Providing a quality product, along with quality service is the cornerstone of the vendor industry. It is one of the primary goals for businesses within this industry.
An effective strategy to help vendors create an effective and satisfying customer/vendor relationship is to take advantage of channel partners. These partners broaden a business’ customer and sales reach, and provide skills that will enhance customer service.
Big corporations, such as Cisco Systems and Microsoft, as well as small businesses alike funnel much of their sales revenue through channel sales. The objective though is to create a mutually beneficial vendor/reseller/partner relationship.
Beth Barach, writing for Sys-con.com warns, “Creating a symbiotic relationship between the vendor and reseller is crucial.” In other words, one hand washes the other.
“Companies decide to partner when they feel there is an opportunity to gain additional lines of revenue," notes Barach. "However, the responsibility lies with the vendor to institute a clearly defined model that empowers the channel partner to generate profits from the relationship."
To help establish an effective vendor/reseller/partner relationship, Barch offers six tips:
- Build a strong foundation – partner and vendor should complement each
- Define channel benefit – design a program that provides partners with the necessary tools and skills to succeed
- Build on the company brand – partners need to be aware and supportive of your brand and its image
- Research – choose partners with the right expertise for the job and desire to grow your business
- Business cultural fit – being on the same philosophy playing ground is essential
- Define rules – to avoid channel conflict, rules and responsibilities for both the vendor and partner must be detailed and forthright
Another strategy to help establish an effective channel partner program is to offer sales incentives. These initiatives along with loyalty programs will foster a strong, reliable, and profitable partnership.