Channel sales are indirect sales, wherein a company sells its products through another partner company. So establishing a channel partner program can help companies to grow and handle their businesses without expanding their sales and marketing team.
“The nice thing about teamwork is that you always have others on your side.”
— Margaret Carty
The three types of partnership programs are:
1. Affiliate partners
Affiliate partners act as independent marketers, and they influence new customers through your sales channels. They get a commission only when a product is purchased, which is a very efficient way to pay for high-converting traffic(getting a large number of customers or users for your products and services).
2. Referral partners
Referral Partners provide higher-quality leads by leveraging existing audiences. Referral partners can help establish a better connection with new customers than affiliate marketers, as the relationship is often more personal.
3. Reseller partners
Reseller partners act as an extension of your own sales team. These types of partners allow you to scale up your sales team without investing more cash into hiring and expanding office space. Reseller partnerships are an excellent option when expanding into new marketplaces and countries.
Once you select a suitable partnership program, plan the best strategies for building a successful reseller channel. The reseller channel partner program mainly targets the engagement and encouragement of channel partners to create more value for customers and to achieve a common desired goal.
Valuable Market Product
- Use a product that is a value creator for a channel and creates value over and above the margin you offer to your resellers.
- If the reseller can customize and upgrade the product and form a solution in combination with other products, it will significantly increase the profit margin.
- Such a product becomes attractive to the resellers because it generates good value for them and the customers. But partners can be more sustainable than a product, and over time it can make a competitive differentiator if you build a bi-directional trust with channel partners.
Recruit and Develop a Good Channel Partnership
For a successful channel partner program, the vendors should get good channel partners and help them to achieve their goals.
1. Finding a suitable partner
- Before you recruit new partners, figure out what organizations you want as your partners. Gain a deep understanding of their business goals. Additionally, set the conditions and processes from the beginning such that your desired outcomes happen as a part of the system.
- To effectively recruit new partners, help them understand your business strategy, and provide go-to-market materials to become successful and accomplish their business goals.
- One of the best ways to motivate your partners is to have a performance-based incentive program. This program will help you to be in contact with your partner often and encourage the partners by showing their performance.
2. Generating leads for partners and co-selling
- Design and execute a program that generates the leads for the channel partners to take over, develop and close. Feeding the channel with qualified leads will make partners’ recruitment faster and accelerate their productivity.
- Vendors should also be working out the role of partners to co-sell the products in the market for better customer experiences and supporting partners to be successful.
3. Establish distributors and prioritize customer experiences
- To manage partners and sell product out of your domestic headquarter in a new marketplace without a local distributor is not easy, but you can:
- Outsource it to someone that operates on your behalf via franchise or joint venture.
- Find a locally existing value-added distributor.
- Distributors can be very helpful while setting up a channel to introduce the business in a new market, as they can help the channel partners in scaling the sales capability. As more industries started focusing on service-related revenue, improving the customer experience is increasingly important. That led organizations to prioritize customer experiences by providing exceptional service levels.
“Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.”
— Ryunosuke Satoro
Use Market Data for Development
- Vendors and partners in technology sectors are working on the data and making it more accessible and actionable.
- Use data to make better decisions about the marketing program, including your efforts to increase profitability and enhance the partner experience.
Designing, launching, and managing a channel partner program can be time-consuming and expensive. But if you have enough time, take it as an investment opportunity and work with the partner to establish a good partner channel. That will expand your customer base in the market and significantly increase the sales of your products and services.