We’ve all heard the phrase, there’s always room for improvement. This phrase couldn’t be truer in relation to business strategy, or more specifically, the channel sales and sales channel strategy.
With business and sales trends constantly changing, it is beneficial for your business to have a flexible business strategy that can easily be adapted to trends as they change. With a flexible business strategy, you will be able to embrace and anticipate changes that can be viewed as opportunities instead of problems. And, when this happens, the results will amaze you and leave your competition where they need to be – trailing you!
Utilizing partner relationship management (PRM) software will greatly support the optimization your channel sales and partner program requires.
Here are a few ways you can make use of a PRM portal to optimize your strategies.
#1 Give your channel partners knowledge boosts with training and certification
An integral part of dominating your market is having high performing channel partners. To achieve your desired results, channel partners need to be knowledgeable and have the ability to easily adapt and adopt to change.
Ongoing training and certifications will help mold your channel partners to be best-in-class partners within your given industry. And certifications will help prove their worth!
Using the learning management solution (LMS) module on a PRM portal enables user management teams to implement custom time-based training. An LMS lets you deliver customized course materials, exams and certificates for partners to meet program requirements. From onboarding to product and sales training to updates on the latest release, your partners will be up to speed in no time.
An LMS can be used to:
- Boost partner skills
- Test & certify
- Track & report
For example, you may want channel partners to go through annual training in order to update them on trends that they will see in the coming year. Annual training like this can help prepare your partners to take on another year selling for the company. This can also be a step included in your partner program, all channel partners must go through an annual training process and certification renewal.
Not a bad idea to keep your partners up to date. Right?
#2 Provide collateral and resources to Channel Partners
Access to collateral and resources is a huge contributor to the on-going knowledge growth for channel partners and should be a part of your partner program.
Document & content management can be used to:
- Provide information on demand
- Effective & dynamic communication with partners
- Encourage & support easier connection & engagement
Content management technology provides you with the capability to publish and share rich-content posts for knowledge bases, blogs, FAQs, wikis, support/help articles, announcements and more. Your partners and channel teams can help themselves with searchable information on-demand.
With access to self-serve support resources, FAQs or expert opinions, everyone can find the information they need, answer questions, solve problems and make decisions faster. Communicate with all partners or specific groups through announcements and blogs.
To take collateral and resources a step further, PRM portals also offer channel partners the convenience of playbooks. Playbooks allow you to easily create collections of marketing and sales resources for your channel partners. These assets are easily accessible and can be leveraged during the sales cycles to close deals. Resources can range from brochures to proposals to knowledge articles.
Portal users can create custom playbooks that can be made up of any document type resource within the portal. And, as a bonus, collateral can be co-branded, so your channel partners can really be and appear in the know!
#3 Share ideas and adapt to change with collaboration
Collaboration is important within any business. In fact, implementing an open discussion amongst teams creates a highly productive environment.
Within a PRM portal, multiple discussion forums or newsfeeds can be created to help categorize the various topics being discussed by users. This is beneficial because it not only optimizes your collaboration process, but it also organizes business thoughts and ideas that can then be transformed into business strategy and become part of your partner program.
#4 Onboard new channel partners efficiently
Efficiency contributes to the organization and time spent working on tasks within your business. By optimizing your onboarding process, channel partners can onboard quickly and efficiently. Getting new channel partners up to speed will not only free up your time, but it will also give your new talent the opportunity to reach for sales quicker.
The solution to optimizing your onboarding process to be more efficient can be found within a PRM portal. A quick form to fill out, and your partners will automatically be activated or can be controlled by your own approval process. Once registered, the onboarding process begins!
With all the different modules and features of a PRM portal, including the ones mentioned previously, new channel partners are given capabilities to navigate throughout the portal and undergo a custom onboarding process. With available resources, channel partners can quickly get up to speed and be ready to generate sales!
There’s always room for improvement!
Take a step back and assess your current channel sales and sales channel strategy. Where can it be improved? What areas of your strategy need immediate attention? How can you improve your strategies? What tools do you need for improvement? All of these are good questions that should be asked regularly.
Optimizing your strategies will help your company adapt to business strategies and create a business that becomes a force to reckon with!
Let progress begin!
Are You Using These 3 Best Practices to Build a Smarter Channel Sales Program? Access the webinar
! (Ft. Forrester guest speaker, Principal Analyst, Jay McBain)
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