When onboarding channel partners, a structured process can ensure that you bring them up to speed in the shortest possible time. It also paves the way to how your new channel partners will view your company, as this will be their first impressions of working with you.
Failing to onboard a partner effectively may lead to poor partner performance and result in grievances from customers.
Here are six golden rules to make the onboarding process more effective:
Assign ownership: One of the mistakes that many companies make is to hand over the responsibility of the onboarding process to multiple people. This is a sure recipe for disaster. Instead, you will need to get one person from within the organization to own it.
In most cases, you may require an internal team involving members from different departments of the organization like Sales, Marketing and Operations. In such instances, ensure that all processes are well-documented and define everybody’s role within the team clearly. Identify one person from amongst them who will lead the team and be responsible for the entire onboarding process.
Automate the process: To ensure consistent quality, you will need to put a repeatable process in place. A partner management solution can help here. Some of the more popular Partner Management Solutions include Channeltivity, Impartner, Salesforce Sales Cloud Partner Management, Magentrix and Allbound. Regalix offers end-to-end partner management solutions to businesses in various sectors.
Create workflows that people can easily follow and communicate the process to all team members.
Train regularly: Besides carrying out training at the induction stage, training partner team members should be an ongoing process. As technology evolves and new products roll in, make sure your partner teams are trained on them. One way of doing this is to provide them with playbooks and continuously reinforce their learning.
Engage actively: Starting with welcoming them warmly onboard, conduct regular partner meets. Engage with them actively in joint sales calls. Participate in demand creation efforts whenever possible. It is important that you communicate with channel partners regularly.
Empower members: Provide your partner team members with sales material that they will need in the selling process. Wherever possible, create co-branded content that they can share with customers. Provide them with sales enablement tools. Make them feel that they are an extension of your own sales and marketing team.
Set expectations and monitor progress regularly: To gauge the success of the onboarding process and to make any required improvements, establishing and tracking key performance metrics is essential. Decide in advance what those metrics would be. Ask for feedback from partners.
Set goals and identify milestones that need to be reached within a defined time period that you and your partners agree upon.