Particularly as a software startup, it's important to have a strong partner sales (sometimes also called channel sales) strategy in place in order to maximize your reach and potential for growth. Partner sales involve partnering with other businesses or organizations to sell your software, allowing you to tap into their customer base and extend your own.
There are a few things to keep in mind when building a partner sales channel:
- Find the right partners. Look for companies that have a similar target market or that complement your product offering. You want to partner with companies that will be able to sell your product and that you can trust to represent your brand well.
- Establish clear goals and expectations for the partnership. This will help ensure that both parties are on the same page and working towards the same objectives.
- Train your partners. Once you've selected the right partners, it's important to train them on your product and how to sell it effectively. Provide them with marketing materials, demo versions of your product, and access to any other resources they might need.
- Offer incentives. Incentives can help motivate partners to sell more of your product. You might offer discounts, commissions, or other types of rewards for meeting sales targets.
- Measure results. Keep track of how well each partner is doing in terms of sales and customer satisfaction. This will help you determine which partners are most effective and whether any changes need to be made to the program overall. Have regular communication and check-ins with your partners to discuss results.
- Have a plan for ending the relationship. Sometimes you'll find that a partner just doesn't work out. Don't be afraid to end the relationship if it isn't working out. Just be sure to have a plan for doing so in order to make the transition as smooth as possible for your customers.
By following these steps, you can set up a partner program that's well-organized, effective and mutually beneficial for you and your partners.
(mostly written by TextCortex)
Building Successful Partner Channels: Channel Development & Management in the Software Industry.
"When Microsoft acquired Navision there is no doubt that the price they paid was heavily influenced by the value of our channel partner ecosystem. I can think of no one better suited than Hans Peter Bech to write a book with the title Building Successful Partner Channels." - Preben Damg...
Hey Startups: It's Not all About Direct Sales-Your Guide to Partnerships and Channels - Battery Ventures
When founders strike out to build the next great company, most assume they'll adopt a direct sales model. But it's worth thinking about partnerships and channels, too. Utilizing partnerships and channels can enable effective go-to-market activity. It can also improve your product's scalability, increase customer engagement and ultimately provide the highest levels of service.