Many business and sales gurus will tell you to make sure you don’t neglect the power of referrals in generating new business revenue. Depending on your industry this saying could be even more vital.
Speaking from my background as a technology company owner, I
know first hand how hard SEO is for certain sectors. I understand how expensive PPC (pay per click) has gotten in many seach engines properties. And lastly I realize social media holds promise but is simply not there yet. Read these tips to help you successfully implement and manage a Partner Relationship Management (PRM) strategy.
So we are back to traditional marketing and sales efforts. This brings me to the power of Partner Management. Now there’s a lot written about PRM and how complicated it is and how expensive it can be to implement and support. I am here to however offer a different perspective.
First: Identification and recruiting potential channel partners:
- Make sure you are spending quality time evaluating potential partners. Your time in the pre-partner stage due diligence will be well served if its done right. Ask questions like “Do you have the resources, staff and systems in place to adequately offer my product and services?”. Check out their opinion on training and change management because you will be doing both.
- Once you identify and recruit the right partner, do you have a smooth onboarding process? How do you start processing leads and deals coming from your channel partners?
Second: Systems and processes
- Having the right systems to quickly plug your new and existing partners into and begin processing leads and deals is a must.
- Having the right, easy to use and learn system critical. Lord knows everyone is swarmed nowadays with technology, people are simply not going to accept a huge learning curve for additional technology regardless of its purported benefits
Thirdly: Support and training
- We all look forward to the day when you simply plug in partners and they will hit the ground running but that is just fantasy. You need to come prepared.
- Having the training and documentation as well as supporting marketing and sales materials will go a long way to expediting the success of your channel or partner strategy.
- Many successful channel and partner relationships have been built on mutual growth and support. Make sure you provide up-to-date product information, pricing sheets and general sales and marketing supporting documentation. Share best practices and provide an avenue for knowledge transfer and peer-to-peer training and mentoring. Invest in an e-learning system for it will benefit you.
Lastly, continue to visit this website for new and useful tips for successfully implementing and supporting your Partner Relationship Management strategy.