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Develop A Structured Plan For Effective Channel Partner Management

Taking help of channel partners has become a norm these days. Some vendors take services of channel partners to expand their customer base to far-flung areas where they have no penetration of their own. While some vendors take help of channel partners because they lack a skill-set or ability required for the growth of business, while their chosen partner may be adept at that. Taking help of a channel partner in such situations helps to expand the base of the company and generate more profits.
To make the best of partner management strategy, it is imperative that a company develops a well-structured plan and process for selecting and managing partners. Having a defined plan will make it easy for vendors to select the right partners. Having a plan will also help vendors to define business objectives and goals for themselves as well as their partners. Shared below are some important aspects of a successful channel management program that vendors should address when making a strategy.
 
Setting business objectives
At the outset, objectives of a partner management program must be clearly defined. It should discuss circumstances when the services of partner should be used and what should be the objective of having partners.
 
Criteria for selecting channel partners
It is crucial to state partner selection criteria in clear terms so there is no discrepancy within the organization and channel managers about the recruitment of right partners. To make things easier, criteria for partner selection can be defined for specific roles and objectives.
 
Importance of a partner contract
To establish long-term harmonious relationship with channel partners vendors can prepare a partner management contract. This will help to ensure that both partners and vendors understand each others expectations and objectives. This will help to avoid confusions and conflict and help in achieving business goals.
 
Partner Training
Once the partner is selected, vendor needs to make arrangements for appropriate training of the partner. This will help to make the channel partner ready to deliver services and meet the objectives of channel partner management program. Channel management strategists must make efforts to identify partner training needs according to their capabilities and role in the channel management program. In the absence of appropriate training, channel partners may be unable to help vendors in meeting their business goals.
 
Assessment of channel partner performance
Also significant is to have a model for the assessment of channel partner performance. For the success of any partner management program it is important to keep monitoring the performance and reward partners who are doing well. At the same time, efforts should be made to strengthen the performance of under-performing channel partners. In addition, partner performance assessments helps channel management experts to formulate and re-formulate strategies that enable vendors to achieve their short-term and long-term business goals.
 
Need for partner management software:
If you feel that channel partner management is a daunting task as it requires fulfillment of so many criteria, please don’t feel so much hassled. There are advanced partner management software available on the market that helps you do the numerous tasks associated with channel management conveniently and quickly. Modern software solutions help in channel partner selection, recruitment, partner training as well as performance assessment.
 
Walt Robertson states that for the success of channel partner management program vendors must lay out a business model so there is no discrepancy in partner selection, partner training as well as their assessment. He suggests use of partner management software to carry out various tasks associated with channel management. To learn more about partner management software, visit Relayware.com


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