Today we finish up our discussion of the characteristics of a good sales channel relationship. In addition to good recruitment, onboarding, engagement and measurement, there is an entire other plane of a good channel partnership. There is the enablement which happens across the spectrum of the corporate/channel relationship. It occurs on various fronts, such as corporate marketing, partner sales, and operations.
For example, Marketing is enabled through a platform that helps channel partners by providing lead nurturing, routing, scoring and tracking. Automated marketing cuts down the marketing department’s duties, and allows partners to sell better because they know exactly how and when to respond to a prospect at any point.
Another example is content syndication.This allows you to publish personalized content on behalf of your partners. They benefit from the sales and marketing value of social media, but don't have to invest the resources to make it happen. It is things like these they couldn’t ( and wouldn’t ) do on their own. When you do it for them, you make yourself the vendor of choice for making an easier, faster sell.
On the partner sales front, they become more quickly engaged through playbooks that hand- hold through the sales process. They don't have to determine or guess what to do in each sales situation.They get tools like 360 prospect view, so they know where a prospect is in the sales cycle. From this they can determine the most relevant response.
Finally, there is enablement on the operations front. Managers need to know what’s going on. For instance, enablement means providing data about every partner’s lead registration, and status reports about all of their activities such as certifications, lead interaction, and profiles of their asset download activity. It also monitors co-op fund usage by channel partners and registers effectiveness. Corporate should only be using MDF if they can measure the value of these expenditures at the level of each channel partner. Quantifying the results of these expenditures is a critical part of “enabling” sales.
In summary, channel enablement is a broad platform that is utilized to create a start-to-finish process the makes it easy for a channel to sell your product or service. By adopting this broad-based process, you can become the vendor of choice, eliminating the barriers to a successful channel sales model.