Successful channel partnerships are attributable to many factors—trust, respect, support, recognition—and can be among the most valuable relationships for a sales-based organization. Unfortunately, there are many sales channels that struggle to meet their potential and are dragged down by politics, ineffective communications, or a lack of support.
Have you asked yourself lately, "How can I help my channel work better?"
When new initiatives are handed down to channel partners (such as a new portal or platform), the initial response isn't always positive. Distributors and resellers are focused on making sales, and taking the time away to learn a new technology can be frustrating. Not to mention that if every vendor they deal with hands down their own portal, the reseller could end up with 20+ portals to log in to!
So how do you successfully introduce a new renewals platform to your channel partners?
Win-Win Strategies for Onboarding Channel Partners
Put yourself in your channel partners' shoes for a moment. Think about what drives them and then develop an onboarding strategy in that mindset.
"What's in it for me?"
Channel partners are primarily driven by revenues and costs. Focus on how a renewals platform can help them in both of those areas, and you will likely have a captive audience.
- Increased Revenues
Auto-alerts of approaching contract renewals, expand and extend opportunities, and tech refreshes can help you grow transaction values and create better returns for your organization.
- Increased Productivity
Automated workflows and centralized data and communications can free you from hours spent re-quoting for channel partners or reconciling data sources to make sure all the systems or spreadsheets match, and give you more time to work with customers and help them solve their issues.
In addition to fully explaining the benefits of the technology across the channel, be prepared with positive (and/or negative) incentives, depending on your implementation strategy. This likely includes new compensation strategies. While most people will respond best to positive incentives, it may also be necessary to have negative incentives prepared as well for those who are highly resistant to change.
Share a formal timeline that highlights channel partners' involvement in the implementation so that your partners can plan appropriately. Address why this is the right timing and how the schedule was developed.
A significant key to successfully deploying a renewals platform to your channel partners will be soliciting and welcoming feedback. Throughout the process—from early on through post-implementation—checking in with partners to understand their experiences with the new platform will help improve acceptance overall.
Your channel partners will benefit from your new renewals platform, and introducing your partners to the new technology will be a process of educating and onboarding. For more guidance about implementing a renewals management platform, download our newest eBook, "Implementing a Renewals Platform: What You Need to Know."