For Channel Success, Focus on Total Partner Experience

“Before you put yourself in someone else’s shoes, you first have to take off your own.” In other words, before trying to examine a situation from someone else’s perspective, an observer must try to abandon all biases and preconceptions. A case in point in the b-to-b world is the concept of total partner experience (TPE), used by leading organizations to review their channel programs from a partner’s perspective.

Using feedback collected from partner surveys, partner advisory councils and one-on-one interviews, a TPE study examines whether partners’ experience is not only best-in-class, but consistently delivered. For example: Does a partner in one region receive the same business value proposition and benefit statements as a partner in another region? Based on these findings, a TPE strategy can then be created that seeks to streamline deliverables and create common processes in three channel program components: engagement and onboarding, knowledge transfer, and demand creation.

TPE is not – and should not – be a one-time or one-stage process; rather, it should be implemented as an ongoing program component. Unless a proactive, continuous effort is made to evaluate channel programs from a partner’s point of view, large and/or highly evolved channel organizations can become complacent about variations within their programs and fail to perceive the impact of these inconsistencies on partner experience and satisfaction. In the words of an old Chinese proverb, ”If you would know the road ahead, ask someone who has traveled it.”

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