Do your channel partners know what you expect of them?

Your answer should be a resounding “YES!”, but think carefully before you respond. Have you thoroughly and consistently articulated your expectations to your partners? Have your expectations changed throughout your relationship? If so, have you made those changes clear? If you haven’t, this could be the top reason why a partner is underperforming.

At the beginning of establishing a relationship with a channel partner, you should make clear what you expect when it comes to new customer acquisition, customer service and support, logistical and marketing support, debt collection, value-add packaging or selling, and cooperation with other partners in the same territory. Misunderstandings in any of these categories could lead to avoidable errors that negatively affect the relationship. Not sure how to collect this type of information? Create a channel partner profile [link to post explaining what this is and how to make it], refer to it often throughout the relationship, and update it appropriately.

By the way, if you’re new to channel partnership and aren’t sure what you should expect, turn to your existing and past customers! Your channel partner will serve as the go-between between you and the end-user, and your customers will be able to tell you what kind of support and service they would want from this kind of situation.


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