Channel partners are the face of your product in the market. Their words impact your customers and your brand presence.
Hence, you must ensure your channel sales partners know your product completely. And for this, you need to train your partners.
Now, the question is, how do I train my partners? How do I create a channel sales training program? What training methods do I use? And so on.
This blog answers all these questions and introduces an excellent training automation tool.
So, let’s start by learning the benefits channel partner sales training brings.
Benefits of channel partner sales training
There are various benefits of channel partner sales training. However, the ultimate result of this training is to boost your sales and attain business success.
Below are certain benefits of the same:
1. Strengthens relationship
Channel partners are external parties, so you need to treat them accordingly.
Channel sales training has a high potential to eliminate this barrier. Training channel partners like team members provide a sense of belongingness, helping you in channel management.
As a result, this boosts their morale and keeps them motivated without feeling like an outsider.
In contrast to direct sales, channel sales emphasize the idea that says – success is a team effort. When both parties align with this idea, they tend to be transparent, and the chances of loopholes are meager.
This means that any confusion can be resolved before it becomes a problem, and any problem can be addressed early, resulting in a successful sales channel strategy.
Transparent communication about company goals helps partners achieve their targets and keeps them motivated.
3. Increased sales
Training includes providing information on company goals, product knowledge, sales tools, and software.
When this training is executed flawlessly by sales managers and implemented effectively, they yield significant results.
Increased sales are one of the primary benefits of channel partner sales training. Partners usually outperform and yield higher sales when appropriately trained.
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4. Customer retention
You’re well aware that gaining a new customer is much more difficult than retaining an existing one.
When channel sales professionals are trained to tackle customer queries, emphasize overlooked benefits, and provide valuable resources, it helps improve customer retention.
An increase in customer satisfaction helps you gain loyal customers, hence leading to higher customer retention.
This way, you increase your customer retention by providing channel partner sales management training.
These are some of the benefits of training your channel partner for channel sales success.
Let’s move ahead and learn how channel sales managers can create an effective channel partner sales training program.
How to create an effective channel sales training program?
Here’s an effective channel partner training strategy that covers all vital aspects. Ensure working through these steps to create a program that pays off.
Let’s look closely at these seven best steps you need to practice.
1. Determine your goals
Simply, planning a training program for three weeks will help you stay content now that the training is executed.
If you prefer long-term results in terms of sales and revenues, you need to determine the objective of your training program.
You need to set specific objectives for your channel partner management process.
It may be educating them on the newly launched product and providing sales training, making them aware of the customer avatar to improve channel management.
Hence, for long-term channel sales success, it is crucial to set a goal for your channel partner sales training.
2. Identify partners that need training
Every channel partner has a different way of executing their channel sales strategy; hence they all require training at different stages.
You can conduct a regular survey to identify your partner’s requirements. Moreover, for a better sales performance of your channel sales model, you can also create different training materials.
It is also essential to note that partners and departments need training according to their level of knowledge, experience, and role. Each division of the company has its own familiarity with the subject.
Once you identify your partner’s needs, it becomes easy for you to conduct the training and see the benefits yourself.
3. Find out which segment needs knowledge on a specific topic
For successful sales channel training, it is recommended to define departments based on their tasks and responsibilities.
Similarly, you can segment your channel partner based on their company size and the market they work in.
You can then plan a training course based on the crucial things they should be educated about. This will help you gain a competent partner as a strong weapon to achieve your goals.
For example, if one of your channel partners has a large team, you need to provide in-person support and implement CRM software to track and manage every activity.
This practice ensures that your sales reps perform their best and receive the necessary assistance.
So, by segmenting your partners’ needs, you can achieve excellent results in a limited time.
4. Align your KPIs
Your Key Performance Indicator (KPI) determines the performance goal of a sales organization. It helps you to know how greatly or badly your training programs are working.
Regular training helps your partner to align with your KPIs and prevents them from being distant from your latest KPIs.
For instance, if you want to increase your customer retention rate by 35% by the end of your current financial year, then it should be clearly conveyed to your partners.
So, they know the sales quota they need to achieve after the channel programs. Hence, it is important that you align your KPIs with partners during the channel sales training program.
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5. Pick the best training method
There are different ways to implement channel sales training. However, it can be broadly classified into two categories-
- Traditional method
- Online method
You need to choose which method you want to opt for or apply different methods for different partners.
By experimenting with two training methods, you can identify which channel sales training method is best for which channel sales team.
Both the methods have their own set of advantages and disadvantages that will be clearly explained in the next section of the blog.
6. Stage your channel sales training
It is vital to have a training pattern.
Staging your training makes it easy for your channel partners to consume it. They can check their growth and complete the training without overwhelming themselves with information.
At the same time, it is important that the training is updated and upgraded promptly. The dynamic nature of business has its own set of demands and goals at every stage.
It is essential that you deploy the same through channel partner sales training.
Staging and updating your training programs keep your new & existing channel partners educated and updated in the most subtle way.
7. Take feedback from channel managers
Remember, training is never a one-off activity. There’s always room for improvement. Instead of finding the improvements by yourself, it is better to take notes from the channel sales managers.
You can organize a discussion session and interrogate about the lacking of training programs. You can ask questions such as –
- Are the learning materials clear and concise?
- Whether the doubts completely cleared, or a detailed session is required?
- Are your channel partners well equipped with product knowledge?
And so on. These questions will help you gain honest feedback.
Hence, taking timely feedback improves the efficiency of your channel sales training program.
These are the 7 ways of creating an effective channel partner sales training program.
Channel sales training methods
As mentioned before, choosing a channel sales training method is essential.
Now that you know the two primary training methods, let’s learn more about them.
1. Traditional method
Traditional methods have certain benefits that can never be replaced.
In-person meetings in traditional training programs are a great source of community interaction. However, along comes the enormous costs of assembling and accommodating huge crowds.
This method can be of great help for people who have fieldwork. Workers working in the field must assemble and gain skills through training.
Also, you can share training materials, brochures, and booklets as a part of the training method.
2. Online method
The new normal is the online method, also known as the eLearning method. It is an incredible way of imparting skills for channel sales training.
It is the most optimal method for corporate training as it is cost-effective and more convenient.
Online training allows employees to access the course in their own time from anywhere. Frequently hosting live training sessions will help you achieve great results.
How to automate channel partner training?
Conducting channel sales training programs is a lot of work, from contacting to keeping accounts of various tasks.
The good part is – you can eliminate this hectic work by automating your channel partner training program.
Salesmate is an ideal software to engage with your channel partners, provide them with constant assistance, and boost your overall sales through channel marketing.
It has a list of features that prove to be a perfect assistant to your orders and are a must-have when planning automated channel partner training.
You can provide channel sales enablement to your channel partners as a part of training.
With Salesmate’s robust features, you can create successful channel partnerships, increase revenue through your sales channels, and improve partner relationships.
1. Workflow Automation
Routine course assignments, sending webinars invitations, reminders to these webinars, or upcoming deadlines are all part of daily activity and involve human involvement that may lead to potential errors.
Workflow Automation is a feature that greatly assists in all your repetitive tasks. This feature lets you set all the above-mentioned activities on auto-pilot.
This frees your reps from these repetitive tasks and lets them focus on coordination for a better process.
2. Built-In Calling
Built-In-Calling enables your channel sales partners to improve their calling productivity. This feature also helps you stay in touch with your channel sales partners.
It is a virtual phone system that helps you connect with your trainees and trainers from any location. This feature lets you track the call outcomes as well, resulting in enhanced channel relationships.
It allows you to take instant notes from any trainer or trainee on essential topics while you are on the call.
The best part about this feature is that it records all your conversations. This means you can use this recording during your training sessions.
Also, it offers features like Power Dialer that automatically dials for you from the contact list.
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3. Automation Journey
Automation Journey is an advanced feature that helps you automate your entire marketing and sales cycle. Right from coordinating with your partners to helping them automate their marketing, sales, and customer support journey.
This feature is a boon in itself which helps you stay connected with your channel partners at every touchpoint and avoid any channel conflict.
Automation Journeys is easy to access with its drag-and-drop workflows, and you can create different automation journeys for your channel sales process.
A well-trained channel partner allows you to penetrate new markets and increase your customer base.
You can follow the above-mentioned steps for creating an effective channel partner training strategy. Also, you can implement the channel sales training method that’s appropriate for your business.
Above all, don’t forget to automate your channel partner training. So, try out Salesmate and get started with your 15-day free trial now!