Your Channel Program isn’t the Field of Dreams
Forget ‘If you build it, they will come.’ It simply isn’t true.
We’ve talked before about the importance of a strong recruitment process. But the process of getting resellers to become your partner (or to get them to see more of your products, in the case of an existing partner) starts long before they even know you exist.
In a recent 2016 Media Survey, by The Channel Company, 86% of solution providers plan to add either a new technology from an existing supplier or a new vendor relationship in 2016. With the year almost half over, what are you doing to help bring prospective partners to you?
The Channel Company points to 3 stages in this process. Stage 1 is Awareness, where a solution provider has an overwhelming number of technologies and companies to choose from. Recruiting starts with the same fundamentals used for consumer acquisition including brand building where your prospective partners are.
Stage 2 is Consideration. This is when a prospective partner begins to narrow down their decision to a specific product, service or supplier. Here, offering educational content through white papers, webcasts and more is critical to getting their attention.
Finally, stage 3 is the Decision Stage. When a prospective partner is trying to decide if you are the right supplier to help them reach their goals of more customers and greater revenue, it is critical to demonstrate your commitment to the channel and the value you can deliver.
You may have a well-oiled channel program in place with a strong partner portal, but if the prospective partner never gets a sense of what’s behind the curtain, you may never have a chance to show them. Once a prospective partner gets to your site, how do you welcome them, and give them confidence that you’re a program worth considering?
Partners want to work with companies that are easy to deal with, and the way you showcase your program on your website is that first impression of your channel program.
In our previous post, How to Ramp Up More Partners Faster, we talked about how to make sure your website guides potential partners through the process of exploring your partnership opportunity and then signing up, and it’s worth repeating. Look at your site through the eyes of a re-seller:
- Is it simple to learn more about becoming a partner?
- When a prospect lands on the Partners page, does it concisely and persuasively present the reasons they should work with you?
- Will a potential partner hear back instantly if they complete your form indicating an interest?
- Does completing your intake questionnaire require a major time investment?
Here’s a great example of a strong partner page from Security Innovation:
With Channeltivity, you can streamline the information gathering process with a fully customizable form. An email gets immediately sent to whomever you’ve assigned as a contact for new prospects, and a lead gets created in Channeltivity. You have an easy way to manage the pipeline and the prospective partner gets the benefit of a seamless experience that reflects well on a future partnership.
Over 170,000 solution providers have a choice as to what to sell every day. From the moment they see your brand, make sure they see a channel program worth their time.
How to Ramp up More Partners Faster, Pt. 2
Partner Relationship Management (PRM) Definition?