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Relayware Partner Relationship Management

The Most Effective Training and Testing Programs

By David Cress, marketing intern

This summer I have been interning here at Relayware. I have learned more about channel partner programs, partner relationship management and partnering automation than most college students.

In all of my readings and meetings I have been a part of, I do believe that the future of marketing is going to be predicated on automated systems. I have learned about the history of automating sales with CRM software and automating marketing with marketing automation. And I have been witnessing the onslaught of interest in partnering automation.

As a college student and an intern, I feel that I know something about the value of learning. Further, I know something about what training and testing programs actually help me increase my knowledge. So, here are my suggestions from a professional learner:

  • Enable different ways for people (your partners) to learn and test. For example, have a webinar (video) alongside reading materials to give your partners options for soaking up the information. The more interactive the learning experience the better. That’s why I believe that Relayware’s customers that use a multi-media approach (in-class lessons, webinars) generate better results.
  • Be engaging. In all my years of studying I have found that the more active I am in the learning process, the more I retain. Simply taking notes and listening to people lecture won’t be enough. If companies want to see genuine results from their channel partners, vendors must make the training and testing process engaging, and they must provide the proper incentive to generate results.
  • Have a variety of learning avenues. There are different types of study and teaching habits that companies can take from universities and use to train their employees. For instance, weekly quizzes on relevant materials, group presentations and study groups. Lectures are only judged to be “good” based on who is giving them. That’s why you can’t always rely on a lecture to be the best method of training. Having partners, as opposed to an instructor, lecture on material they just learned, is a great way to learn for themselves.
  • Manufacture competition. Another way to make the process more engaging, is to make the material more visually stimulating with presentations and videos. Provide the proper incentive with a ranking system, one that shows the progress or grades made by each partner. A cash or gift prize to the leading employee could also be a fun way to motivate.

As my internship here ends, I will go back to the classroom and continue to learn in a traditional setting, but I know that I'll always be learning and my future employers will help me along that journey.