Partners Can Bolt Faster Than You Think
Partners Can Bolt Faster Than You Think

In 2012, it’s become clear that channel marketing is becoming an increasingly complex and competitive business. New technologies and marketing strategies ranging from social media to the cloud are changing the landscape very quickly.

This means that companies are going to have to focus on keeping their channel partners even happier than before. You can’t take your partner relationships for granted at all any more.

That’s why I thought I’d take some time to talk about best practices in channel marketing that are the most important in this environment. Companies that stick to these best practices are more likely to survive the sea change that is going through our industry than those that don’t.

Stop The Hype!

We used to spend a lot of time and effort hyping ourselves up and screaming about how much value we can bring to the partnership. These days companies are very wary of hype, so try to tone down your sales message to make it more credible.

Trust is Your Most Important Asset

No matter what industry you are in, you have a lot of competition. And, all of you are probably trying to offer the best deals to your existing and potential channel partners. The main reason why a company will choose your company for a channel partnership is that they trust you. So, always be honest and as transparent as possible during your interactions with your partners.

Help Your Partners Out When They Have Problems

Challenging problems come up in business each and every day. Whether it’s a product launch or a new marketing campaign, your channel partners are going to face tasks that are daunting. If you can help them with those tasks or even take over some of them completely, you’ll be the channel partner they want to keep working with.

Be Open With Your Channel Partners

Don’t try to hold back corporate secrets unless you have to. Instead, share your strategies and tactics with them. Let them know how you are going to be innovating this year, and share your best ideas with them. This builds value into the channel partner relationship.

Make it Easy for Your Channel Partners to Work With You

Simplify your fulfillment process as much as possible. Do so in a way that benefits them and not you. The easier you make it for them to work with you, the less likely they are to choose someone else. (I had a whole post just on this at 7 Things To Make It Easier For Partners To Work With You)

Make Sure You Are Providing Accurate Sales Quotes

Companies need to know exactly how much it’s going to cost them when they work with you. This is how they can set up their pricing structure into the future. Make your price quotes as accurate as possible so that they are prepared for the expense.

Make Customized Products Available

People are looking for more and more choices when they buy. Standardized purchases are becoming less and less attractive. Try to be flexible enough with your product offerings that your channel partners can easily fulfill custom orders.

Use Analytics (daily) to Monitor the Success of Marketing Efforts

With the advent of social media and other cutting edge marketing technologies, you can evaluate a marketing effort on a constant basis instead of looking at results every 90 days. Keep track of how different marketing efforts are benefiting both you and your channel partner on a regular basis, and use the numbers to alter your efforts so that they provide the most value to your partners.

What else would you add to the list?