In the channel world, it can be a difficult task to continuously keep partners engaged and motivated to sell your product. Yet, while this can be a challenge from time to time, there are actions you can take to increase the motivation of your partners as well as your visibility into their activities.
Managing a large number of partners is a serious undertaking in and of itself. One of the easiest and most consistent ways to keep your partners engaged and motivated is to give them Marketing Development Funds (MDF) for the deals they register. Let it be known that the more deals they bring to the table, the more resources you will reciprocate with to further their future success. This practice creates a win-win for everyone: you get visibility into the partners’ pipeline and they get MDF dollars to generate more leads and, hopefully, revenue.
Another great way to motivate your partners is to give them innovative online tools that will facilitate their success. This begins with putting a partner portal in place. With an online portal, you have the ability to create an interactive environment for your partners in which they have access to content and relevant documents, a place to register deals, and the ability to request funds for different marketing activities. Having all of these tools in one select area creates a channel ecosystem that partners will want to use because it drives their business and organizes their objectives. In short, if you build a portal that makes the lives of your partners easier, you’re sure to see an increase in efficiency and partner engagement.
Incorporating MDF and implementing a functional online partner portal are just some of the steps you can take to keep your channel partners engaged. Remember that at the end of the day, your partners are selling the same products as your internal sales people; chances are they are going to require a similar amount of attention and assistance. Don’t make your partners feel like they are just a back burner project and that you have greater priorities. Give them tools to be successful and stay motivated, and lead them the same way you do your internal sales team.