What is Channel Partner Enablement?
Channel Partner Enablement is the process of developing and improving channel partner knowledge, skills, and processes to promote engagement and brand advocacy.
Your organization is likely utilizing a channel partner to capitalize on their relationship and understanding of their unique audience or market, but without a strong relationship with your brand and a thorough understanding of your offering, they won’t be able to execute an effective strategy for marketing and selling your offering to their audience.
A successful enablement program provides the necessary information and tools to empower your partners to be effective. Additionally, a channel partner program should also equip partners with the necessary training for accessing, navigating and utilizing channel technology. Whether you utilize a Through-Channel Partner Automation (TCMA) platform, like Triptych, a Channel Learning and Readiness (CLR) platform, or another channel platform - channel technology is essential to efficiently and effectively enable your partners. Therefore, training them to use that technology is also an essential component of enablement.
Benefits of Channel Partner Enablement
The ultimate benefit of channel partner enablement is, obviously, more revenue. However, along the way, there are many benefits that you’ll experience to make that ultimate benefit possible.
- Deeper relationships with your channel partners
- Greater personalization of assets
- Improved partner-consumer sales conversations
- Increased customer satisfaction and retention
- Growing positive brand awareness
- Continuous optimization and development of both marketing assets and partner-consumer engagement
How Can You do Channel Partner Enablement Right?
Ad-lib programs rarely yields desired effects. Why? Well, according to Forrester SiriusDecisions Research, without structure there is a lack of relevancy and consistency, both of which are necessary to effectively and enduringly enable your partners. So, how can you do channel partner enablement right?
The truth is that what’s ‘right’ for your partners may vary, but there are a number of things to remember when building your enablement program to ensure that you maximize its efficacy.
- Partner Focused: At Triptych, it’s common to hear the phrase “think of your salespeople and your first line of customers.” This also applies in a channel partner program. Think of your channel partner enablement program as the product, and your partner(s) as the buyer. It should meet their needs, which brings us to number two.
- Partner Assessment: each partner will bring a different set of knowledge, skills, and processes to the table. Evaluate the partner to determine what they already possess—how accurate and applicable those abilities are—and what they need in order to effectively market and sell your product.
- Partner Incentives: Motivating your partners to participate in your program is half the battle. Providing incentives, whether it’s MDF/Co-op funds, rebates, or another form, offering extra motivation will increase participation and adoption of your enablement program
- Partner Lifecycle: As mentioned before, ad-lib enablement doesn’t yield results because it doesn’t effectively or enduringly enable partners. For your enablement program to be truly successful, it must provide progressive enablement throughout the entirety of your partner lifecycle.
- Partner Collective: Although the term ‘channel partner’ may sound singular, it is truly a collective of professionals. A partner is made up of their own team, much like your own company, with sales, marketing, finances, etc. To fully enable your partner, you must engage and equip the partner collective. Proving partner marketing enablement and channel partner sales enablement, may just be the tip of the iceberg.
Put the Partner in Channel Partner Enablement
Channel Partner Enablement is ultimately about the partner. It may be easy to assume that it’s about you—your brand, your offering—but if you neglect to position those things in a manner that makes sense to your partner, you miss the mark on enablement. Furthermore, being partner centric with your enablement relays the message that you want to make sure that the mutual benefits—not just those that benefit your organization—come to fruition. If you’re willing to put your partner at the center of your enablement; giving them knowledge, skills, and processes that put them at an advantage, chances are higher that they’re going to be more willing to put your brand and your offering at an advantage, too.