Channel partners are the liaison between the manufacturers, vendors, and the market they are catering to. Channel partners of any company sell and market their business (it can be products, services or both) to the consumers. Many giants like Microsoft and IBM have channel partnerships to reach the wider market.
Channels partners, as their work description suggests, are crucial for any business because they work in tandem with the business that is availing their services and consequently the performance of channel partners will have a great impact on the returns generated by the business. Therefore, it is necessary to have a good working relationship with them and that can be achieved by treating your channel partners like your own employees.
There are several features that can ensure that your channel partners are treated like your employees.
Hire Them The Way You Hire Your Own Employees
Hiring channel partner should be done with the same diligence with which you have built your employee hiring process. Having channel partners after necessary vetting will ensure you that one end of your business will be in safe hands. The other benefit of picking channel partners through a proper hiring process make them believe that they are in for some serious business and they will be treated like company’s own employees.
Keep Them Updated
To make them work efficiently for you like you expect from your employees, it is necessary to have them on board in every crucial decision making that involves the sales and distribution. Make sure that they are aware of every recent development regarding the profits and losses of the company because delayed communication in this regard can inculcate misunderstandings and mistrust among the partners. The stressed relationship between manufacturers and channel partners will only aggravate the problems.
Give Them Incentives
We all know that how important incentives are for the employees’ satisfaction and how this satisfaction in turn helps business to prosper. Likewise, to treat your channel partners the way you treat your employees, it is necessary to introduce incentives among them as well to make sure that they stick with you and provide your business with their best efforts.
The channel partner incentives should not only base on the sales target that they are assigned to. Team members that work hard to promote your product and brand should also get recognised with branded gifts and merchandise so that they can also continue to work with the same spirit.
Introduce Training Programs
To get along with new times and as the business grows, companies need new methods and techniques to cope with the new business realities. Therefore, many companies introduce internal training programs after a designated time period in order to train their employees. Similar programs should be devised for channel partners so that their expertise and performance can be synchronised with your own employees.