How to Grow and Retain Business Through Channel Partners

Doing business through channel partners is becoming increasingly common. It’s estimated that 75 percent of annual sales are made through channel partners. Channel partners can be distributors, resellers, or companies that offer value-added products or services. These partners can help manufacturers grow or retain business by tapping into their experience and local networks. 

Explore the concept of channel partners’ importance in business growth and retention and how businesses can effectively manage these partnerships to achieve shared success.

Why are Channel Partners Important? 

The biggest benefit of a channel partner is expertise. By separating selling and manufacturing, you and your channel partners can hone in on what you are good at. Partners can focus on developing their local markets, creating networks that manufacturers wouldn’t otherwise be able to tap into. They can also handle customer support with the buyers they know more intimately than the manufacturer. Meanwhile, manufacturers can focus on the product and product marketing.  

However, avoiding treating channel partners as your sales department is important. 

Channel Partners as True Collaborators 

Treating channel partners simply as members of your sales team risks leaving valuable insights on the table. Channel partners often bring unique insights and expertise to the table. Recognizing them as collaborators means valuing their knowledge and understanding that they contribute more than just sales numbers. Leveraging their expertise can lead to better-informed decisions and strategies.  

A strong relationship with your channel partners can lead to long-term success because when partners succeed, it directly benefits the manufacturer or organization. This fosters a sense of shared responsibility and commitment.  

The Importance of Transparency 

Collaboration implies open and effective communication. Encourage a free exchange of ideas, feedback, and information. This open communication is essential for addressing challenges, optimizing processes, and seizing new opportunities. Transparency can help partnerships to flourish.  

Freely sharing data and the insights that come with it can drive better decision-making. Your partners can analyze customer behavior, market trends, and sales performance, enabling them to tailor their strategies for better results. With your partner’s data, you can understand your products and the markets in which they are being sold. Establish information-sharing expectations early in the relationship and set the tone for transparency.  

Offer Marketing Support 

Channel Partners typically don’t have access to marketing resources that manufacturers do. In many cases, partners rely on manufacturers to provide marketing support and resources. Supporting your channel partners with marketing can help foster a consistent brand message.

Inconsistent messaging may confuse or put off potential customers. Manufacturers provide marketing support through templates, co-branded material, and branded microsites. 

A cohesive brand image and messaging strategy throughout the distribution channel means that everyone is on the same page when presenting products and services to customers. 

Don’t Underestimate Getting Together 

Organizing events that require attendees to gather in person presents a great opportunity to bring people together and establish meaningful relationships. Such events are a powerful means to impart knowledge about your products, foster a sense of community, and gain valuable insights into your partners’ goals and aspirations. Whether you’re planning a conference, a workshop, or a social event, the benefits of organizing a successful gathering are numerous and can help create lasting partnerships.

Start Growing Through Channel Partnerships Today 

Collaborating with channel partners can help businesses grow and retain their customer base. Transparency is key to building trust and maintaining strong relationships with partners, while marketing support can help partners effectively promote and sell your products or services. By leveraging these strategies and treating channel partners as true collaborators, businesses can build mutually beneficial partnerships that drive growth and success.

If you are looking to start building a channel partner program to grow your business, reach out to explore FirstComms channel partner solutions today.