- Priyanka Pugaokar

Mumbai: In a highly competitive technology landscape, it is very critical to keep oneself updated on the industry changes. Channel partners are the most important links in the entire distribution chain, hence, it is inevitable for them to continually upgrade their knowledge on new products and technologies. Vendors’ partner engagement programs and schemes are one way to gain industry insights and partners leverage this training program to upgrade their skills and domain expertise. But what efforts partners take for enablement of their staff who face the customers on a daily basis?

Channel Partners training It is said that good and hardworking employees are the keys to business success. As far as channel organizations are concerned, employees are the pillars of the partners’ business. Channel partners’ sales executives, engineers and support executives, who face the customers on a daily basis, require to have the technical and communication skills which can satisfy customers’ requirements. However, when it comes to enablement of the staff, the current picture is not so promising in the channel community.

While most of the SIs are proactive in training and education of their staff, many partners are reluctant and even do not allocate special budget for staff training, as they think that their employees would leverage the training they offer to them to benefit competitors. Poaching is a fact, not only in the channel business, but in any other industry vertical. Therefore, it is not an ideal practice to limit the growth of employees because of a poaching factor.

Many SI and SPs do expose their technical and sales staff for vendors’ training, there are a lot more things they can do internally to ensure a long term work commitments from their employees. Here are four ways partners can build a field and backend staff to ensure long term business success.

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# Training And Education: It is very important to keep the employees aware of the industry updates. Partners can leverage vendor training programs to educate their technical staff. However, they can also organize in-house training programs for sales executives and engineers. Such in-house training sessions are also an excellent platform to understand the employee’s difficulties on the field. Partners can also an option of on the job training to groom new sales and technical executives.

# Proper HR Policies: Companies who have proper HR policies in place and who provide their employees a maximum scope for growth, always enjoy long term job commitment of its staff. Partners, irrespective of their turnover, should have proper HR policies with good incentive scales and other benefits. Partners can also opt for Group Insurance or medical insurance for their staff to provide them security. Most importantly, they must ensure prompt payment of salaries and performance incentives. A small monetary incentive for best performers can be a big motivation to the staff.

# Involve Employees In Planning: Many partners may not agree with the idea of involving staff in decision making. However, they can always seek an opinion of their employees who are front runners on the field and understand the market dynamics. Like partners are a key lead generator for companies, their staff can also be a great source to understand market activities and keep a watch on competitors.

# More Than Just Job: Many successful organizations in the world do not just employ people, but to help them nourish their talent and skills. Partners can also explore the way to encourage the soft skills and hidden talent of their staff and positively use it in enhancing their professional performance.