Business development experts that have impressive track records in helping B2B startup companies have something in common. How do they manage to increase the user base of their customers by 1,000% using programs such as the reseller channel program? How do they lead small startup businesses to become the biggest operators in their niche?
The answer is a well-designed, carefully executed Channel Partner Reseller Program. Powerful programs are the reason behind multi-billion tech companies with the likes of eBay, Microsoft, Oracle, Shopify, and thousands more. However, using successful partner programs is not a walk in the park at all.
Effective and valuable partner programs require effort, time, and strategic planning, which can be simplified into a 14-step process. If you’re ready to discover the formula to remarkable sales to legendary levels, read on…
Defining Channel Partner Program
The simple definition of a channel partner program is:
“A strategy that aims for the engagement and motivation of channel partners. Channel partners are led to produce more value for clients and customers.”
The Primers: Business Vision, Goals, Executive Support
There are three essential things you need to consider before developing a successful Channel Partner Program:
- Business Goals
- Executive Support
Reseller channel partner programs will eat a huge chunk of your time, effort, and resources. Thus, you need to align it with your business goals, and company strategy. Moreover, it is important to ensure your executive support before starting up the process.
Nothing Straight on How to Create
One thing to remember when creating a Partner Program and Channel Sales is that there is nothing straight about it. You have to realize it is a lovely mess at first, which gets clearer and straighter as you go. Moreover, you might probably need to start over especially when your business, or the world, suddenly changes.
It may sound complex and confusing, that’s why here are 14 steps to creating a reseller channel partner program:
Successful 14-Step Reseller Channel Program Creation
Step 1: Value Proposition – What is it?
The number one thing you need to do is to identify and define your value proposition. As it automatically provides an edge, a solid value proposition helps you determine the essentials. You identify if people will take their time knowing your product, services, and solutions.
To define your value proposition means to let your market know clearly what is in store for them. You give them a clear view when they use your product or service by using some tools. These instruments should help define what is important for customers including customer gains, rank, and pain points.
After defining your value proposition, make sure to compare it with your competitors. Know what the market wants as well as other available alternatives. Defining a solid base value proposition comes from the data you gathered.
Step 2: Sales Process – Why make it customer-centric?
The next step to a powerful partner program is to design a sales process. As you understand the customer’s entire buyer journey, you get the necessary details to come up with this design.
What and how many steps are there involved in the sales process? Moreover, what should be done per stage? The secret to creating a powerful sales process is to design it from the perspective of your customer, hence, customer-centric.
Step 3: Benchmark Competitors – Who are they?
Understand the activities and movements of your competitors and get a deeper understanding of their partner programs. Know their target audience and how they organized it. Learn the kind of relationships they develop with their channel programs and how these are turning out. Research the structure for their channel partners and channel sales.
Thorough knowledge of your benchmark competitors helps you develop your partner program and channel sales. It also gives you helpful insight as to what works and what does not.
Step 4: Partner Types – Who are they?
Successful channel sales and partnerships depend on the value that each party benefits from it. Thus, the channel partnership is mainly dependent on the value that you build for your customers. Identify and define the kind of partners you think is most relevant to your business.
The best partner should be the one that can give you the most service to deliver customer values. Here are examples of the types of channel partners for your business:
- Managed Service Providers (MSP)
- System Integrators (SI)
- Value-Added Resellers (VAR)
- Independent Software Vendors (ISV)
- Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM)
Step 5 – Success Factors – What’s on the list?
The next step to creating a powerful reseller channel partner program is to identify and understand the success factors. These are crucial to help your channel partners close deals. Therefore, you must list these crucial success factors, rank them based on their significance, and create a plan. Create a framework allowing your channel partners to understand these critical success factors. Furthermore, make sure that they are fully equipped to attain them.
Step 6 – Motivation Drivers and Elements – How to know them?
This step requires you to use your creativity by thinking out of the box. Determine the elements, which can motivate your channel partners. Know the actions that will help them improve at delivering the key success factors.
Here are some of the key motivators for channel partners:
- Education Programs
- Happy Customers
- Amazing Sales Tools
Step 7 – Programmatic Elements – What are these?
What is the simplest definition of programmatic elements? They are simply the values and efforts you provide to channel programs. Consequently, these are to assist them to become successful. On top of this, it should also include how you deliver this help to them.
Creating programmatic elements is to establish a culture of partnership as well as understand it. These elements are manifestations of your care for the success of your channel partners.
These are some examples of programmatic elements:
- Education Platform
- Development Forum
- Lead Generation Platform
- Channel Partners Support Platforms
Step 8 – Responsibilities and Expectations – Why define them?
Defining responsibilities and expectations emphasize your partnership and teamwork by deciding who’s responsible for what. Know the customer experience, define their activities, and choose their categories. This is to ensure that the roles are clearly defined to let everyone be on the same page. Team players should also understand their part in the sales process.
Identify activities and their urgency and make these activities specific enough to ensure a hassle-free assignment. Moreover, define expectations from your channel partners and vice versa.
Step 9 – Framework – What should you know?
Defining a framework for your channel program requires organizing your partner relationships. You should define your partner framework for SMB and large organizations, respectively.
Have an internal understanding of your SMB partner and measure their performance. With large organizations, identifying your partner levels can also serve as motivation and who have more potentials to get involved.
Step 10 – Internal Capacities and Systems – How to build them?
Realize your strategies and plans for the reseller channel partner program by creating a list. This should include the infrastructure and tasks you need in building and executing the program. Generate your marketing materials such as brochures, sales presentations, videos, and educational resources.
Make sure there is technical support by implementing IT systems. This step helps as your partner list grows in the long run. Your list should include your general documentation about the program and marketing. Other essentials include an education platform and development forum.
Step 11 – Success – How to measure it?
This step requires you to define the parameters, which will determine whether your objectives are achieved or not. The Key Performance Indicators should have the parameters that will measure your program’s success. For instance, you need to choose the KPIs based on the success factors defined by your channel partners. Decide on these KPIs and come up with an IT support system that automatically calculates KPIs.
Step 12 – Marketing Strategy – How do you develop it?
In developing the marketing strategy for your partners, use the SOSTAC model for easy and clear use. This model analyzes the following:
The secret to effective use of this model is to create a clear target audience for your channel partner’s understanding. Some frameworks you can use are RACE (Reach, Act, Convert, and Engage.
Step 13 – Partner Selection Strategy – Why create one?
Knowing who your partners’ target audience is as important as having a clear knowledge of who your customers are. Not having a clear idea of this will waste your effort, time, and money on partners. Unfortunately, they cannot bring value to your company as well as that of your customers.
Step 14 – Focused Channel Partner Organization – How to build it?
You should know the significance of the human element aside from the systems in building your partner program. Your partner organization structure should be founded in an important philosophy. All partner team members should be connected to various internal organizations to deliver your desired results. Inputs from different organization departments are vital to building, maintain, and grow a flourishing channel ecosystem.
Creating and developing a professional reseller channel program is easier and more effective with these 14 steps. However, improve and find more innovations for your channel program to grow and keep up with your market and competitors. Check our reference to see numerous businesses we have helped grow through the years and call us now for assistance!