Most of the time, satisfied partners are also loyal, well-performing partners. Yet many vendors neglect to (a) ensure partner satisfaction by providing needed support and (b) simply ask, periodically, what they can do better to help partners be more productive and effective. A useful tool for learning and serving the needs of your partners is a partner satisfaction survey.
The most effective surveys needn’t be extremely lengthy; they just have to ask the right questions. For example:
- Which of the sales and marketing tools that we currently provide are most and least valuable to you? Why? What sales and marketing tools are we currently lacking that you would find most value in? Why?
- Which of our products do you find easiest and most difficult to sell? Does this vary by end-user? If so, how?
- Which of the following areas do you feel most and least supported in: marketing, technical, sales, incentives, and training? What improvements would you suggest?
- Which of our products’ competitors are most encountered in sales situations? What would be most useful to you in helping to close more sales of our product in these situations?
From the answers to these few questions, you already have a head start in determining which partners are unsatisfied in which areas. Armed with this knowledge, you can begin to resolve these issues and create programs that both strengthen partner commitment and grow the profits your partners provide.