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Many hardware manufacturers utilize partner programs as a means to develop a healthy channel sales program. It creates a system with which rules can help dictate how business is conducted and reinforces the strength of key relationships.
But for many, these programs can be stripped down to only being focused on pricing.
And that’s not ideal as these programs should represent so much more than cost controls for you. In fact, many partner programs are just as much about restricting who can purchase as they are about rewarding strong partners.
Here are a few tips to help makes sure that your partner program is built to build relationships and revenue:
Who To Accept Into Your Program?
When deciding who should be included in a partner program, refer back to your key values and mission as a company. Then make sure that the partners reflect that.
Yes, sales volume will always be a factor but it should never be the only one. Instead, focus on how the partners are growing their business and the value they add to the sales channel.
Your partner list is gold. These are your best customers both in sales volume and in the value that they help bring to your hardware.
So make sure you are talking to these partners on a regular basis. Newsletters, webinars, and conferences should all put them at the center as you continue to earn their business by providing education and insight.
Then be ready to listen; your best customers will give you valuable information on where the market is headed and how your hardware can be the future solution.
Use To Attract New Partners
Nurturing the relationship with current customers is great but every company must work tirelessly to drive new business. Your partner program can be a key factor in attracting new customers and turning them into loyal advocates.
Yes, partner program pricing will be a factor but sales and education tools will be just as impactful as they need help acquiring the needed skills to sell and service your hardware.
A partner program should be part of your marketing plan to find new customers just as much as it is a tool to retain current.
Managing a business that sells through a distribution channel can be quite messy at times. There’s different pricing to know and understand, partner programs, and layers of partners to manage. A great partner program that provides more than just a lower cost can be a powerful tool when finding and retaining the best customers.