5 Techniques to maximize your new partners’ on boarding for success…

    “The vendor called me everyday and night until I signed their partner agreement, and I haven’t heard from them since”

    15 to 20 years ago, when new signed-partner quotas were the #1 objective on most Channel Manger’s MBO 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 revenue weaklings from the channel herd with increased focus on the “20” of the 80-20 rule.

    Soon, partner quality and manageable productivity over quantity became the goal…again.  But, the pendulum swings.

    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.  The thinking seems to be, if 10 partners are good – 100 are 10 times better.  Or, we’ve been successful  bringing on new customers, we can just translate that success to resellers – won’t need to change anything.

    Whether abandoned or poorly on-boarded, the results will always be the same – poor performance, loss momentum and eventually, product apathy leading to channel frustration and failure.

    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.

    NOTE:  The techniques described below represent only one thin slice from the larger On-Boarding pie.  For more slices with all the toppings check out our “Downloads Locker“.

    5 Techniques to On-board for Success

    • Before signing let your new partner know what your expectations and next steps are.  Prepare them to hit the ground running and schedule the first required activity to occur within 48-business hours of signing.  Keep them occupied and busy with productive activities that usher them through accelerated sales and technical training.
    • Sales and Marketing Kit – an assortment of marketing documents and collateral, videos, product images/logos, success stories, quotes…everything they’ll need to deliver your message.  Place in your Partner Portal so the information will be consistent, fresh and accurate.  If you don’t have a portal you can deliver via zipped folders, but updating all your partners will be a grueling cumbersome process with no guarantees they’ll use the latest revisions.
    • Write and distribute (business wire or other Google indexing option) 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.
    • Meet with each of the new VARs’ sales person and secure a list (from each) of their Top 10 customers (prospects/targets) 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 and unrelated serial activities.

    If you’re having trouble getting your partners on the path to productivity, call or email The VAR-City, because that’s a great idea.

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