Answering “Where Do I Begin?” When Starting a Channel Partner Program

start lineBuilding a channel partner program can be one of the most rewarding aspects to a business organization, with potential of driving revenues higher than with your internal sales team.  However, it can also be a nightmare without the right strategies, tools and people in place.  Here at Channeltivity we specialize in creating a PRM solution for emerging and mid-market companies, so we encounter a lot of organizations that are still putting all the pieces to the puzzle together.

Building a successful channel partner program has a lot of moving parts; it’s similar to the building of a house.  First, you need to start with drawing out a strategy; think of this as your blueprint.  You then need to make sure you have all the proper tools to build this strategy and make it a reality.  In the channel world, this would ideally be your PRM solution.  This allows you to manage, enable and engage all the key aspects of your channel process.  And lastly, you need to put the right people in place.  This starts with a channel manager, someone who is going to OWN the channel and make it their top priority.  I cannot stress this point enough.

All too often I come across a person at a company who has been given the added task of taking over the channel at their organization.  This typically leads to a failed channel experience simply because it isn’t their main focus or what they were originally brought on to do.  You need someone who is going to eat, sleep and breathe the channel.

At the end of the day, start from the ground up.  Draw out how you are going to build a successful channel, put the right tools in front of your internal and partner users to help them succeed and make someone accountable for the channel.  This is how you are going to start a successful channel experience.