Your goals are here. Your channel partners' goals are way over there. How do you bring them closer together, achieving that Utopian channel partner alignment that sometimes seems impossible? If you've asked yourself that question before, our new article in ACHRNews was written for you. This exclusive article focuses on these fundamental elements of getting on the same page with your sales channel partners:
Establishing a strong foundation.
It's easier to start off with solid channel partnerships right off the bat. As Incentive Solutions CEO Mark Herbert says, "based on feedback we have gathered from channel partners, we’ve learned that they’re incentivized to be loyal when you make more personal contact and develop meaningful connections. You can establish these connections by avoiding mass messaging and creating planned interactions."
Other things you can do to make your channel partners' experiences with you memorable from the get-go:
- Personalize calls in your call-to-action campaigns.
- Tailor each interaction to be personalized and part of a larger campaign focused on your partners’ needs
- Provide a digital interface that's more convenient and requires fewer steps than your competitors'.
- Entice with channel incentives like merchandise rewards, group travel, events, SPIFs and unique perks.
- Offer strategic training on your products, tools or services—this helps you introduce yourself to your partners in a positive light.
Get that channel data.
What does your customer journey look like? What does the average experience with your brand look like? The answers to these questions help you get closer to channel partner alignment. Where do you find the answers? In sales channel data that tells the story of your end-users and customers.
If you don't already know which companies are providing you the most revenue, identify them. Studying their needs and the way they make purchases can help you focus on the marketing and sales strategies that help your top channel partners succeed. You can gain a bigger helping of channel sales data by integrating your channel incentive program with your CRM platform. By tracking the incentivized behaviors and sales claims associated with an incentive program, you learn more about purchase habits, product knowledge and more. This extra information can give you and your VIP partners a competitive edge.
Reward your channel partners.
Speaking of channel data, it's becoming more and more valuable. You should reward your channel partners not just for qualifying purchases and training, but for the data they can provide you. As Herbert says, "Consumer data access results in increased sales and brand awareness, which is a reward for all parties involved."
You don't have to throw rewards at your incentive program audience and hope they work. You can work with a channel incentive company like Incentive Solutions, who specializes in sales channel incentive strategies. With diverse rewards, incentive expertise, and advanced channel incentive technology, Incentive Solutions can help you drive specific behaviors and run long-term, successful incentive programs.
When you combine these efforts, you improve your ability to collect sales channel data and improve your channel partner experience. This strategy is crucial in channel partner alignment, making sure you're not just another link in the supply chain, but a true, trusted partner.