By Theresa Caragol, Founder and CEO, AchieveUnite
It’s happened again… with Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year celebrations you have over indulged and are still recovering from the party hangovers (we won’t tell). The obligatory New Year resolutions have been made and no doubt include health and fitness goals to help you become stronger and improve your well being. According to research from the University of Scranton, 77% of us make these resolutions yet only around 8% of us achieve goals in a timely fashion. In fact, by January 12 most of us have given up entirely!
Change is a difficult thing. Being time poor and under pressure to deliver results prevents any of us from taking the time to re-set, restart, re-adjust and refocus. With that in mind, here are five strategies to help you help your channel partners become stronger and more effective for your business as they move into this new year and new decade.
Do the Audit
Before resolving to make any changes to habit or process, it is wise to check you have the correct equipment. After all, it wouldn’t make sense to take up running without the right sneakers. On occasion, it may even be necessary to undergo a doctor’s medical examination. The same applies to a partner ecosystem. To apply the right strategy and goals undertake an audit to fully understand the current state. Often, partner ecosystems have evolved organically; for example, partners may have been recruited because they introduced an interesting client rather than because their profile met the ideal partner qualities. By properly evaluating your current partners (their skills, their profile, and their location) it is easier to determine what to change and where to focus. Equally, if you are a business entering a new territory make sure you review the existing partner strategy to see whether it is fit for purpose to support the new partners.
Set Realistic Motivational Goals
All too often we set ourselves unachievable New Year goals that wain quickly. The same goes for partners. We often have lofty aspirations and expect partners to significantly increase the business within a few months. Yet most partners are servicing multiple vendors and need to have a compelling reason to prioritize a new solution. If they do, they still have multiple things on their minds such as:
Honestly review whether the 2020 partner goals are achievable. Be open and transparent with them to work collaboratively and motivate performance. With the right partners and right incentives in place focus will naturally change and results will happen.
Create the Perfect Recipe
Even on healthy eating programs bacon and eggs are a popular choice. This is because they complement one another and provide tasty sustenance. Start this New Year by reviewing your value proposition. Does it appeal to your partner’s clients? Do most of your partners fully understand it and are able to position and promote it? Maybe it’s time to trim a little fat and really prioritize the partners that are committed to your success and willing to collaborate with you. Or maybe it’s time to review your channel program and assess whether it is current or needs updating.
What Will Help You Succeed?
Moving from unconscious incompetence to unconscious competence takes time. Whether changing diets or exercising to build muscle, it needs to become part of your daily routine. Before anything becomes a habit, any change requires planning, process, focus, dedication, and support. The same applies to building successful partnerships. For new partners it is especially important to onboard them through effective training, processes, and automation. For existing partners this is still crucial as they adopt new products or solutions and to prevent them from aligning with the competition. As far as possible, make the onboarding process as digestible as possible, starting simply and then iterating over time.
Bravo! Well Done! Thank you!
There is nothing as good as that Saturday ‘cheat day’ after a week of watching what you eat. No coach would advocate a healthy eating plan that didn’t reward effort. A successful partner program provides your business with multiple advantages:
Reward your partners! There are many ways this can be done. Have a multi-pronged approach to help and support them. By working with your partners using frameworks like the ACTIVE Model, trust is achieved which leads to ongoing Partner Lifetime Value which leads to long-term business growth.
There is no better time than the beginning of the ‘Twenty-twenties’ for you to assess the health of your partner program and resolve to make the right changes. Equally, make sure that you’re constantly collaborating with your partners throughout the other eleven months of the year to ensure their business health and your business wellbeing.
AchieveUnite is a consulting and education company helping companies of all sizes generate maximum results from their channel and strategic alliance partner organizations. AU is a performance partnering company built by experts with over 200 years of combined experience in partnering, sales, channel leadership, channel education, and coaching.