5 Techniques to maximize your new partners’ on boarding for success…
15 to 20 years ago, when new signed-partner quotas were the #1 objective on most Channel Manger’s MBO’s list and there was a virtual bounty on mirror-foggers, it was common to hear this abandonment lament; then, as the overwhelming numbers of unproductive partners began to clog the vendor’s sales and support systems there was a culling of the channel herd with increased focus on the “20” of the 80-20 rule. Partner quality and manageable productivity over quantity remains the goal of most of the larger and maturer vendors today
But not all of today’s vendors meet these legacy standards and we’re seeing a modified return of this behavior that does not necessarily involve actual abandonment, but the results are the same. What’s happening now is that the marketplace is saturated with new ISVs popping up like mushrooms following a rain storm; and they’re eager to bring new partners on board without any idea how to help them be productive. Whether abandoned or poorly on-boarded, the results are the same – poor performance, loss momentum and eventually, product apathy.
95% of a new partners’ first sales will come from their existing customer base. That’s where we’ll focus our initial sales efforts. Fold your sales activities into the on-boarding process so that you’re combining the academic pursuit with the closed first deal pursuit.
5 Techniques to On-board for Success –
- Before signing let your new partner know what your expectations and next steps are. Schedule the first required activity to occur within 48 business hours of signing. Orientation, sales training or whatever you have defined as your on-boarding process.
- Write and distribute a Press Release announcing the new partnership. Post to your site and theirs for an SEO kicker and new partner attractant. Be sure to add a line about how to join your program to bottom of PR. Tweet it.
- Send new partnership notifications with time-sensitive promo code to the partners entire customer base.
- Meet with each sales person and secure a list (from each) of their 10 customers who are good candidates for your product.
- Review each target with them, strategize and discuss closing offers. This is where you connect with the new partner for sales and product training, understanding your product’s differentiators and establish the bond of trust that is your catalyst for success.
You can add your own variations, embellishments and rewards; but remember, the key to this technique is that you’re combining the training (on-boarding) with real-time sales activities and not treating them as separate serial activities.