It’s natural for vendors to focus on the end-user; after all, it’s this customer who ultimately purchases the product and provides revenue. But if you use a channel to market and sell your product line, you should also understand that your partners are equally—if not more—crucial to your success. Without your partners pitching your products, you wouldn’t gain the end-users! By establishing a channel partnership, you’ve already recognized that fact. With this in mind, there are many ways you can optimize your relationship with your partners to maximize the benefit you all see.
- Research the competition. By knowing what your competitors are offering, you’re in a better position to articulate to your partners how your product is different and better. This makes it easier for them to successfully pitch it to the end-user.
- Support the channel. While your partners are responsible for marketing your product directly to the end-user, it’s your responsibility to provide them with a compelling value proposition, sales collateral, and any training and support they may need. After all, if your product isn’t selling because your partner’s marketing materials aren’t up to par, your revenue plummets.
- Understand your partner. In order to build in value in a product, you would research your end-users to identify their needs, wouldn’t you? The same should apply for your partner. If you don’t understand your partner’s business model or how your product complements its other lines, you can’t deliver value. If that’s the case, your partner likely has little loyalty to you. A losing situation for everyone.
Simply put, you need to help your partners sell your product!