Top channel trends in 2024: Partner enablement strategies that work

By: Jasmyne Green

What you need to know

  • Channel enablement programs involve more than providing tools and resources to partners. 
  • Move beyond a stale solution with a dynamic, adaptive approach that meets the evolving needs of partners and customers alike.
  • Successful strategies give partners insight into the buyer data they want but don’t have the scale or marketing resources to obtain themselves.


channel partners discussing product

In our recent article on industry trends, we highlighted partner enablement as the cornerstone of strategic channel initiatives for 2024. Now, let’s dive deeper into channel partner enablement to understand its critical role in shaping a program’s success.

Channel partner enablement is more than just providing tools and resources. It’s a comprehensive approach to empower partners with the knowledge, skills and support necessary to effectively promote and sell your products and services.  

Partner enablement encompasses initiatives like: 

  • Training and education
  • Program messaging 
  • Sales and product content
  • Demand generation strategies 
  • Collaborative marketing efforts
  • Adequate funding 

Give partners everything they need to thrive as ambassadors for your brand. Especially because channel partners are actively looking for this interaction. Based on ITA Group’s research, we learned partner enablement tools are at the top of channel professionals’ wish lists when it comes to strategies with a perceived high impact on the bottom line. 

graph showing areas channel leaders are most interested in investing

Let’s learn more about the benefits and actionable steps to establish a comprehensive channel partner enablement strategy that sets your team up for success.

Channel partner enablement benefits

There are many advantages to establishing a channel partner enablement strategy:

  • Increased sales: Empowering partners with knowledge and the right tools allows them to drive sales more effectively, resulting in enhanced revenue streams for both parties.
  • Improved customer experience: Well-trained partners are better equipped to deliver superior customer experiences, fostering loyalty and satisfaction among customers.
  • Better brand consistency: Consistent messaging and representation strengthens brand identity and builds trust with customers, ensuring a cohesive experience at every touchpoint.

Why brand consistency matters for channel partner enablement

Traditional enablement approaches often fall short, especially for high-performing salespeople who require tailored support to maximize their impact. Forward-thinking partner programs prioritize a more strategic approach to enablement. 

Partners need buyer insights, but often don’t have the scale or marketing resources to capture that data themselves. Help them get to know the customer better by giving them space to customize materials to their brand while still representing your message as accurately as possible. In the same way, programs that simply reuse existing materials may not work as well. Instead, leave space for partners to shine, supported by the brand’s market recognition, products, services and customer positioning know-how. 

By identifying the messages that matter most to customers at each stage of the buying journey, you can more easily create an essential list of relevant materials. Start by answering these questions about the different partners you work with: 

  • What content are they motivated to learn about?
  • What format will be most engaging and practical?
  • How will they use the learning tools to enhance their life and results at work?
  • What incentives and rewards will drive learning?
  • Is this just a repeat of our corporate product and brand training or customer materials? 

Look at your current enablement efforts from the partners’ perspective. Are they easy to consume? Are they built for them? Do they allow them space to make the resources their own? Partners are selling themselves and, by extension, your products and solutions. Help them do that. 

Components of a comprehensive channel partner enablement strategy

Like any business system, it’s important to evaluate what will be the best fit for your partners and customers and build a strategy from there:

1. Training and education

People sell what they know. Tailored training programs are essential for gaining adoption and increasing sales or support. Interactive modules, virtual workshops and certification programs serve as valuable tools for knowledge acquisition, ensuring that partners remain equipped to excel in their roles. Also consider the order and minimum knowledge needed to get a partner up and running. What content do you want them to know, and what do they need to know?

2. Program messaging

Clear and consistent communication is paramount in keeping partners engaged in your program. Your program needs to clearly communicate why a partner should join and the value they’ll receive by participating. Focus on the ways you can both perform better when you work together. When you keep participants informed about program updates, product launches, incentives and support resources, they stay aligned with you and feel empowered to effectively convey your brand's value proposition to customers.

3. Content

Providing partners with access to a diverse range of sales collateral, product demos, competitive battle cards and industry insights lets them engage customers more effectively. Give partners space to tailor content to their brand message while still representing your brand as accurately as possible. 

4. Demand generation

Collaborative demand generation strategies, including co-marketing campaigns, lead-sharing programs and incentive-driven promotions, help partners actively contribute to pipeline growth and revenue generation. 

5. To-partner marketing

Empowering partners to execute marketing initiatives effectively through market development funds (MDF) and other incentive programs fosters a reciprocal relationship, where both parties are working together toward mutual success. Catering to different levels of marketing sophistication is important. Above all else, make it easy for partners.

6. Funding

Allocating resources and incentives to support partner enablement efforts demonstrates a commitment to partnership success. Investments in technology platforms, training resources and incentive programs are essential for driving tangible outcomes and sustaining long-term growth.

continuous learning game on iPhoneUse gamification to tailor your training programs to meet the unique needs of your channel partners.

Action steps to elevate your partner enablement strategy

Once you’ve established a framework for your partner enablement strategy, consider the following actions to help maximize the impact of your initiatives:

1. Develop training programs specific to the channel

Focus on the responsibilities of each partner role and avoid repurposing internal content with no updates.

2. Regularly assess the effectiveness of enablement initiatives

Use partner feedback and performance metrics, iterating and optimizing as needed.

3. Invest in continuous learning

According to Forrester, nearly half of salespeople report that onboarding is moderately impactful at best. Tailor training programs to meet the unique needs of your channel partners, incorporating interactive modules, virtual workshops and games to foster continuous learning and competence.

4. Empower with clear communication

Ensure partners stay informed about program updates, product launches and incentives through clear and consistent communication channels. This fosters alignment and enables partners to effectively convey your brand's value proposition to customers.

collage of incentive communications

5. Provide accessible resources

Centralize resources like sales collateral, product demos and competitive battle cards in easily accessible places. This equips partners with the tools they need to engage customers more effectively, ultimately driving sales and revenue growth. 

By embracing a strategic approach to partner enablement, organizations can unlock new avenues for channel success and drive sustainable growth in 2024 and beyond. Remember: it's not just about providing resources. Channel partner enablement is about empowering stakeholders to excel and fostering a collaborative ecosystem where everyone thrives.

Want to dig even deeper? Learn how to know when it’s time to refresh your stale channel enablement strategy.

Note: This article is part one in a five-part series on top channel trends of 2024. Now that you've learned how to find success with channel partner enablement, check out the other four trends:

jasmyne green
Jasmyne Green

Jasmyne Green is a results-driven marketing manager who never settles for mediocrity. With over a decade of experience, she’s a marketing expert in everything from design to digital strategy that breaks through the noise and drives business growth. When she's not brainstorming brilliant ideas, you can find Jasmyne walking the nature trails with her dogs, perfecting her mixology skills or plotting her next adventure.