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Supercharge Channel Partner Collaboration for Even More Revenue Part 3

It has never been easier to identify and communicate with channel partner professionals and as a result your partners expect a fair and equal back-and-forth.

Relayware Partner Relationship Management

Supercharge Channel Partner Collaboration for Even More Revenue

Part 3

By Karren Gurnhill

We are living in the age of pervasive personal communications that reach us not only an individual basis, but also as it relates to our professional roles as well. This means that it has never been easier to identify and communicate with channel partner professionals and as a result your partners expect a fair and equal back-and-forth.

In my previous post in this series (“8 Ways to Supercharge Partner Collaboration” and “More Ways to Increase Partner Collaboration”) I shared four tips and now for two more to facilitate effective and profitable collaboration between you and your channel partners.

#5 - Get Serious about Collaborative Channel Marketing

Channel partners want new ways to communicate with their customers and new, effective messaging to affect buying behavior. To enable success for you and your partners, see your indirect channel marketing teams and their budgets as extensions of your own resources. If you and your partners leverage your investments and firepower simultaneously with a consistent message, you will multiply your return on marketing investment significantly.

Create a virtual marketing team. This means sharing information about upcoming product launches, promotions, demand generation campaigns and branding campaigns. You may need to protect your confidentiality with NDAs, but by providing this information, you build trust and synchronicity that will have an echoing affect in front of customers.

In our experience here at Relayware, company databases of channel contacts on average hold less than one marketing contact per eight company records. Remember, you can’t market through companies, only through people! Bring the people into the fold and use them as your megaphone effectively.

#6 - Operate a High-Return MDF Program

It is common practice for accrued market development funds (MDF) to be based on a fixed percentage of sales and is sometimes part of the contractual obligation. As a result, this can be seen as an entitlement, and partners resist working with vendors with this mindset.

A more effective alternative is when MDF is a discretionary fund, and partners apply for this financing. The activities that you deem likely to generate sales directly or indirectly for the company receive an appropriate among to support that proposal.

It’s important not to position these funds as “unlimited,” and there are likely other rules and stipulations that your particular organization needs to account for.

The most successful MDF campaigns we’ve seen are set up under this structure:

  • The vendor pays no more than 50% towards any campaign or activity.
  • There are clear criteria for what types of campaigns are funded
  • Channel partners receive the money upon achievement of agreed-upon KPIs.
  • Partners do not receive payment until after the activity has been completed.
  • ROI is tangible and measurable.

With this approach there is more control and more available funds for both vendor and partner.

Naturally, if the MDF spent delivered a better ROI than before, then, by definition, this meant more sales and hence more marketing budget.

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