How To Give Digital Strength To The Channel?
Mumbai: Channel partners are undoubtedly are the major contributors to the growth of IT big-wings. A recent white paper by Model N indicates that enterprise channel partnerships account for 60 percent of large firm revenue worldwide. According to the recent survey of IDC commissioned by Microsoft, 86 percent of business customers buy through channel partners for IT products and services. The statistics are clear indicator of significance of the ‘extended’ sales arm in organizations. However, while channel partners play an instrumental role in the growth of enterprises, they are often left behind in the digital strategies of organizations.
While talking about digitization of business, many companies are still focused on the first waves of digital change in customer experience, employee engagement, and sales and marketing. However, they largely miss the point of bringing digital footprints in their partner engagement. As a result, partners struggle for critical information required for training and support,which ultimately result into loss of capable and qualified partners.
Well-supported partners – whether they are resellers, distributors, agencies, brokers, or advisors – drive revenue, provide customer support, and advance local relationships. But their contributions have the potential to go way beyond that. Because they are on the front lines with buyers, partners get a front row seat to customer demands for new products and services – as well as to customer frustrations with existing products and services. That means partners can play an essential role in resolving conflicts as well as shaping future innovations and offerings.
Partners also have a strong, unfettered understanding of organization’s strengths and weaknesses. They understand market dynamics and where vendors fit in the competitive landscape. Since they have association with more than one vendor, they are the better decision makers in terms of offering solution offerings to end users. Hence, it is imperative for companies to involve them in their digital journey by leveraging on digital strengthening activities.
Here are few steps that vendors can follow to have better connect with their partners:-
Partners Feedback: It is very important to understand partners’ voice. Companies should have a platform where partners can express their challenges, grievances give and suggestions. Vendors should document partners feedback and utilize it for formation of channel centric strategies.
Develop Digital Tools: Digital tools are very helpful to have seamless connect with partners. These tools can also be leverage for various training programs and certifications. Consider investing in a centralized marketing hub that gives partners access to a broad array of content, support, and training.
Track Records: It is very important to keep a track of partners’ performance and recognize them for meeting the targets. This can be done effectively by using standardized measures and metrics.
Evaluation of Partner Programs: It is very important to have a continuous evaluation of partner programs and incentive schemes to keep them motivated. Once the company established a strong base of partner support, continue to advance the relationship with programs that drive intimacy and collaboration.
Partners hold the key to this knowledge and can be a critical gateway to drive innovation and develop new products and services. By advancing partner relationships through digital means, organizations can gain a unique perspective into the future of business and use this foresight to give a competitive edge to the their business.