Vendors: Know what partners expect from you!

I’ve talked a bit recently about how to use tools like partner profiles, partner scorecards, and partner satisfaction surveys to ensure that the right fit between you and your partners, and that they are performing to your expectations. But what do partners expect from you before and while they carry your product?

Your product should complement the lines they’re already selling.

Why? Because they’re probably already reaching out to your end-users. Taking on a product that doesn’t fit within their business model confuses their brand and complicates how they market to their customers.

Partnering with you should bring a solid ROI.

Just as you are always seeking ROI from your partners, your partners are seeking the same from working with you. Help both of you increase profits by offering training and actively participating in the development of marketing programs surrounding your product.

You should provide benefits that make the partnership worthwhile.

Most likely, your partners need your help to sell your product. If you’re not willing to provide sales training, incentives, MDF, and technical support—in addition to categorizing leads by order of importance and feasibility—your partners will make fewer sales. That makes the relationship less worthwhile for everyone.

Successful partnerships are built upon vendors and resellers willing to commit to a collaborative relationship. By knowing what your partners expect from you in the beginning, you’re less likely to leave making sales entirely up to them. And that’s when you’ll both see a better bottom line.


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