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“If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.” Likely you’re familiar with the old saying. You can relate it to teaching someone a skill. Or, if you want to really hook partners and results, you can learn from Sage, the global market leader in cloud business management solutions. They’re teaching partners to self-serve in their partner portal.  For suppliers with a large and complex partner base, helping partners learn to help themselves isn’t just ideal — it’s crucial.

 

Reeling in Results

We see a lot of different ways of managing channel programs here, as you might imagine. When you have over 80% of channel chiefs using your product, you become aware that there are a million ways to run a successful partner program. There are so many good ways to support your partners, but Sage’s method is pulling in exceptional results.

During a recent Zift Customer Strategy Session, where Zift customers gather to share what makes their specific campaigns and initiatives sink or swim, we learned about Sage’s take on partner enablement. Capping off a day packed full of channel knowledge, Sage North America Partner Marketing Director Kerstin Demko gave us a deep dive into how Sage supports their partners by empowering them to do more on their own.  

 

Letting Partners Cast the Line

Demko asked, “How do we teach them to be better partners? How do we give them the tools to be great fishermen, so they can help themselves for a lifetime?”

Helping partners drive their pipeline through the channel in a way that also allows partners to learn and grow, not just accepting help, but actively nurturing their own growth as marketers, is an end-goal worth striving for. When your partners touch as many different industries as Sage’s do, it’s easiest to nurture growth enabled by the program and fostered by partners themselves as opposed to using a more concierge-based approach (though that, of course, can be successful as well). It all depends on what works with your specific blend of partners and industry standards.

 

Small Fish in a Big Pond
Nurturing and teaching smaller partners, who are busy themselves, is a key point for Demko. Helping and even prioritizing partners who don’t have a marketing department or many resources outside of Sage’s offerings is vital for their program. If you’re asking a small business to help you drive revenue, you’ve got to reach out a hand and make it easy for them to help themselves. You’ve got to teach them to fish.

Watch Demko talk priorities and fishing poles in this great new video from our Channel Visions series. Then, drop us a line to let us know your thoughts. We’d love to hear from you — Does your channel program tend to align with Sage’s — or do you feel like you’re constantly baiting the hook for partners or casting a hook with no bites?