Channel Partner Management Strategies that Grow Revenue

Channel Partner Management Strategies that Grow Revenue

Nichole Gunn

When preparing strategies to increase channel revenue, you have multiple options. You can make sales processes more efficient, promote product education, adjust pricing structures, run discount and sales promotions, or try new marketing tactics. But what about when you’ve gotten all these down to a science? How can you continue gaining market share and growing revenue? Efficient channel partner management strategies can help you save costs in sales and marketing planning and boost channel partner activity by improving their experience with you. Consider these three tactics:

Segmented Incentive Programs & Sales Promotions

A one-size-fits all approach to channel strategies is often very ineffective. If you’ve ever run a single incentive program or sales promotion with your entire sales channel as its audience, you’ve probably felt this pain. Your channel partners all have their own organizational sales goals and priorities. Maybe they don’t want to participate in your sales promotion because they just ran one with your competitor, for example.

Using sales promotion or incentive technology with partner segmenting capabilities can help you with this issue. You can segment your channel members into different groups depending on role, performance level, region, organization, or other customer qualifiers. You can then manage multiple, simultaneous sales promotions, each with their own segment-specific goals, analytics, and reports. This is a channel partner management strategy that helps you run more cost-effective incentive and sales promotions that yield greater results and ROI.

Personalization & Customized Experiences

History is likely one of the reasons your channel partners continue doing business with you. They’re familiar with you and have probably built strong, trust-based relationships with those in your organization. Poor channel partner marketing and communications can erode this good will and history, however. If they feel like a stranger when they receive generic emails or promotional materials that are irrelevant to them, it doesn’t exactly inspire those feelings of familiarity.

Personalized and customized channel partner experiences can help you connect with your channel partners on a mass scale without sacrificing familiarity and warmth. Some of the ways you can personalize and customize channel partner experiences include:

  • Use tokens in your channel marketing. With these marketing automation tools, you can swap out select email and web content with individualized information such as a channel partner’s name, organization, region, or role. This adds a touch of familiarity and relevance to your marketing.
  • Apply dynamic content to your email and website content. Many channel marketing and web content platforms even allow you to swap out links, images, and entire blocks of content based on any recipient qualifiers you choose.
  • Gather channel partner data into one source. If you use multiple different channel technology platforms for channel partner management and communication—from a CRM to a marketing automation system to an incentive program—you should be pushing all that data from various sources into one place. This should have a single, widely-available, authoritative source where you can access a complete contact profile of each channel partner.
  • Created segmented incentive program permission sets. Using organizational and hierarchy structure tools in your incentive program, you can limit program participants’ access to those area that are relevant to them. This improves and streamlines your channel partners’ incentive program experience.

With a channel partner personalization strategy, you can reach a wide distribution channel audience, without losing the voice your partners have come to trust and value.

Training Incentives

A well-trained sales channel force is a high performing one, which helps you pull ahead of your competition and grow sales revenue. But considering how much customer and product information your channel partners have to keep up with, and how quickly the human brain loses new info before it’s sufficiently retained—training can be one of the biggest challenges of channel partner management.

A flexible online training incentives platform should allow you to deliver training content that can be created and updated quickly, then delivered repeatedly in different formats, such as:

  • Long-form onboarding, process, or certification courses.
  • Quizzes featuring multimedia content.
  • Webinars in which channel partners can engage and interact with experts.
  • Daily trivia questions that bring channel partners a reason to visit your incentive program frequently.

A training incentives plan helps you identify knowledge gaps, motivate channel partners to train up and, of course, improve channel sales performance.

One of the strengths of selling through a channel is the diversity of skills, knowledge, and backgrounds they bring to your organization as resources. But that diversity becomes an obstacle when your channel isn’t properly organized and aligned with your goals. Segmented sales promotions and incentive programs, personalized marketing, customized channel partner experiences, and incentive-powered training initiatives help you improve channel partner management and position your sales for revenue growth.