Be Easier to Do Business With by Improving Channel Program Personalization & the Partner Experience

By: Ellen Linkenhoker
woman watching webinar on channel program personalization

Being easier to do business with takes many forms, but the most consistent way is to personalize your program using the research-backed tips shared in our webinar.

Partners told us exactly what they needed to increase performance—personalization, relevance and communication.

Watch the following clips from our webinar to learn where to start with personalization and partner experience.

Feeling Like You're Hard to Do Business With? Here’s How to Improve the Partner Experience

It's common to have dashboards for admins, executives, field teams and occasionally partners. The real improvements in partner experience come when the right people have access to dashboards that track eligibility, progress towards goals and next-best actions.

  1. Dashboards: Make dashboards available for people who can impact change in numbers—partner owners, partner reps or support teams.
  2. Partner Experience Portals: Depending on your access to data, embed goal tracking, progress, KPIs, and AI and machine learning techniques to suggest next-best actions based on profiles, historical data, program and business rules, and your program goals.

How Will Your Programs Survive in the Future? Employ Personalization & Relevance

If you’re not offering personalized and relevant programs, someone else will be. And they will steal your market share. Their program capabilities make them infinitely easier to do business with.

The webinar (and below) highlights a program personalization framework to implement where it makes sense for your business. You don’t have to follow every step, and you don’t have to move sequentially.

1. Program

Not everyone can be in the same program. How you tier or segment your program can be based on industry, specialization, go-to-market strategies, customers served or enrollments in competency tracks vs. different programs.

Tiering on volume and revenue is important to you, but not necessarily to your partners. It should be part of the program and how you make decisions because you’re investing money, but make it a secondary driver.

For example, let everyone join the same program and then self-select areas of focus. One partner might choose a focus of creating joint IP or integrating with their products. Another might select reselling, and yet another reselling and service or repair. This helps tailor your core messaging to how partners can grow their business with you and allows you to meet their needs first while still layering in tiers or thresholds based on revenue.

2. Promotions

Tailor incentives and rule structures to the way your partners sell, who they sell to or their specialties. Customization requires you to have intel on what type of partner they are, who they sell to and how they sell.

Adding personalization skips the broad roll out of new SPIFs, rebates or promotions to every partner and instead rolls out to the ones most likely to sell based on historic performance, partner type or who they sell to. Personalization should help optimize your spend and significantly cut down on the noise your partners receive.

For example, If partners sell to mid-size clients, don’t ship them promotions geared toward enterprise products. If a product like a display or a piece of large equipment often needs to be serviced or maintained, consider a roll out to partners who sell and service.

3. Enablement

Focus on segmentation to scale enablement efforts. Your partners should see role-based and selling-style information when they enter the portal.

After a business owner logs in, show them the social-selling training you made for reps. Then push owners to encourage their reps to take it (such as incenting a % completion). Or when a marketer logs in, show them how or where to access new campaign materials (and consider incenting a roll out).

4. Portals

Portals should aggregate the necessary tools, goals, next actions and enablement to give partners one place to go. Watch the video below for portal samples.

5. Engagement

Your communications can be pre-set based on segments and relevancy. They should celebrate, nudge and push partners to the next action.

The above tips are just some suggestions from our webinar on how to take your channel program into the future.

View the full-length webinar featuring Forrester’s premier channel analyst sharing new research—directly from the channel itself—on how to increase channel program performance.

Ellen Linkenhoker
Ellen Linkenhoker

Ellen Linkenhoker is the Channel Partner Solutions Lead for ITA Group. She drives the insights, strategy and evolution of the organization’s channel solution while offering advisement for client engagement and incentive programs. She’s worked as a practitioner in technology, software and service companies as part of the channel and as a vendor. She is an award-winning marketer and navigates all things channel, marketing, incentives and engagement, including pioneering thought leadership on channel partner ecosystems and the partner experience.