Channel partners are becoming more diverse with each passing day. The rise of new channel partners, combined with traditional third-party partners, has created a massive opportunity for global organizations, according to Forrester.
Understanding your place in changing business landscapes and partnerships means answering key questions, like which third-party partners most appeal to your customer base and which best represent your products and services. When nurtured, your channel partnerships can help you capture opportunities and sales while increasing customer loyalty and revenue.
When evaluating your channel partner program, consider the following best practices to heighten your success.
Engage channel partners
Your channel partners bear a lot of influence on the success of your business. To make the most of the opportunity, you need to engage your partners from the start. Empower them to generate quick results by training them on your products and services, and sustain that momentum with continued learning.
Your channel partners are not your employees, however, and learning and development may not be mandatory to them. By building effective, helpful and targeted L&D, you can encourage them to see the value of your partnership and the organization as a whole.
For example, your channel partners may not need your standard internal training, featuring full organization charts and operational workflows. But, they do need to know your products inside and out, as well as your target customer personas and their pain points. Seeing as your partners are often on the go and may need refreshers, create an online learning platform that can be accessed anytime, anywhere.
Your partners need to represent your products and services to the highest degree, enhancing your reputation as an organization. Remember that this is their field of expertise; they know better than anyone what tools they need to achieve this.
By tracking learner activity in your LMS, you can determine which courses learners prefer and reference repeatedly over time. This will help you identify courses that might be redundant or less helpful and expand on areas of interest or limited information.
Set benchmarks applicable to your business, allowing you to evaluate your organization's goals down the line. For example, your LMS can track learning engagement and performance, such as when, how and who visits certain pages and how well they are mastering and retaining their training.
Additionally, you can track comparative performance measures across different types of content or measure how user-friendly your LMS is from the learner's point of view. By doing this, you can more effectively evaluate your channel partnerships while continually providing the best tools for them to achieve their goals.
Be an active partner
There's no doubt global channel partner network programs are essential to your organization—but you can't just implement them and walk away. You need to continually evaluate and foster the relationship to keep your organization and your channel partners competitive.
Your channel partners can make or break your business. By engaging these best practices, you'll be well on your way to reaping the benefits of an involved and successful channel partner program.