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Relayware Chief Product Officer Speaks at ChannelCon16 Part 3

CompTIA ChannelCon panel discussion dives into channel program elements of success

Relayware Partner Relationship Management

Relayware Chief Product Officer Speaks at ChannelCon16

Part 3: Creating a Channel Partner Program that Appeals to Many Types of Partners

Posted on August 5, 2016

The panel discussion with Brenda Dennis, Cisco VP of Global Sales Operations; Evan Leonard, President of CrushBank, Frank Vitagliano, Dell SVP North American Channels and our own Veronica Brunwin, Relayware Chief Product Officer was vibrant and multi-faceted. In our first two blog posts, we reviewed the panelists comments on non-traditional partners and the value of vendors’ brands.

The panelists also discussed how to create a channel partner program that appeals to lots of different types of partners and how to succeed with all partners.

Veronica pointed out that the best channel partner programs are supported by tools and technology that offer flexibility. “Vendors come to us with one set of requirements, and as their program grows and evolves, they add in different selling models and different communities. Adaptability is very important.” At Relayware we’re very proud of being easy to adopt, easy to adapt. We work with channel programs of all sizes, and stay with companies as their programs grow and flourish.

Brenda said that as a vendor, they “want to help channel partners acquire the right skills for their talent. Some people can make a transition to a new way of doing things easier than other people.”

This really speaks to the value of continuously training partners as well as onboarding new partner professionals who join your existing partner organizations. We have several onboarding guides you may be interested in, “A Quick Guide to Partner Recruitment & On-Boarding,” “Building the Ultimate On-Boarding Campaign,” and “The Complete Channel Partner Onboarding.”

Furthermore, best practice is to give each partner professional their own login, not just one login for the whole partner organization. This kind of one-on-one attention brings along everyone selling for you at their own pace on the topics that are relevant for them.

Frank thinks a lot about ensuring that the conversations with partners move from just “product-price” to “business outcomes.” “The value from us is providing different ways of selling.” He went on to say, “I believe that the relationship that the solution provider has with the end customer is as important and maybe more important than the customers’ relationship with us. I don’t worry about that. I worry about the training, support, enablement for the solution provider. If I can do all that right, then the outcome for the customer will be right.”

To springboard all partners and get things “right” with all channel partners, onboarding is critical. “It’s not just how do I use the technology, but also getting channel partners up to speed quickly on selling,” Veronica said.

Evan said, “It’s about engagement. How are you engaging with the end user or the solution provider? If you are engaged, then you know how you are doing.”

This part 3 of our blog post series covers the many, many words of wisdom from a variety of perspectives – large, established, enterprise channel programs and smaller, growing programs. We really enjoyed the entire ChannelCon16 conference and look forward to our next engagements with the vibrant CompTIA community. (and here’s part 1 and part 2, if you missed it)