Facing a need to do more with less, suppliers are under pressure to increase and expand sales through indirect channels – enough that indirect sales in many industries are growing faster than direct sales. So why are most suppliers still spending the lion’s share of their sales enablement budget on direct sales?
Most sales executives understand the importance of providing their direct salespeople with training and tools to help them close more deals. Yet these same sales executives think nothing of sending out their channel organization to recruit new partners without access to quality training or tools…and then wonder why the majority of their partners aren’t producing.
To avoid this common channel management pitfall, channel sales and channel marketing should work together to arm your partner account managers (PAMs) and partner development managers (PDMs) with the tools (and training) needed to successfully identify and recruit the right partners to meet company goals and objectives. Much like a direct sales playbook, the recruitment toolkit should provide the right content, tools and messaging to employ through the entire recruitment process. Here’s a brief outline of some of the most effective and widely used recruitment toolkit deliverables:
Creating and launching a comprehensive recruitment toolkit can be challenging and time-consuming. Plus, salespeople will be salespeople…so you’re going to hear complaints about what’s missing or what needs to be changed. But don’t let this dissuade your efforts! Without these types of tools and the training that supports them, PAMs/PDMs learn and execute by trial and error. Providing even reasonably complete toolkits based on best practices will vastly improve the quality of partners recruited and the velocity at which they are signed.
Stephanie Sissler is a Senior Research Director of Channel Sales Strategies at SiriusDecisions. Stephanie is a results-oriented professional with more than 25 years of experience working for and with resellers, solution providers, two-tier distributors and manufacturers of high-tech products and services. She has expertise in all aspects of channel strategy, development and management, including building go-to-market strategies, partner program design, partner and channel account manager enablement, and designing and executing sales growth tactics. Follow Stephanie on Twitter @SiriusSissler.