Channel partner management is all about aligning products, sales and marketing to create a strong channel community that drives business, delights customers and provides value to all parties. Channel partners can be a tremendous asset, enabling your company to reach niche markets while acting as an extension of your internal sales team. This relationship only works when each aspect is aligned and partners receive the support needed to make sales.
This involves determining which products best fit your individual channel partners. This can be determined by looking at company size, geographic location, complementary products, current marketing reach and a myriad of other factors. Ensuring your partners are selling the appropriate product will ensure their experience and value adds match up and provide the best chance for success.
Sales alignment involves both direct and channel marketers collaborating to determine which products should be used in the channel and which ones should remain in house. Additionally, they will need to collaborate on setting expectations for sales through the channel and how to increase deal size. Much of this will be determined by establishing the ROI expected from your channel partner relationships on a company by company basis.
Marketing alignment is all about giving your channel partners the tools and materials needed to drive sales. This can involve providing training, content, strategy, MDFs and even directing them to the right outsourcing partners. Bandwidth can be a major issue, especially for smaller partners. Even if your partner has a skilled sales and marketing team, in order to maximize their value, they will need your support.