What is a channel partner program?
A robust channel partner program can motivate, enable, and empower your company’s ecosystem of channel partners to grow your indirect sales. Essentially, a channel partner program is a structured approach that provides a variety of resources to your partners, whether these are resellers, distributors, service providers, or other types of strategic alliances. This setup allows your company to extend its reach, tap into new customer bases, and increase sales, while the partners can add a reputable product to their portfolio, earn revenue, and more.
A channel partner program manages every aspect of the partner lifecycle, with key tasks that include:
- Recruiting new partners for your program, and setting up easy ways to onboard them
- Providing training and certification programs so partners can learn how to market, service, and sell your product
- Offering access to marketing materials, market development funds (MDFs), and co-marketing opportunities to make it easier for them to market your product
- Setting up the right incentive programs that resonate with channel partners to drive more sales
- Managing your pipeline for partners to register deals and leads
- Putting partner tiers into place to motivate and inspire partners to engage more with your ecosystem
- Measuring partner performance and overall channel partner program health with a variety of channel partner analytics and metrics
- Maintaining regular communication with partners to provide support, teach them about new products and services, and answer questions
- Managing all of these activities in a dedicated partner relationship management platform
Consider how this may look with a SaaS product. The company would have a partner program that offers online training modules for their channel partners, provides co-branded marketing material, extends technical support for customer onboarding, and sets up a tiered rewards system based on the number of licenses sold. This not only motivates partners to do their best, but also equips them with all the tools and support they need to sell more.
Understanding and managing your channel partner program effectively can lead to a mutually beneficial partnership and drive long-term business growth.