In many cases companies spend the majority of their resources on larger channel partners as they often have the reach and bandwidth to sustain a large volume of sales. While this may be true, there is a major opportunity in focusing on your small to mid-sized partners. In many cases these types of companies will make up the majority of your channel community. Focusing a larger amount of resources toward these partners can help to engage them, allowing you to maximize your channel revenue.
Appropriating Market Development Funds
Smaller partners are often the ones with the biggest challenges when it comes to sales and marketing budget. This makes it all the more important to infuse MDFs into their organization. These funds should be earmarked for specific marketing campaigns. You may even go as far as requiring or recommending that they work with specific outsourcing partners. This will ensure that your MDFs do not go to waste and they are spent in a manner you see fit. Additionally, one of the primary reasons smaller channel partners do not acquire MDFs is because of a difficult or lengthy application process. Making it easier for them to obtain funds and giving clear direction regarding how to spend them will ease the burden on your smaller partners and encourage them to push your products.
Providing Sales Training
No one knows more about your products than you do. Educating your channel partners about your offerings and providing direction on the features, benefits, best practices and differentiators that help to sell them is essential to maximize channel relationships. Simply providing sales materials and scripting for telephone outreach may not be enough. Whenever possible you should consider going onsite to provide live training. This creates an immersive experience that allows for a group forum to discuss questions and concerns. These visits can also help to build excitement around your products and encourage a greater focus on them.
Sharing Marketing Assets
There are a wide variety of marketing assets that you can provide your channel partners. Smaller companies often lack the bandwidth to develop content. Providing blog articles, social media posts, infographics, emails, videos, whitepapers, eBooks and case studies can greatly enhance their marketing efforts. When it comes to distribution there are several platforms available that will allow your partners to leverage your social reach and vice versa. This helps to build credibility for your partners and increase your overall reach online. Sharing knowledge from a strategic perspective is important as well. Insights regarding social media and blog posting frequency, successful marketing channels and other campaign details can help your partners to become more organized and efficient. This is critical for companies with smaller infrastructure.