Redefine the success of your company – become a motivational guru!
“Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities!”– Positive thinker Norman Vincent Peale
The same holds true for your products. One of the main motivators for your channel partners is having a product to sell that they can really get behind. The burden of proof lies with you. Continue to review your unique selling points. Are your products marketable? What distinguishes them from the competition?
If you believe in your product, so will your partners. A positive attitude is absolutely infectious.
“Tiny changes mean huge results.” – Motivational speaker Tony Robbins
Part of your channel strategy should be making it easy to do business with you. And that means from the very start. Create a partner portal that is as intuitive as it is attractive. Use partner relationship management software to automate your internal processes so that you can keep track of your partner’s status and results. That way, you can quickly react to changes in their buying habits and then help them fine-tune their sales efforts, or follow their advancement in training and certification so that you can spot any knowledge gaps.
Make it easy for your resellers to pitch your products and lock down sales. For instance, our software takes a modular approach so that we can easily offer customized solutions and prices, such as the software we designed for HPE EMEA’s Engage & Grow Incentive Program.
“Relationships, like cars, should undergo regular services to make sure they are still roadworthy.”
Polish sociologist Zygmunt Bauman
Just as in personal relationships, business relationships require constant nurturing. That holds even truer for the long-distance relationships of vendors and resellers. Keep your promises and deliver on schedule. Invest time in your relationship and boost morale by going with your partner to visit their end customers and sub-dealers.
Protect your relationships from price penetration. It is not unthinkable that one of your partners might try to squeeze out your other resellers by dropping prices. When these bad eggs cut prices, they bring down the standing of your brand among your partners, and create internal competition and upheaval for your company. Don’t agonize over what to do. Take immediate action.
“It is quality rather than quantity that matters.” – Roman philosopher Lucius Annaeus Seneca
You might want to consider rethinking your channel marketing strategy and limiting your number of partners so that you can invest more in the ones you have. Think of each of your channel relationships as a strategic investment. Having too many partners could spread your support budget and sales staff too thin. Rather than spending money on advertising, invest in training and rewarding a smaller number of channel partners. The productivity of your channel is directly proportionate to the amount of effort you are able to invest.
“A goal is a dream with a deadline.” – Self-help author Napoleon Hill
As a channel business, it is your job to set defined targets and then communicate them to your channel partners. That said, always bear in mind that your channel partner isn’t your employee. He is an entrepreneur. Sure, it is in his interest to make sales, but his main target – overall turnover – isn’t dependent on your product alone.
One way to motivate channel resellers to promote your products is using a traditional partner loyalty program and monetary benefits. Cautionary note: Be sure to offer these benefits only to the best-performing resellers. Without any competition, there is no special benefit.
We’d like to alert you to a new incentive for channel marketing on the horizon. We expect channel businesses to begin introducing the fun factor of gamification to their partner portals.
“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” – Inventor Thomas Edison
In parting, be persistent, be motivational and never give up. You can do it!