channel-development-tips-planning-pays-off

CHANNEL DEVELOPMENT TIPS: PLANNING PAYS OFF

Most businesses expect the same amount of closed deals from channel sales, inside sales and field sales. However, it’s unlikely that they will invest as much time and effort into channel partner management as they will in their direct sales teams. Thinking of channel development: you know that a steady customer acquisition process is improbable without a structured partner management program.

Even if your business has no dedicated strategy to channel management, here are some tips that will help you set up and execute an effective channel-sales program.

Think about channel-specific goals. Ideally, you will establish a sales pipeline growth matrix for each individual partner and get that aligned with them. What is more, start by learning what their sales goals are. The bottom line is, you need a clear idea of what sales expectations you can have for revenue from that channel and then all channels in the program. It seems logical, but talking about partnership and customer awareness does not substitute explicit conversations about sales expectations per channel.

Before you set your channel goals, you need to know the size of your channels. Do your math: how many prospects you are talking about, how big they are and what kind of revenue can each one yield via this channel. Check for yourself, what kind of ROI will be the result if 10% of these prospects would sign up, and 20%?

Even if you get no significant sales impact straight away, you cannot drive sales without a clear, month-to-month expectation for activity: leads, sales & revenue growth. You should aim at ligning up your indicator metrics in order to judge your success rate in the first couple of months and after. So, how do you think you can quantify your progress? Would you be tracking digital marketing success or leads via a particular partner?

Enable your partners to communicate your value proposition. They will be accelerate sales growth with the right tools and information. This means you need to create sales collaterals, facilitate messaging platforms, provide e-mail samples and other marketing copy, access to case studies, etc.

You may like to enhance your partnership in the early days. In addition to setting up a clear compensation model for the referring channels, you may like to consider using your partner’s services. If you agree to use their help against payment in the first months to create awareness and send leads and business your way, this will set the tone for productive and loyal collaboration. With time, you will only pay for closed deals, but you can provoke enthusiasm in your partners by letting them earn more in the beginning and then again – when a channel-generated deal is closed.


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