How to deliver an effective channel marketing campaign

Suppliers often offer demand creation portals without considering whether they have the necessary platforms and infrastructure – not to mention expertise – to use the tools provided in an effective manner. Such a disconnect can waste time and money for both suppliers and channel partners.

When formulating tools for partners, vendors need to remember that others are unlikely to be as knowledgeable as they are, and keeping things simple will improve levels of engagement. Offering comprehensive guidelines along with development and execution instructions will help to ensure that the tools provided are used correctly. Maximum demand and revenue are likely to be generated as a result of facilitating full partner understanding.

Partners should be informed about the expected results of a program before they sign up for it. Representatives from the vendor may want to set up appointments in order to make sure that everyone knows what they're getting into, which will hopefully avoid misunderstandings down the road. For example, these professionals might specify how particular sales tools address stages in the buying cycle. The more concise and clearly explained an offer is, the more likely it is to seem attractive.

Once the offer has been accepted and the delivery phase is in progress, it is important to fully engage partners. In order for a program to reach its maximum efficiency, this is a required – and very important – step. Partners will need instructions for setting up portals and accessing tools, as well as how to use them. The easier the system is, the more likely it will be used effectively.

When everything has been implemented and the program is underway, maintaining contact with partners is imperative for as long as the program is in use. A chief reason for the failure of a program is poor execution, which is largely due to poor communication. Suppliers need to check in on progress and make themselves available to help with the tools that have already been bought, rather than only making contact to tout new products. It is worth remembering that partners are less likely to buy from suppliers in the future if they have been unable to use their previous purchases effectively.