Business is competitive. Channel enablement is a key to expanding and growing your business.
What is channel enablement? In general, it is the activities helping the channel establish and grow their business through successfully positioning, selling, implementing, and supporting your product or service. When you have enabled the channel, they can better drive more business for both of you.
Even with a well defined channel program, sometimes it is still a struggle to provide the education, engagement and enablement your channel needs to effectively execute. Enabling the channel to communicate and market your product, while making it easy for them, will make the difference in your business. Below are a couple of enablement initiatives to drive more channel success:
Education: Partners by trade are not marketers first. If you throw a bunch of enablement tools their way but have not yet taught them how to succeed they will fail and so will you.
Messaging: Know your value proposition, the business issues you solve, where you win, and competitive positioning. This can then easily be leveraged for your channel.
Content: Have a good base of standard content such as data sheets, customer facing presentations, sales aids, and white papers. These can be tailored for your channel to be used in their awareness and demand generation activities.
Demand Generation: Produce Campaigns In-a-box or content packages that consist of everything your channel can use for demand generation. These can be things like signage, a set of emails for communication, collateral and presentations, high-value content for follow-up, or what to do to run the event. Don’t forget partners can’t just take a campaign and know how to execute. They need resources like marketing automation tools and social resources.
Communications, Web, Portal: Provide an easy way for your channel to get access to your materials and to stay updated. This is a good web portal and communication strategy that shares with them news and other selling strategies.
Funding: Whether MDF or 100% sponsored initiative, your channel needs help funding and measuring these initiatives.
Once you have the basics in place, then it’s all about relationships. Partner with your channel, do events with them, give them access to your experts, and help them win deals. The easier you make it for them to sell, the more they will sell of your product and not someone else’s product.
What have you done to enable your channel so far in 2014?