Top 4 Keys to Having A Revenue-Focused Channel Strategy
According to the first annual Channel/Partner Marketing Benchmark Survey conducted by Demand Gen Report and Channel Marketer Report, more than 90% of company executives and channel leaders expect to increase revenue directly attributed to their partner ecosystems this year.
Through 15+ years of experience helping companies optimize their partner networks, I have found that there are 4 key components to ensuring your channel strategy is revenue focused.
1. Pick your partners carefully.
A solid channel strategy is based on quality not quantity. And while you can have a tiered approach to partners, you should ensure you have a partner recruitment strategy that is based on analysis and alignment, not volume. Adopting a scorecard approach to evaluating partners will allow you to understand the pros and cons of each partner and identify those that are most aligned to your revenue strategy. Keep in mind that every partner has strengths and weaknesses, but what you need to evaluate is how each play to the former and improve upon the latter.
2. Nurture your channel relationships.
Many companies simply don’t invest enough in their partners, and they tend to get back what they put in. Adopt a “partner first” attitude internally, just as you would a “customer first” attitude externally. Set up regular forums to update your partners on channel progress and collect their feedback on obstacles that need to be cleared. Offer plenty of opportunities for partners to learn from each other and build institutional best practices, too. We use a concierge-style approach for our clients that provides their partners with always-on resources to answer questions, equips them with branded content and enablement materials and helps them leverage partner funding in the best ways.
3. Provide technology support.
Marketing technology, or martech, has become extremely sophisticated, and it is continuously evolving. To compete in the digital marketplace, partners need to be able to identify qualified prospects to target and deliver thoughtful content that effectively communicates the value proposition of the offering. This may be difficult for partners to execute, especially if they don’t have a modern sales and marketing tech stack. We’ve found that our clients with strong partner programs provide their partners with access to the latest data, technologies and insights to support their go-to-market approach. Many of our clients leverage AI and machine learning to accelerate opportunities, providing partners with access to full prospect and client history, next-best offer recommendations and optimized messaging optimize based on predictive analysis.
4. Keep your partners connected.
A foundational component to any successful relationship is good communication – this is no different for your channel partners. Offer them educational opportunities like webinars and sales enablement materials, like playbooks and battlecards they can access instantly and share across their teams. Think beyond product information to things like guidance on social selling. Then provide them with opportunities to give feedback and input into your programs and be prepared to implement changes, when appropriate.
Elevate Revenue with Stellar Channel Partner Collaboration
As the global market continues to grow, so too will the importance of partners to help you maximize your coverage. If you’ve found this blog helpful, you may also benefit from our channel enablement infographic which provides insights into enabling your partners effectively. Download it here.