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Thinking Through the Nuances of Training Channel Partners

The more partner professionals who are vendor-certified sell more of that vendor’s solutions.

Relayware Partner Relationship Management

Thinking Through the Nuances of Training Channel Partners

Historically, the channel is an after-thought. It’s under-funded and assumed to be self-sufficient. Many vendor executives expect their channel to drive the same revenue as direct sales, yet proportionally, they devote fewer resources to their channel programs.

But, can your channel partners really train themselves on your products, offerings, messaging and processes? That’s a risky assumption.

We know from experience that the more partner professionals who are vendor-certified sell more of that vendor’s solutions. These certified professionals are the ones who are making an investment in you and have you top of mind. They know your products inside and out. So, it’s no surprise to see a correlation between certification and sales.

Encourage and enable certification so you can maximize the number of partner professionals that are devoting mindshare and time to you. Provide your channel partners with coaching, guidance and instruction that drives their success and your revenue.

The devil is in the details, and there are nuances to channel partner training that are different from direct sales force training or employee training.

You train both new partner organizations as well as new partner professionals who join the partner organizations you work with. In all instances it comes down to individual professionals, and they will each have their own unique set of training requirements – some may only sell a portion of your product portfolio; they will each focus on a particular region or vertical; some will be certified and others will not. Each person has some particular view of your solutions, and they are looking for the training that propels their focus.

Your partners are often out on the road, getting in front of your customers. So make sure your channel partner training has an attractive mobile interface, so they can read and digest your materials when they are waiting in a lobby, on a train or back in their hotel room in the evening.

At the end of the day, don’t let your channel partner training be an after-thought, or you’re leaving money on the table as your partners give their time and attention to other vendors.