to automatically co-brand and distribute your customer-facing sales collateral through the channel.  If you accomplish the above, you have surpassed best practice and are on your way to world class

 

Take a few moments to assess your enablement content.  How did you measure up?

 

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