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More Ways to Increase Partner Collaboration Part 2

Two more tips for channel partner collaboration that will engagement from your partners.

Relayware Partner Relationship Management

More Ways to Increase Partner Collaboration

Part 2

By Karren Gurnhill

Previously, I wrote about my top two tips in this series:

  • #1 - Put an End to Boring Channel Partner Training Programs
  • #2 - Make Channel Lead Management a Collaborative Process

And today, I’d like to cover two more tips for channel partner collaboration that will engagement from your partners.

# 3 - Implement a Rewarding Deal Registration Program

Springboarding off the previous tip – rewards help incentivize partner loyalty, but the rewards have to be worthwhile and attractive – not another water bottle with your vendor logo on it. Yawn.

Give your partners real reward your partners for registering deals. Encourage collaboration between your partners, and even if another partner ultimately gets the final contract signed, encourage your partners to work together.

All too often channel partners lose interest when a competitor wins a deal on price, especially, when that partner put in effort to move the customer down the sales funnel.

Deal registration must be quick, easy, accessible online and consistently executed by the company. It needs to be marketed continuously to your channel too; otherwise interest and activity will fade.

A word of warning though -- deal registration programs can be almost impossible to manage manually unless you have very few registrations. The process of validation, incumbency checking, approvals, closure verification and reward renumeration ties up significant administrative, sales and marketing resources very quickly and easily. You should use your PRM software to manage this process.

#4 Empower Your Channel to Maximize Renewal Revenue

Your sales pipeline should be segmented into three areas:

  • 1) Company-initiated new business opportunities (leads)
  • 2) Channel partner-initiated new business opportunities (deals)
  • 3) License / subscription renewals

In other words new and recurring revenue.

Maximizing that recurring revenue and retaining customers is as critical to your partners as it is to you. But tracking renewal dates, license agreements and contracts is much easier for you than it is for them. Collaborate with your partners to maximize renewal rates and values.

  • 1) Make information available to channel partners online ensuring they receive all the information they need for their customers and subscriptions.
  • 2) Firewall customer information according to channel partner incumbency.
  • 3) Issue time- or event-triggered renewal reminders to incumbent channel partners in plenty of time prior to expiration.
  • 4) Enable channel partners to manage the renewal as if it were a new sales opportunity.
  • 5) Associate discounts, rebates and rewards with successful closure of renewals (which have an inherently higher margin due to the lower acquisition costs).

All of these things can be achieved by linking your Partnering Automation solution and integrated portal to your subscription / licensing database via integration or data loads. Companies who have empowered their indirect channels and involved them proactively in the renewal process have typically experienced renewal rate increases exceeding 10 percentage points year on year in their first year with continued growth thereafter.

In the next part next week, I’ll cover a couple more areas of collaboration, including marketing and technology.