A strong channel partner training program is key to a successful channel program.
This isn’t simply a task you want to check done on and move on. Even your most seasoned partners will need key details and training on your products and solutions to be successful. It’s about creating the right content that will enable your partners to be successful, delivered in a way that they’ll be willing to use. Your reward? Loyal, effective and engaged partners that grow business for you both.
Know Your Partners and Know Your Goals
Before you begin building your training program, take a step back and ensure you have a clear understanding of your goals. You want to make your partners as successful as possible as quickly as possible. To do that, it’s critical that the training you provide best matches their needs.
Before you start creating your partner training program make sure you understand those needs and can answer these 4 questions:
- What does our partner audience look like?
- What are our channel partner training objectives?
- What do partners need to be successful with our offering?
- How will we deliver our partner training?
Walk Before You Run
Building out your partner training can feel like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be if you start with realistic expectations. Accept that you won’t be able to provide partners everything on day one. Figure out what will have the most impact and build from there. Once you determine a starting point, work until you have completed that section and roll it out to your partners. Give partners time to go through the training and then get feedback so you can improve upon future training and better meet their needs.
Remember, asking for input means listening and a willingness to apply the feedback given.
You now know what your partner audience looks like and what your training goals are for your channel program. You’re now ready to start building out your partner training.
Training Is Never Complete
Training is always a work in progress. Products and solutions are constantly changing to meet the needs of the market and competition is changing. Make sure that you anticipate these changes and factor them into your training plan. It is important to provide partners early access to information so they are prepared to address the market with the new information. Proper planning will ensure you can give your partners the things they need before they ask for it.
How Will You Deliver Your Partner Training?
We find that customers often get caught up thinking they need to invest in a Learning Management System (LMS) to deliver the training when these are often only needed when you are requiring more complex training and knowledge testing/certification. Often clearly labeling and organizing training materials in your partner portal, where your partners are already looking, is the best place to make your training program available.
Your training delivery method may also differ based on the type of training you have created. For many channel programs posting training in your partner portal is all that is needed. For example, the Channeltivity Partner Training and Certification module enables Channeltivity customers to easily create and deliver media-rich training to their partners, right from their secure portal. Some programs also hold in-person training and/or webinars.
It is likely that your program will include a hybrid approach of multiple delivery methods. Regardless of how you decide to deliver it, you must make sure it is easy for your partners to access the training they need when they need it.
For more details of how to start planning and executing an effective partner training program, download our eBook “How to Create an Effective Partner Training Program (That Partners Want to Use)”