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Leveraging Learning & Development for effective Channel Partner Management


Cross blogged from:

Sure, channel sales are one of the best ways to grow the top line for companies with limited resources. Nevertheless managing channel partners is daunting; constantly trying to meet their ever-increasing, complex expectations and meeting your numbers as well.

Many organizations try to keep their channel partners or dealer network on the same page by offering gifts, holidays, loyalty programs, discounts, bulk purchase schemes and so on. It is found that these initiatives definitely help in delighting partners, though they do little to impact sales positively.

Instead, how about looking at ways to educate channel partners better? There is little doubt if your partner doesn’t sell your product and value proposition, the numbers are going to be less than pleasing. Same holds true for your brand perception, since channel partners are representatives of your business where your reach is limited. While it’s important to provide all the information about concepts, product range, features, benefits, selling process, it is worthwhile highlighting the importance of the brand experience, customer service and selling skills. This of course will boost confidence to present the product in a professional manner and sell better.

Likewise, a lot depends on confidence in channel relationships! Such training initiatives are value-added services an organization can offer their channel partners. A healthy and transparent association with your channel partners strengthens their faith in your products and services. With such confidence, your channel partners take added initiatives to do better business with a sense of ownership.

A well-defined training needs-assessment helps evaluate the knowledge baselines and helps make intriguing training curriculum, making use of great content development, audio as well as video technology specific to the needs of the channel partners. The idea is to convince channel partners they can be more successful than they already are, rather than incenting them to sell more.

Current trends in channel partner training seem promising with companies seeking to maximize training effectiveness, measure and quantify results and do more with less as they nurture long-term, profitable relationships with channel partners. These training interventions are of mutual benefit to the channel partner and organization alike. Channel partners stand to increase their business and eventually, organizations get the opportunity to elevate their level by positioning themselves as training gurus. Needless to say, increase of channel partner’s business in turn benefits the organization’s ultimate business goals.

Isn’t that what every successful business owner would want?


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