Best Practices For Channel Partner Programs

Maximizing Your Channel Partner Program’s Success

The rise of new channel partners, combined with traditional third-party associates, has created a massive opportunity for global organizations.

Understanding your place in changing business landscapes and partnerships means answering key questions. For example, what third-party partners most appeal to your customer base? And which best represents your products and services?

Your channel partnerships can help you capture valuable opportunities and sales while increasing customer loyalty and revenue—but they often need nurturing and comprehensive training to effectively reach these goals.

When evaluating your channel partner training program, consider the following best practices to increase your success.

1. Personalize Training Toward The User

Tailoring your training material to reflect your channel partner can quickly increase usability. By prioritizing their language, branding, and learning preferences, you can express your dedication to their success, while fostering a familiar place for learners to engage. Moreover, it can be beneficial to make this material highly accessible, from different devices in a variety of formats—providing partners with a holistic learning experience that suits their unique needs.

2. Monitor and track training results

Establishing a framework to help you monitor, track, and manage training results can be a key factor in identifying potential issues or areas of improvement to address. Working with your channel partners to understand your collective goals and objectives for training initiatives, prior to development and implementation, can provide valuable guidelines to oversee and elevate partner performance moving forward.

3. Incorporate Gamification

Gamification adds game-like elements to non-game environments, namely your Learning Management System (LMS), to drive engagement and satisfaction. User engagement is ultimately a significant factor in whether training programs are successful or not, and leveraging gamified elements in your channel partner training can be a considerable benefit to participation. In fact, employee engagement increases by an average of 60% when gamification is introduced to their workday—and your channel partners are likely no exception. [1]

4. Ensure A Robust Onboarding Process For Early Engagement

While 82% of organizations rate their onboarding approach as a key driver of value, the majority of companies still don’t onboard well or have proper systems in place to support this process. [2] A comprehensive onboarding process for your channel partners is a cornerstone in setting your collaboration up for success. Your LMS is ultimately a powerful tool for continuous development, where you can provide informative and engaging content to your partners for a strong initial onboarding experience.

5. Engage Channel Partners

Your channel partners bear a lot of influence on the success of your business. To make the most of the opportunity, you should engage your partners from the start. You can empower them to generate quick results by training them on your products and services and sustaining that momentum with continued learning.

By building helpful, targeted content, you can encourage them to see the value of your partnership and the organization as a whole. For example, your channel partners may not need your standard internal training, featuring full organization charts and operational workflows. But they do need to know your products inside and out, as well as your target customer personas and their pain points.

Furthermore, as partners often need refreshers on the go, it’s a great idea to leverage an LMS that supports mobile learning so that it can be accessed anytime, anywhere.

6. Evaluate Partnerships

Your partners should represent your products and services to the highest degree, enhancing your reputation as an organization. By tracking learner activity in your LMS, you can determine which courses learners prefer and reference repeatedly over time. This will help you identify courses that might be redundant or less helpful and expand on areas of interest or limited information.

You can set applicable benchmarks for your business, allowing you to evaluate your organization’s goals down the line. Alternatively, you can track comparative performance metrics across different types of content or measure how user-friendly your LMS is from the learner’s point of view. By doing this, you can more effectively evaluate your channel partnerships while continually providing the best tools for them to achieve their goals.

7. Be An Active Partner

There is no doubt global channel partner network programs are essential to your organization—but simply implementing them and walking away won’t do the job. You need to continually evaluate and foster the relationship to keep your organization and your channel partners competitive.

8. Motivate Partners And Reward Success

Recognition and reward are inevitably strong motivators for learners throughout any learning or training program in the workplace. While monitoring learner progress, you can reward course completions and certifications to encourage and empower your channel partners moving forward. This is an effective way to maintain engagement levels long-term.

9. Mitigate the risk of channel conflicts

Establishing guidelines or defining the rules of engagement with channel partners early on is significant to reduce the risk of conflict in the future. You can leverage your learning platform to reinforce these rules through specific certifications or training courses, supporting seamless collaboration in the long run. Throughout these efforts, it’s essential to keep the lines of communication open along the way for the best results.

Ultimately, your channel partners play an important role in the profitability of your business. By engaging in these best practices, you’ll be well on your way to reaping the benefits of an involved and successful channel partner program.

References:

[1] 25 Gamification Statistics [2022]

[2] Customer Onboarding Statistics 2020

Absorb LMS

A flexible learning platform that makes it easy to build and manage training programs for internal and external stakeholders.

Originally published at www.absorblms.com.

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