Developing a successful channel program is crucial for any growing business. However, even with careful planning, many programs fail due to a lack of partner engagement, unclear communication, and stagnant growth. To ensure the success of your channel program, it’s essential to focus on improving channel partner engagement.
In this article, we will explore 6 best practices to apply when designing a channel program that your partners will want to be a part of. By implementing these tips, you can create a thriving channel program that drives growth for your business.
How to drive growth through channel partner engagement
When your channel partner network is disengaged, it can negatively impact your business. You might notice that your partners aren’t interacting with your program — they’re not opting in, signing up, submitting sales claims, or even visiting your program page. It’s frustrating because all your hard work goes unnoticed while your program metrics suffer.
You may experience issues with information sharing, product training, and overall alignment between your brand and the partners. This could mean that your brand message isn’t being delivered correctly or consistently, which can seriously impact your reputation in the market and how customers perceive your business.
When your partners are disengaged, they’re not going to actively promote or sell your products resulting in a stagnant program that doesn’t meet your goals for growth. It’s crucial to find ways to re-engage your partners and get them back on track.
Here are 6 best practices to improve channel partner engagement and boost program performance:
- TAKE A LOOK AT YOUR TECH: Use technology to make it easier for partners to sell by giving them access to necessary resources such as training, support, and sales materials. Create a user-friendly platform with a mobile-friendly interface that showcases your branding and strengthens the connection between the partner and your brand.
2. MAKE IT PERSONAL: Personalization is essential in today’s competitive landscape. It shows that you value your channel partners and understand their unique needs, giving you a competitive edge over those who offer a one-size-fits-all approach. A personalized message is more likely to capture attention and create excitement among partners.Tailor promotions to specific audiences within your partner ecosystem. Use progress trackers to help individuals track their performance and gamify their experience to achieve goals. By understanding partners’ behaviors and history, you can foster more meaningful interactions with your brand and program.
3. MATCH THEIR MOTIVATORS: Incentives motivate behaviors and recognize achievements. Use diverse incentives to motivate different partners in ways that provide value, whether sales-related or not. Choose a provider with a wide range of incentive options, including business-building, in-kind, and personally motivating rewards, to drive outcomes.
4. GRAB THEIR ATTENTION: Communications that are relevant and action-oriented can help partners at key moments in their lifecycle. To stand out, it’s important to get their attention at the right time and hold their focus. Personalize your communications to the recipient and use various types of communication, such as emails, platform messages, texts, webinars, or direct mail.
5. MAKE IT MEANINGFUL: Build strong, committed connections with your channel partners by engaging with them beyond incentives. Offer opportunities such as communities and forums, learning or training programs, and surveys for feedback. It’s important for partners to feel heard and valued beyond a “do this, get that” transactional relationship.
6. USE BEHAVIORAL SCIENCE BEST PRACTICES: Use science-based tactics such as scarcity (limited-time offers or promotions), goal commitment (partners creating tangible goals), recognition and status (tokens of appreciation or public acknowledgment of prestige beyond incentives), and the MAP framework for motivation.
Having an engaged channel partner network is so important for driving sales, expanding your market, advocating for your brand, and keeping customers happy. The result is overall business growth and a boost toward reaching your channel program goals. When your channel partners are engaged, they’re more motivated to promote and sell your products, which means you’ll see more sales, market penetration, and revenue growth.
The power of engagement is in your hands
By creating impactful channel programs, you can improve channel partner engagement and boost program performance. Build long-lasting loyalty and increase mindshare to make your brand the go-to choice and help you stand out from your competitors. Ultimately, an engaging partner experience will keep your brand top of mind and drive growth for your business.
Watch this video to learn more about Maritz Channel Partner Engagement Solution