In the building materials industry, the best kind of customer is a smart customer. Whether they are builders, contractors, installers, technicians, or even homeowners, smart customers know what they need, why your product fits their needs, they’re willing to pay for it, and they’re more likely to be loyal to your brand.

Educating your customers is one of the best ways to impact your sales, and your building materials channel partners can play a key role in this strategy. After all, they are the ones who work with your customers directly, and they can reach far more people every day than you can.

Most importantly, pursuing a strategy of educating your customers can result in increased brand preference and trust among your customers, because they will view you as thought leaders and industry experts. They will also view your channel partners in that same light, creating more loyalty among that critical audience.

Using a SaaS channel management solution makes it easier for you to leverage your channel network as a way to carry your education message to your customers.

What should you teach your customers with your dealer management portal?

What you need to teach your customers will depend almost entirely on your product category and your value proposition. However, there are a few general topics that will always be interesting to customers.

Your product installation and application

If you offer a building materials product that requires some sort of installation, customers will always be interested in how to install it or when and where to use it. That’s particularly true if you have a new, category-changing product, when proper installation affects performance, warranty, and ultimate customer satisfaction.

If your customers are in the skilled trades, education is also critical. Plumbers, electricians, HVAC technicians, carpenters and other trades constantly need to train new employees. If you and your partners can be a resource for that training, that helps build awareness and loyalty for your brand.

Industry trends and changes

Residential and commercial construction is complicated. Building requirements, codes, technology and methods are always changing, so customers will constantly be hungry for new, up-to-date information.

You likely have experts within your organization whose knowledge can help your customers stay up to date. Your engineers, compliance experts, customer service, and even sales and marketing teams can offer insights and information your customers can use.


This is a nearly universal concern in building and construction. Contractors, installers, and homeowners all have a vested interest in preventing accidents by ensuring proper use and installation of building materials.

When you offer safety education to your customers, you not only help prevent liability claims, you also show your genuine concern for people’s wellbeing.

How to use your dealer management portal to educate customers

Your SaaS channel management portal is an ideal tool for providing educational content through your channel. In addition, it helps you make your channel partners more effective educators themselves, helping you reach a broader audience.

Here are some strategies for leveraging this group to educate customers.

Train the trainers

Your channel partners’ sales and customer support personnel are constantly in the field, and they never know when the opportunity to educate customers – formally or informally – will present itself.

By providing ongoing training to your network through self-guided training modules, manuals or videos, you can help ensure that they’re always ready to share knowledge with the customers.

Co-branded webinars

Webinars are an effective training tool, because they’re easy for customers to use and can reach a virtually unlimited audience.

You can use your channel management portal to coordinate and develop webinars that carry both your brands, and feature subject matter experts from both entities. This is a great way to provide rich, detailed content that customers can use, while creating brand awareness and loyalty for your brand and for the companies in your network.

Training materials library

Some channel partners will have the opportunity to provide advanced, in-person training to contractors, trade school students, consumers, and other customer segments. To facilitate these opportunities, you can use your channel management portal to provide curricula, manuals, handouts, Power Point presentations and course scripts to your partners.

You can also provide digital tools, such as how-to videos, blog posts and e-books for your partner network to customize, offer on their websites or use in online education settings.

Use your dealer management portal to educate your customers

Education is one of the most under-rated forms of marketing. It provides valuable information that customers can use to make better, more informed decisions about the products they use and how they use them. It’s also an effective way to promote and sell your products to customers in a way that feels more natural and helpful, instead of aggressive and pushy.

Your channel partners are a huge resource you can leverage to reach your customers directly, individually, and at scale. And the best way to leverage that resource is through your channel management portal.


Learn more about how ZiftONE and how it can help your building material manufacturing business drive revenue and stay competitive!