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5 Ways to Boost Channel Partner Engagement

How healthy and active is your channel partner community? Here are some health check tips

Relayware Partner Relationship Management

5 Ways to Boost Channel Partner Engagement

As a channel marketer, how do you move beyond just providing support to your partners when they have lost their partner portal password or asking for the latest marketing? And instead focus on creating engaging experiences at every touch point that inspire your partner?

One of the most successful ways is through by fostering your active partner community. Partner communities are amazing for driving engagement, fostering loyalty, crowdsourcing innovation and ensuring great customer service.

You know that B2B high tech world sales cycles are often long, and partner churn can be a very real costly challenge. Focus on retaining existing channel partners and increasing their engagement to reduce costs and realize faster ROI.

1. Proactively Help Your Channel Partners.

Have a strong and complete FAQ section “How do I…” – reset my password, -- get certified, -- register a deal. This reduces their emails to you asking the same questions you answer over and over. Besides, they don’t want to wait on you. They want to move as fast as possible, so help them help themselves. 

2. Invite Your Partners’ Ideas and Feedback.

Enable your partners to pass you their ideas and feedback. While this can be an open forum where partners vote up and down ideas, you can also just simply have a suggestion box where they submit feedback whenever they think of it. In an ideal world, the partner would get a response from you when they submit an idea. This could be an automated “Thank you for your idea. We take all of your suggestions very seriously” or a personal response – depending on how many partners you have an how frequently you get ideas in the suggestion box.

3. Co-Present with Your Partners

Co-present with your partners to your other partners and / or customers help. For example, work with a partner who has successfully completed your training certification and talk with them to your other partners about how they went through the process and any tips they may have. Or present with a partner to customers on what a typical implementation looks like, so customers have an idea of common expectations of all involved.

4. Praise Your Partners’ Successes

Show off your partners' success and let them shine in different areas. One month showcase one of your partners who has completed a strong number of training courses. Another month shine the spotlight on a partner who has made great use of their MDF dollars. The next month highlight a partner with a record number of leads. This could be a webinar on how they are successful or it could be a newsletter article or it could be an icon next to their name in your online partner community. You can decide the level of depth to share with others.

Gamification is another way to show off partners’ contributions and efforts. Reward partners for helping each other and helping customers.

5. Celebrate Landmarks

This can be your partners’ anniversary with you. It could be every time a partner wins $X of deals. Inspire loyalty and recognize the human effort behind their success and yours. Enable them to share this milestone beyond your partner community, and empower them to show off their success with you to customers.