According to Forbes, 70% of global revenue is traveling through third-party channels. How much time, energy and resources are you devoting to managing your customers’ buying journey through the channel? When customers want to buy from a direct salesperson or partner, the seller must be able to create a connection with the buyer. But learning to foster that connection takes more than the time it takes to get a partner’s program up to speed. Orchestrating that journey through your partners requires enablement — not just onboarding. I’m talking about the enablement that helps partners build traction with buyers at the right time and ultimately learn to excite customers.  

Excitement is infectious. Excited partners selling to customers make for excited customers. There is another factor at play here, though.

The highest performing salespeople generally have one trait in common: a high EQ. Yes, you read that right — not IQ, but EQ, which stands for Emotional Quotient. Having a high Emotional Quotient measures Emotional Intelligence, which plays a key role in understanding the importance of fostering good relationships with customers. 

In fact, Emotional Intelligence and emotional agility are essential to professional and personal success. Brownwyn Hoffmann, a Fortune 500 Consultant & Executive Coach, shared this knowledge with several hundred leaders at the 2019 Women of the Channel East event in NYC.  

How can you nurture these sales powerhouses and match their EQ with excitement for selling your products? 

Carefully nurturing your connections is a great place to start. Enabling partners is not just a best practice we recommend for any channel program. It’s something that is vital to channel health to keep those high performers going strong. Keeping them updated on business and market-valued competencies gives partners a reason to keep coming back, and not focusing on other vendors. Train them on not only your products and business objectives but also competitive differentiators. This will really give them an edge when making a sale. 

Think of enablement as connecting through videos or training in your portal. It might be time to reinvent the content and timing of your to-partner communications.  What about offer campaigns with calls to action that will excite buyers to connect with your partners? Maybe it’s time to reevaluate the messaging and clarify the problems your solution solves uniquely and offer your partners training on how to refresh their pitch. 

Enablement is more than an activity. It’s an approach to creating mutual success. 

I hope that 2020 is the year where your channel relationships help your business to soar!