Today, your partners are dealing with many different brands — meaning you need to ensure your program inspires, empowers, and stands out among the rest by evolving your partner programs accordingly. Channel partners want personalization, incentives that inspire, and overall an improved human experience. To do this, you must provide a streamlined, easily customizable platform for your partners — making sure goals and expectations are mutually understood. You must also equip them with the proper networking and data tools they may need to succeed.
Programs offering personalization by partner type and customer opportunity are replacing traditional channel programs. Traditional programs tend to lack innovation, ease-of-use, and useful data. Put yourself in the shoes of your partners and walk through your program — is it easy to navigate, understand, and make your own? Personalization doesn’t have to be convoluted — keep the program simple but still allow for easily customizable features.
If you want your program held in the same stature as IBM’s PartnerWorld, whose updated channel program adopted a framework of three specialized partner tracks — sell, build and service, you must overcome any current pain points your partners may be dealing with.
22% of global marketers consider managing their channel partners to be one of their greatest challenges.
Once upon a time, channel partners only dealt with a few brands — now they balance multiple brands, products, and services to maximize their success. This has created a greater need to keep channel partners incentivized. Your partners are an important piece of the business model that need to feel informed, inspired and motivated.
Partner programs should include multiple levels of incentives that are clearly defined, understood, and customizable. Partners want to track their progress, earn and unlock badges, and even gain certifications along the way. Incentives are meant to inspire your partners to specifically push your products and services, ultimately increasing ROI.
29 channel software vendors have CPIM solutions, driving $426 million (USD) in pure software revenue.
If a partner doesn’t start to market sell your offering within the first 90 days of recruitment, it’s highly likely that they never will.
How to Properly Incentivize Your Channel Partners
- Create customizable incentives
- Ask partners for input on incentives
- Think about long-term incentives
- Clearly lay out incentive opportunities
- Provide levels of incentives
- Identify performance-based and action-based incentives
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Enable your partners’ success with the right resources
Successful partner programs are purpose-led, valuable, and involve co-creation. Set clear goals with your partners and be sure their goals align properly with yours. The resources your partners need to succeed should be right at their fingertips, that way everybody is working in tandem for mutual success.
Programs should also allow partners to network with complementary partners to share technology and other resources. Keep program content professional, clear, and current — deliver updated tools that provide valuable insight, not useless program clutter. Partner programs must routinely evolve and shift partner expectations to remain successful.