How to improve your partner enablement strategy
This article will explore what partner enablement is, how to improve your partner enablement strategy, best practices, and the tools you can use to enable your channel partners. Whether you're a seasoned partner program manager or just starting out, we hope to provide you with valuable insights to help empower your partners and grow your business.
So, let's dive in and get started!
What is a Partner Enablement Strategy?
A Partner Enablement Strategy is a plan or approach that companies use to help their business partners succeed by providing them with the resources, training, and tools they need to sell or promote the company's products or services effectively.
The goal of a partner enablement strategy is to create a mutually beneficial relationship between the company and its partners, in which they feel empowered to generate revenue for the company while achieving their own business goals.
This can include providing partners with access to marketing materials, sales training, technical support, and other resources that will help them effectively sell or promote your offerings.
An effective partner enablement strategy can help increase your revenue, grow your customer base, and strengthen your partnerships with other businesses. By investing in the success of your partners, you can create a stable and sustainable ecosystem that benefits everyone involved.
Why Is Partner Enablement Important?
Partner enablement is important because it allows you to:
- Empower partners with the knowledge and resources they need to sell or promote the organization's products or services effectively.
- Increase revenue and expand the customer base by leveraging the expertise and networks of partners.
- Strengthen relationships with partners by investing in their success and fostering loyalty and commitment.
- Help organizations stay competitive by keeping partners up-to-date with the latest industry trends and technologies.
Overall, a strong partner enablement strategy is important for businesses that rely on partners to drive revenue and achieve business goals. By providing partners with the necessary resources and support, you can create a win-win situation where both parties benefit from a successful partnership.
Best Practices for Partner Enablement
Partner enablement is about providing your partners with the tools, resources, and support they need to thrive in the partnership. Whether you're working with resellers, affiliates, or any other type of partner, making them successful is key to driving growth and increased revenue. To do this, you need to adopt some of the best practices for partner enablement. We discuss some of them below:
Establish Clear Objectives
Define clear objectives for the partner enablement program and communicate them to partners. This helps partners understand what is expected of them and how they can contribute to the success of the program.
Provide Comprehensive Training
Offer comprehensive training to partners on the organization's products or services, as well as on sales and marketing techniques. This helps partners become knowledgeable about the offerings and better equipped to promote them to potential customers.
Provide partners with ongoing support through a dedicated channel, such as a partner portal or support team. This helps partners resolve any issues they encounter and ensures that they can provide quality service to customers.
Develop Co-Marketing Initiatives
Work with partners to develop co-marketing initiatives that promote your products or services. This helps partners expand their reach and generate leads for the organization.
Establish enablement metrics to measure the success of the partner enablement program, such as sales performance and partner satisfaction. This helps you track progress and identify areas for improvement.
Recognize and Reward Success
Recognize and reward partners who perform well in the partner enablement program. This will motivate partners to continue their efforts and strengthen their commitment to the partnership.
Enabling New Partners vs. Existing Partners
Enabling new partners and existing partners requires different approaches because they have distinct needs when it comes to training and resources. Here's how organizations can enable new partners and existing partners effectively:
Enabling New Partners
- Provide Onboarding Support
- New partners need comprehensive onboarding support to become familiar with the organization's products or services, processes, and partner program. This can include orientation sessions, training modules, and access to a partner portal.
- Offer Specialized Training
- New partners may require specialized training to meet the organization's standards and goals. You can include product training, sales training, and marketing training.
- Establish a Communication Channel
- Set up a dedicated communication channel to facilitate ongoing communication between the organization and new partners. This can help address any questions or concerns that new partners may have as they familiarize themselves with the partnership.
Enabling Existing Partners
- Provide Ongoing Training
- Existing partners may require ongoing training to stay up-to-date with new product releases, features, and market trends. This can include webinars, training videos, and workshops.
- Offer Customized Support
- Existing partners may require customized support based on their specific needs or market segments. This can include customized marketing materials, sales support, and technical support.
- Foster Collaboration
- Encourage collaboration among existing partners to share best practices, insights, and strategies for success. This can help create a community of partners who support each other and contribute to the overall success of the partnership.
By tailoring partner enablement strategies to the specific needs of new and existing partners, organizations can create a strong and sustainable partnership that benefits both parties.
Providing comprehensive partner onboarding support and specialized training to new partners can help them get up to speed quickly, while ongoing training and customized support for existing partners can help them stay engaged and grow their business with the organization.
Tips for Improving Partner Enablement Strategy
To increase sales and expand your reach, it's important that you have a strong partner enablement strategy in place. However, it's not always easy to know where to start or how to improve your existing strategy.
In this section, we'll share some tips and best practices you can use to improve your partner enablement strategy.
- Conduct A Partner Needs Assessment
- Before implementing a partner enablement strategy, conduct a partner needs assessment to understand what resources and support partners require in order to be successful. This can help identify gaps and opportunities for improvement.
- Develop a Clear Communication Plan
- Ensure that partners are aware of the partner enablement program and the resources available to them. Develop a clear communication plan that outlines the program's objectives, benefits, and expectations.
- Provide Comprehensive Training:
- Offer comprehensive training to partners that cover product knowledge, sales techniques, and marketing strategies. Ensure that training materials are easily accessible and up-to-date.
- Establish a Feedback Loop
- Create a feedback loop to gather input from partners on the effectiveness of the partner enablement program. Use this feedback to make improvements and adjustments to the program as needed.
- Measure Performance
- Establish performance metrics to measure the success of the partner enablement program, such as partner satisfaction, revenue generated, content adoption, and customer retention. Use this data to track progress and identify areas for improvement.
- Foster Collaboration
- Encourage collaboration among partners to share best practices, strategies, and insights. This can help partners learn from each other and contribute to the overall success of the partnership.
Will Taylor from PartnerHacker also had something to say about partner enablement in his Guest Post:
“Have a system to track engagement data. As you dive deeper into enablement, you must treat it with the same rigor that you would any other aspect of your business operations.
That means you must monitor the data and understand which levers to pull. This data will focus on KPIs such as training completion, content adoption, content clarity, lead/deal registration, and more.”
Indeed, partner enablement is an ongoing process that requires consistent effort and communication. You must also track your efforts by putting metrics in place to help you improve your strategy.
Partner enablement is key to building strong and successful partnerships. It's about providing partners with the right resources, training, and support they need to grow their business with yours.
By tailoring your approach to new and existing partners and fostering collaboration, you can create a win-win situation. The bottom line? Partner enablement is an investment that pays off in increased revenue and customer and partner retention.