Find out what 4 conditions will guarantee successful management of the partner program and one tool that will help you meet them – the Partnerwise app.
According to ChannelFutures.com, over ¾ of products and services sold worldwide go through indirect channels. One of these channels is the partner sales network. However, the vast majority of companies participating in partner networks experience difficulties – 65% of CMO have problems managing network growth, and over 25% of partners complain about issues with payment settlement, onboarding and obtaining appropriate qualifications. How to effectively manage a partner program? Here are 4 conditions for successful cooperation:
1. Explicit terms of cooperation
Every business should be run according to clearly defined rules. Partner sales networks work exactly the same way. Determining a set of principles for cooperation starts with setting a goal followed by a decision about the criteria of success and methods of measuring it. This basis allows you to formulate the main assumptions for cooperation that should be included in the contract. Other, less formal issues labeled as “good practices” usually pass as a separate document or presentation. These principles should define the way the partner program works, ensuring its efficient functioning and effectiveness.
Acquiring new customers, registering contracts or settlements, reporting new sales opportunities and customer onboarding – each of these processes should be carried in accordance with established standards. However, many companies do not specify such standards, nor do they have an explicit policy for their monitoring or enforcement. It is simply difficult and time-consuming, so most often the cooperation is based on hand-prepared Excel spreadsheets, susceptible to errors and delays.
Tools that automate collaboration and ensure efficient communication, such as Partner Management Platforms come to your aid. Thanks to Partnerwise application the built-in rules and ready-made forms, the app makes sure data entering and results reporting are performed according to established rules. Partnerwise guarantees that rule-compliant behavior is simple, convenient and mutually beneficial. Your partners will receive a friendly tool that will allow them to properly report sales figures and track financial results – without having to compile multiple Excel files or sending unnecessary correspondence. Your company, on the other hand, will gain access to up-to-date knowledge necessary to identify the most promising partners and optimize activities in terms of maximizing revenues. Thanks to Partnerwise, “good practices” will not remain just on paper.
2. Motivation & activation
As a rule, partners sell products and services of more than one company. Their portfolios may even contain solutions of your direct competitors. There is nothing to worry about though. It’s ‘every man for himself’ situation and you have to compete for the attention and loyalty of your partners. How to make them prioritize your product? First of all, partners should be provided with an onboarding, which may include training, workshops and necessary educational materials – both sales & marketing and technical. At further stages of cooperation, it is also worth ensuring easy access to knowledge, support and experts, as well as joint marketing activities, promotions and special motivating actions. Creating such a knowledge base is also enable by Partnerwise.
But that’s not all. People brought together in a partner program need support and motivation to work more efficiently and with greater commitment. In this case, nothing compares to a good, trust-based business relationship. And although a system cannot replace a real face-to-face contact, it can significantly facilitate it. Thanks to the automation of daily routine activities as well as the simplification and digitization of processes, you will gain more time for building relationships, obtaining feedback from customers and identifying the weakest links. You will be able to control your partners’ attitudes and respond to their needs, respond to problems.
3. Efficient data exchange and analysis
Ununiformed communication with partners’ employees and lack of access to current and complete sales data can be a source of many problems. What revenue does each partner generate, how do they achieve KPIs, what are the margins, which channels have the best conversion? Based on this information, both you and your partners can plan and optimize activities and create reliable forecasts. Cooperation works best when both the service provider and its distributor use the same data. And that’s exactly what Partnerwise will provide you with. If you send reports on a month-to-month basis, it may turn out that it is too late to introduce changes or modify the conditions for the client. Thanks to Partnerwise, you can react to abnormal results in real-time. Alerts about irregularities, reports on demand, ongoing monitoring of sales results – these are tools that will give you 100% control over your partner program at any time.
4. Attractive commission system
Partner programs should be based on a payment system that is profitable for both parties. The originally established cooperation model may prove unfavorable to you or your partner over time. You should have access to all the aforementioned data and information in order to assess the partner’s input and results. This way you will be able to ensure an optimal remuneration structure. You should also consider additional rewards for above-average results or commitment. Remember that you are not the only producer or supplier on the market, and you compete with other entrepreneurs and their partner networks. If you want partners to continuously engage in your program and ensure sales growth, make sure they get remuneration that is relevant to their results and attractive.
An effective implementation of the strategy described above can occur only with a friendly IT environment that all partners are part of. The declaration of business goals, information exchange, and data analysis require a system that would provide all partners with access to the same tools, data and communication channels. Using various non-integrated tools like closed CRMs, separate excel files, or documents sent by email consumes time and is prone to many errors. Most importantly, it does not enable you to view current insights and quickly work on them. Instead of using manually prepared spreadsheets, it is worth reaching for advanced tools to improve all aspects of partner management – from the implementation process to the partner’s inclusion in the network and payments.
Such possibilities are created by the Partnerwise app, which was created by the Qalcwise team who based it on their own experience of cooperation with partners. Partnerwise gives you the ability to monitor and manage a partner program, track each stage of sales, and support its worse-performing elements. on the other hand, it allows partners to conveniently report new tasks, sales opportunities and results. What distinguishes Partnerwise from similar products are its functions that go beyond the registering events and documents. Qalcwise (Calculation-wise) apps allow for calculation and generation of commercial offers, calculation of forecasts and budgets, also settlement of partner commissions, bonuses and retro-discounts. With flexible rules of acceptance and efficient task flow, Qalcwise enables calculation of inventory and automatically generates relevant notifications.
Try our Partner Management Platform – Partnerwise app today and see how you can transform your partner program into the most effective and efficient sales channel. Contact us at email@example.com