Want your channel partners’ loyalty? Start with channel partner engagement.
Learn how to engage your channel partners so you can unlock more channel insights and revenue.
Engaging channel partners is a challenge. Time to meet it head on.
Channel sales and marketing professionals all share an ultimate goal: increase sales. There are many ways to reach this goal. One of them is to do more business with existing channel partners.
As a business-to-business (B2B) vendor or supplier, though, it’s often difficult to sell to existing customers, because those customers work with other vendors that are all the same in their eyes. To expand business with these customers, you have to stand out by providing them an engaging experience.
Here’s the good news: you can use this page as a guide to engaging channel partners, measuring partner engagement, and taking maximum advantage of partners’ engagement to increase brand loyalty and revenue.
Engaging the channel partners you have costs less than getting new ones.
The chances of selling to a new prospect are 5-20%.
The chances of selling to an existing customer are 60-70%.
Engaged channel partners actively participate your sales and marketing efforts. They don’t insta-delete your emails. They join your promotions, inform themselves about your latest products or services, and get what your brand stands for. When channel partners are engaged, they do all these things and more, which has several positive results:
- Channel partners know about your products and services.
- Partners feel empowered to sell your brand.
- End-customers have better experiences with your products.
- You’re more likely to get business from referrals.
- Partners enjoy working with you and don’t hesitate to share vital customer insights.
- Personal and emotional investment in your brand inspires partners’ loyalty.
In short… channel partner engagement leads to great things.
What are the best ways to engage channel partners?
Provide a Consistent Brand Experience
A consistent brand experience starts with the basics of your brand strategy: your logo, colors, voice, and values. It’s one thing to demonstrate who you are on your website and email signatures. But a partner or customer’s opinion of your brand is build one interaction at a time. If you’re not reinforcing your brand’s identity at every stage of your channel partners’ interaction with you, you’re not engaging them with a consistent, memorable brand experience. Some ways you can make your channel partners’ experience consistent and cohesive:
- Single sign-on (SSO) functionality, allowing partners to sign into your website, ecommerce platform, partner portal, or any other partner-facing platform in one place.
- An up to date product information and content marketing library that’s easily accessible for partners.
- Content and updates available in multiple channel and media formats, including SMS, social media, images/infographics, PDFs, text, web pages, videos, etc.
Utilize Incentives to Drive Behavior
Rewards act as powerful motivators that can not only change customer and channel partner behaviors, but tie your brand to personal value that can have a much bigger impact on brand loyalty than business value. Some ways you can reward and motivate channel partners or customers:
- Offer reward points that can be spent in an online catalog with fun, exciting items they can choose from.
- Offering on-the-spot rewards for spontaneous actions that reinforce your business goals or brand values.
- Reward sales teams for meeting or exceeding goals.
- Take your top-performing customers or salespeople on a group incentive trip.
- Reward channel partners for completing training.
Personal value has 2X more impact on B2B buyer behavior than business value does.
Personalization is just as important for brands’ customer relationships as brand identity and messaging. Customers across all markets expect brands to match their communications and offerings to their individual needs. Here are some ways your brand can improve its personalization
- Pipe all customer data into one source so your customer profiles are as complete as possible..
- Use tools like tokens, dynamic content, and audience segmenting to tailor webpage and email content.
- Use access and permission tools in your channel partner portal, restricting participants’ access only to areas relevant to them.
- Send specific product information and training to partners or customers, according to segments of your channel that show growth opportunity.
Gamification, or the addition of gaming elements, can inject fun and excitement into your channel partners’ or customers’ interactions with your brand. The simple act of adding the ability to win (or lose) something can instantly make activities more engaging. Some examples of using gamification in your channel:
- Tracking results such as sales performance in the form of a public leaderboard can energize those participating in sales promotions.
- If you have an incentive program, you can offer participants occasional reward-earning opportunities in the form of virtual games like Spin-to-Win or Scratch Off. This helps boost interest and investment in the program, especially upon enrollment.
- You can boost channel partners’ product knowledge and habitual interaction with your brand by providing fun daily trivia questions.
Gameplay can improve adults’ memory and attention span by up to 30%, as well as reduce stress and trigger serotonin release.
(Source: Growth Engineering)
Want to learn MORE about engaging channel partners? Let us help!
Here are some channel partner engagement results we’ve helped brands just like yours achieve:
43% Higher Email Open Rates
43% higher open rates than industry average.
319% E-Commerce Increase
665% revenue growth from engaged partners.
8X More Revenue from Participants
Engaged participants contribute 8X more revenue.