While many companies would like to view their channel partners as stakeholders, it is important to realise that they are in fact consumers too. Channel partner relationships tend to go the transactional way and it is important to have a holistic approach, packaging the tangible and intangible for them to identify with the brand.
A Gallup study found that 21% companies with high engagement scores grew by 20%, whereas 60% companies with low engagement scores declined by 20% or more.
The engagement should be a catalyst to bolster the transactional relationship to drive business objectives. A balanced approach, marrying incentivised push with a pull strategy should be explored, such that it inspires loyalty.
Borrowing from the above, a measured approach balancing the tangible with the intangible should be initiated.
- Innovative & Flexible Programs: ‘One size fits all’ strategy is passé. Innovation and freshness needs to be brought in –
- Sales Incentive Programs – Ensure targets are achievable and incentivised keeping in mind business goals of the partner.
- Loyalty Programs – Inculcate loyalty in partners through various loyalty programs
- Learning Partner: Become the channel partner’s learning division and organise training sessions and keep them updated with upcoming trends, new technologies and changes in demand, so that they can align their strategies accordingly.
Transparent communication, mutual trust and support are qualitative aspects that cannot be measured but are key contributors that should be built on your highly professional, completely ethical and respectful attitude.
Extend a helping hand in your partner’s cost structure perhaps through more effective supply chain management, inventory control or process improvement plans.
This goes a long way in developing a mutually beneficial ecosystem.
Want to drive an engagement process that delivers business results?
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