What are non-engaged partners?
In the context of channel marketing, non-engaged partners refer to your partners that, despite being part of your indirect sales network, aren’t actively participating in or contributing to your business. In other words, they’ve become more passive observers than active contributors to your channel.
These partners might have started off engaged, eager to sell your products or services, but for various reasons, they’ve pulled back. They might not be meeting their sales targets, participating in training sessions, or utilizing marketing development funds. They may not even be staying in regular contact with you.
For instance, imagine you’re a SaaS company with a large network of partners selling your software. You notice that a certain percentage of these partners have stopped pushing your product, rarely log into your partner portal, or don’t attend your webinars or training sessions. These are your non-engaged partners.
Non-engaged partners may not seem like a problem, but they can be a drain on your resources and a lost opportunity for increased sales. The three biggest challenges posed by non-engaged partners are:
- Missed revenue potential: Non-engaged partners represent untapped market opportunities. Their lack of involvement means missing out on potential sales, which could have otherwise contributed to revenue growth.
- Erosion of ecosystem value: A partner ecosystem thrives on collaboration and mutual support. Non-engaged partners can weaken the overall value of your ecosystem by not contributing to joint marketing efforts, knowledge sharing, or leveraging collective resources.
- Resource allocation issues: Allocating resources, such as time, funding, and support, to non-engaged partners may divert your team’s attention away from actively participating partners. This can be especially challenging when non-engaged partners fail to reciprocate with meaningful contributions.
It’s crucial for you to identify these partners early on, understand the reasons behind their disengagement, and then develop strategies to re-engage them, or if necessary, part ways in favor of more committed partners. It requires a strategic approach that considers both effort and potential outcomes. While it’s crucial to concentrate your resources on top partners, re-engaging partners can still offer advantages.
To potentially re-engage these partners, take the following steps:
- Take time to assess the reasons behind their lack of engagement. Is it due to resource constraints, inadequate support, or misalignment with your offerings?
- Categorize your non-engaged partners based on their potential value to your ecosystem. Some may possess untapped potential or specialized expertise that can enrich your network.
- Reach out to initiate conversations and understand their challenges and needs better. Tailor your messages to highlight how increased engagement could positively impact them.
- Clearly articulate the value they stand to gain from increased involvement, such as access to valuable resources, training, or co-marketing opportunities.
- Provide targeted resources or training to address their specific pain points and help them overcome barriers to engagement.
- Offer incentives or rewards tied to achieving specific engagement milestones, inspiring them to take proactive measures.
- Begin by involving them in smaller, less demanding activities before gradually increasing their participation in more significant initiatives.
- Regularly track their engagement levels and assess whether your efforts are yielding increased involvement.
- Continuously evaluate the outcomes of your initiatives. If a partner remains consistently non-engaged despite your endeavors, consider reallocating resources to more promising opportunities and part ways.
You likely have a lot on your plate, so prioritize partners who align with your objectives and display a willingness to collaborate, while also remaining open to cultivating relationships with non-engaged partners if potential value exists for both of you.