When talking with channel managers, we find there are certain features of Channeltivity that are new to them and their channel program. Creating a Channel Partner Community is one of those areas, so we wanted to take a step back and talk about what they are and how they can be added to a channel strategy to strengthen relationships.
A channel partner community is the group of vendors, manufacturers, value-added resellers (VARs), distributors, managed services providers, and/or systems integrators involved with selling a product, service or technology. It also includes the tools and resources necessary to ensure this group functions effectively.
A strong partner community fosters collaboration and provides benefits for all members. It allows them to:
- easily make connections with each other
- share knowledge and ideas about effective sales and marketing strategies
- facilitate more effective co-marketing initiatives and better marketing development funds ROI
- ask and answer product questions and facilitate communication between developers and channel partners
- disseminate and access materials and resources necessary to market and sell successfully
- avoid friction in the deal process by enabling transparency and mutual access to respective systems of record like CRM or PRM.
A channel partner community doesn’t arise on its own, and the vendor or manufacturer is in the best position to foster it – and has plenty to gain from doing so:
- Enhanced competitive edge thanks to knowledge-sharing between partners across companies, organizations and geographies
- Improved ROI that comes from the efficiency of a single system of record, allowing streamlined business processes, enhanced communication and faster business decisions
- Better reporting and forecasting due to shared data across companies
- Capability to support sales reps, wherever they are, with the right information at the right time – most recent account activity, purchase history, or the latest product and pricing information.
- Ability to engage with partners in a timely, personalized manner and equip them to more effectively address prospects’ pain points