Managing relations with your Channel Partners

29 Oct. 2010 General

Many companies in B2B businesses today make use of some form of third party channel in their overall sales strategy. They could be distributors, value added resellers, resellers or OEMs. In some businesses, a great percentage of the overall business is being brought in by channel partners.

Today a Channel Partner is not just someone you sign up as a distributor and expect leads from. There is a very close bond that is established and managing this relationship also introduces additional complexity to the over all sales process.

To manage the relationship between a Channel Partner and your organization, the following steps may prove useful:

  1. Define your Channel Sales process – A channel partner may have their own sales process. If he doesn’t have one, the organization can offer a basic sales process. It is preferable to keep the Channel Sales process a little less elaborate than an organization’s internal sales processes. A channel partner should be comfortable in adopting your sales process into their own sales processes.
  2. Blend your sales processes – Many different sales process should be blended into a 4 to 5- phase view as described below:
    • Lead Generation
    • Understanding requirements and offering a solution
    • Sending a proposal, carrying out negotiations and closing the deal
    • Expanding and growing the opportunity created through referrals
  3. Define the flow – Always ensure that all your selling flows are clearly defined. Appropriate business rules also need to be defined eg: when and why should an opportunity be sent across to a channel partner. All your key players in the sales process should have their roles and responsibilities defined.
  4. Make use of CRM technologies – Once you have a formalized sales approach in place, a CRM technology will help you automate many of the functional areas for the sales team. The ability to monitor the development of the sales opportunities is inherent in understanding and managing the sales process. A simple system can allow the Channel Partner to be able to enter, track opportunities, respond and manage the entire sales process efficiently.

Seeking to be a Channel Partner? Contact Rishabh Software today to find out how we can build a mutually beneficial partnership.

Rishabh Software, a CMMI Level-3 technology company, focuses on cost-effective, qualitative and timely delivered Software Development, Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and Engineering Services.

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