Start Fresh with your Channel Partners: 3 Tips for Sustaining Partner Loyalty

January 23, 2015 Perks WW Channel

channel partner loyaltyDid you know over $500 billion of IT products alone are sold through North American channel partners according to a study conducted by Channel Insider and Motorola Enterprise Mobility Solutions? This includes: solution providers, managed service providers, systems integrators, custom system builders, ISVS, and VARS.

It is no surprise that the vendor-channel partner dynamic is becoming increasingly more significant, if not essential, in regard to maintaining healthy and sustainable partner relationships to promote increased sales and sale volume.

According to the same study, on average, channel partners sign on with 2-3 vendor programs per year, and more than 50 percent of the time they end up regretting their vendor selection. Not so encouraging, right?

This begs the question: What kind of relationship do you have with your channel partners?

Or, do you even know where you stand? There’s a chilling thought-especially when your company revenue, image, and ultimate success are on the line.

According to the same study, it takes approximately one year to build an established partner solution relationship that shows real fiscal benefits. So in those crucial first 12 months, what steps are you taking as a company stakeholder to ensure partner loyalty? Similarly, if you have been with your channel partner for over a year, what steps are you taking to maintain that relationship?

Loyalty and sustainability are key elements in vendor-channel partner relations; without them your company would see high partner turnover and create an inconsistency in consumer perception. Essentially, you make quality products and services, and your partners make you look good; there’s a great deal of power and influence in that kind of partnership.

Here are 3 tips we recommend for sustaining your channel partner relationships:

1) Marketing Matters

Before selecting your next channel partner, remember to implement high-level, targeted channel marketing efforts that deliver. Keep in mind that targeting specific types of audiences will determine the type of channel partners you attract. If you want the big names that have a more loyal reputation, you will need to map out how you can reach the associated stakeholders.

 2) Channel Incentive Programs Build Loyalty

Consider implementing a Channel Incentive Program. Create a customized online platform where your channel partners’ employees can reach predefined promotional goals and earn points redeemable for an array of rewards in the process, giving them an incentive to stick with you and motivate sales at the same time. It’s a win-win.

3) Why Should Partners Choose You?

Be the petal on a rose of thorns. Less poetically speaking: stand out! It’s the oldest rule in the book when it comes to selling yourself. How will you stand out among competitors? Do you believe in your products and services? If so, make sure this is visible to your potential partners. There is nothing wrong with confidence in what you are selling- let them know that you are, indeed, the best. Odds are when you have faith in your products, so does your partner.

 

Tell us, what kind of relationship do you want to build with your new or existing channel partners and how do you plan on doing so?

About the Author

Perks WW Channel

Perks WW Channel provides services and software to help you engage your B2B and indirect channel partners to improve sales effectiveness. With a listing on the Salesforce AppExchange and a global user base exceeding 9.25 million users, Perks WW Channel takes the guesswork out of channel incentives and loyalty programs. Our solutions empower leading global enterprises with the sales and marketing programs they need to produce a competitive advantage through their indirect sales channels. The available solution set encompasses the three most critical areas to optimize indirect channel performance: marketing enablement, incentive management and global managed services. We provide these services to some of the most influential companies in the world, all backed and supported by years of expertise and our Science of Motivation™ methodology.

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