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Planning for Success with Channel Partners in 2017

Planning for 2017 requires solid business plans with your channel partners.

Relayware Partner Relationship Management
 

Planning for Success with Channel Partners in 2017

Posted on December 28, 2016

How do you set up 2017 so that channel partners achieve their targets? Surely this has been on your minds for at least a couple of months.

The groundwork is collaboration on defining and agreeing to the business / account plan. Not only establishes joint accountability but also a solid base of trust.

Step #1 is listening to your channel partners. That is active listening where you seek to understand their challenges, including what hinders sales. Further, ask them directly what motivates their sales staff.

Ask:

  • 1. Did you and all of your channel partners agree on targets? Make sure this isn’t just a directive coming from you as the vendor. Also, make sure this process involves more than just your top 5 to 10 key channel partners.
  • 2. How do you monitor and measure that progress? Are your partners aware of these processes?

If you answer to these questions was “no,” then you are creating hurdles for success.

Step #2 is putting pen to paper with an agreed-upon business plan. This can be as simple as a spreadsheet or word document, or as complex as a detailed tracked plan in your PRM system that is synced with your CRM system. Regardless, it’s being on the same page at all steps and in every detail that really matter. So, what details are often overlooked?

  • Make sure you and your channel partners can both define the business mission you are in together. Do you both have the same vision in mind for the end customer
  • Align your definitions. For example, often a vendor and a channel partner have different ideas of “a qualified lead."
  • How are you measuring the goals? What information can be provided for each goal?
  • What resources are you making available to accomplish the goals? What resources does the channel partner need to bring to the table? Who is responsible for which parts of the business plan? Can you be as detailed as who at each channel partner organization and who specifically at your company will serve as a resource?
  • Are you both in agreement on the risks in the business plan? Are there contingencies in place?
  • What and when are the periodic feedback loops required to remain on track, and to make midcourse corrections?
  • How do you interact with each other and your customers?

A main reason for failure is unequal access to necessary information necessary. Just taking the time to work together to share this type of information can go a long way toward reinforcing the strength of your relationship with each partner.

For more information, please download the Relayware Quick Guide to Partner Account Planning here.

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