Getting a New Partner Up and Running
Once new partners are registered and approved for your channel efforts, it is important to give them what they need to be successful. Here are a few steps to take in order to better insure your new partners start off in the right direction.
Your partners should understand what you expect of them in the partnership. While general partner program concepts should be made clear to them before they apply, very clear expectations are needed once you bring them onboard. For example, what is the expected timeframe for closing an initial sale? Create a solid understanding with your partners of what the expectations are so that they know how to plan and budget resources accordingly.
Have a Concrete Training Schedule
Every partner is different, but you should be able provide them with a detailed schedule to follow in order to receive the best information and training they need to be successful. Your most skilled partners, those that have more experience in your industry, may take less time than inexperienced partners to get up and running, but they all should have a schedule to follow for getting them where you want them to be.
Get Involved Early
On the first partner sale, you should be involved as much as you can. Make sure your partners are trained on handling objections and questions pertaining to your product offering. The more they know what to expect, the faster they can increase their sales and provide real value to your channel efforts.
Provide Additional Incentives
A general principle to increase early partner sales is to use incentives. For a new partner, additional incentives on the first sale or group of sales can speed up learning and training. It motivates them to move quickly through beginning stages of on-boarding and ramp up. It gets them motivated to produce immediate results. With that success, they will also be more motivated to focus on selling your product(s) vs. a competitor’s.
Once your partners have gone through training and initial sales processes, it is important that you follow up with them to get their feedback. This should happen shortly after their initial sale, so you know how to help them going forward. Ongoing communication should be part of your channel marketing practices too. As you identify roadblocks to success, work together to remove them.
Creating a good relationship, as well as a good understanding of products and processes, should be your initial focus. There are many different ways you can approach getting partners up and running. These are just a few that other channel marketers have found success with. What approach have you used that was successful in getting new partners up and running?