Let’s start by throwing out some numbers at you, and you can guess if these are possible to achieve or not. Through channel partner training, is it possible for a company to see a boost of over 1900% in revenue and 1000% growth in user-base, only in just six months?
The majority of people would’ve answered with ‘not possible.’ If a company promises these numbers, most businesses will stay away from it as it sounds too good to be true.
Settling for the local market is not even considered by businesses as an option, especially in this era of globalization. This is precisely where partners come into the picture. Partners help businesses create their identity in the world, or at least expand their current market reach.
As soon as your first external partner joins, channel partner training becomes quite essential as their stakes and shares in the company’s sales grow. Your channel partner training platform will let you create and sell courses online.
This article will cover all the important details you need to know about channel partner training. We will start with a topic as elementary as ‘What Is Channel Partner Training’, then continue on to its benefits. Furthermore, there will be tips on ways to choose a promising partner and design an effective training program for them. Let’s get into it!
Let's explore how to choose a channel partner training
Should You Care About Channel Partner Training?
In the process of channel partner training, you provide your partners with the knowledge that will help them promote and sell your product. Applying the knowledge makes it easy for partners to maintain customer loyalty and satisfaction. When customers get what they are told, they become happy and are more inclined to buy the same product again. More importantly, the local sellers can apply better customer service strategies to further increase sales. When customers receive good customer service, it improves the overall image of the brand.
So Why Should You Care About Training Your Partners?
The answer to this question is based on common sense. Businesses can't sell their product globally all on their own. There are reasons for this – the obvious one being the effort, money, and time needed to start a chain at such a huge level. Partners also boost sales by extra terms and services to a new potential group that vendors are incapable of providing on their own.
Nikon truly applied the process of channel partner training perfectly by partnering with Kineo. Nikon was already well known for its specialist knowledge on cameras and the quality in the products they built. Their network of 100,000 retailers across the world had a significant impact on the performance of the company. By partnering with Kineo, they were able to create an expert-level portal to provide knowledge and certification to the dealers. This learning portal helped Nikon create a community of enthusiastic experts working globally towards the same goal – selling Nikon cameras.
But why is it that customers prefer buying from partners and networks and not directly from vendors? Let’s look at some of the reasons for this.
Communication aligns with the regional needs: No one knows the demands of the customers better than the regional seller. Local partners understand the habits of their customers and what they expect, making them more equipped to sell your products.
An extensive line of products: Imagine one of your partners has a chain of supermarkets– they are partners with tons of vendors and provide all the needs of the consumers under one roof. This means that if customers have to buy a face wash, they won’t go to a face wash factory, but rather to a store containing a variety of face washing options.
Effective organizational solutions: Because your partners are closer to your customers, they’ll be able to solve the organizational issues in a much better way be it shipping, warranty, or even repair, they’ll be able to provide better customer service.
Already established a relationship between customers and resellers: Customers who have purchased from a retailer and received a better experience will continue to buy from them. This means that the retail customers will trust your products simply because they have them.
Why Channel Partner Training Is Beneficial?
There are a plethora of benefits to providing channel partner training. The results will more often than not be in favor of your partners, consumers, and as a result your business. Listed below are just a few of those benefits.
Stronger network with better communication: When you train your channel partners, you open lines of communication for yourself. These lines of communication help resolve issues related to your products, protocols, or performance expectations much before they can become a full-blown problem. Sharing networks make it clear between you and your partners that you are in it together.
Your partners provide better customer support: You can train your partners for customer support. They can provide solutions to tough queries efficiently, which greatly reduces the chances of you losing any customers. You should always keep in mind that it costs 5 times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one. When your partners are better educated for customer support, your customers become better educated about your products.
Improves your sales: Gauging customer satisfaction is one of the most essential components of an ongoing sales process. When you train your partners for better communication with customers, you pave the way for them to impact the sales process positively.
Faster growth: When you have an effective channel partner training strategy at your disposal, you will always be ready to train your next partner easily and quickly. You’ll have all the resources to speed up their learning process without waiting for them to catch up to where you are.
Tips to Choose Promising Channel Partner Training
Channel partner training is also a form of investment. Like any other investment you make, you don’t want to rush into things. If you do, the solution you end up with may not serve you well. Here are beneficial tips for choosing a promising channel partner training.
How to select your channel partner training
Be Mindful of Your Budget
It is essential to train your partners adequately, but do not turn a blind eye to your budget when focusing on training. It is important to be mindful of your financial capacity. Before you start exploring the training solutions, you have to determine how much you can spend on the whole process. The cost range of channel partner training can have drastic lows, as well as highs, depending on several factors.
For example, if you are looking to star a well-known expert as an instructor in your training video, or are interested in hiring a reputed graphic design team for the content, it’ll cost you relatively more. If you are low on budget, you can create content with your specialist team. It all depends on the range of your budget.
Choose the Type of Content Partners Need
When it comes to channel partner training, there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution. The education required to get the work done correctly can vary in different industries, companies, and in some cases, even partners to partner within the same channel.
The requirement of different content for different companies is understood. For example, a partner of a software company needs to have different content than a partner who’s working with a clothing company. Similarly, the content for sales executives will be different from the training content required for service providers and installers.
Before building a channel partner strategy, you have to determine what it is your partners need in order to succeed. This training can be classified into two categories:
General Skills Training: No matter which industry you take into account, there are going to be certain training skills that are universal. For example, best practices for sales training are going to be the same whether it is for a software company or a company providing physical products. In the end, both businesses' primary goal would be for people to buy their products. General skills training is generally less specific, and can be easily outsourced. But make sure to check the quality of the training if you do outsource it.
Product Training: It’s all there in the name. Product training is exactly what it sounds like. Your partners need to know every detail about your product and its functions. When engaging with customers, your channel partners need to have all the answers on hand from basic to advanced problem-solving levels. Product training certifies your partners in being able to sell your products.
Align Training With Company’s KPIs
It is important to ensure that your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) align well with the channel partner training. These KPIs track the performance of a company, focusing on your goals for the year. It is important that your partners be aware of the goals you set for the company. If your training is not aligned with the KPI, the partners will lack proper exposure to your goals. You can’t expect someone to help you succeed if they don’t even know what your goals are.
While creating courses, it is essential that they build intuition about the overall goal of your company, both short and long term. To remove chances of confusion, mention the goals explicitly in the training content.
Carefully Select the Platform
There is no shortage of platforms for channel partner training. You can have a huge list on the internet, but keep in mind that not every platform will fit well with your company. Imagine you are a small business. It would be easy for you to provide in-person and hands-on learning experiences to your partners. This method of training would not be sustainable for a large corporation with partners all over the world.
It would be good to go with an learning suite in the latter case. But again, there are a lot of options to choose from – it’s the company that has to decide what works the best for them.
Make the Training Valuable for You and Your Partners
It is your job to make the training beneficial for your partners. You have to make them see value beyond your immediate success. Communicating what they will get out of the training is important to keep them invested.
When creating content for training, you need to ensure that it touches on your partners pain points and provides solutions in an engaging and digestible way. Modify your training when a new problem arises in the market – this way the channel's partners can rise to the occasion.
Now that your partners believe your course is helpful to them, they should be ready to buy your training. You gain value by selling courses, while your partners gain value through the knowledge and being able to effectively sell your product, bringing in revenue for both you and themselves. It’s a win-win solution.