Your channel partner program is only as good as your partners. This means attracting and retaining the right kind of partners is a critical priority.
Finding a qualified partner will come down to the specifics of your program and the partnership agreements you are looking to form. Retaining those partnerships, however, will rely on your ability to make that partnership work, for both of you.
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And that’s where added perks and extra benefits come into play. Benefits can range from the simple to the complex, and from the economical to the cost intensive. But at the core of any good benefit is a value-add, something that shows your partner you care about their business– and that you want to keep them around.
Our top 15 partner benefits are proven to bolster your channel partner metrics. We break them down into two categories: benefits that improve productivity and benefits that build loyalty. Let’s dive in.
These benefits can be the difference between a team at standard performance, and a team at peak performance. Setting your channel partners up for success can be a little costly up front, but in the long run, it’s worth the investment.
1. Free Demo Equipment
Product demos are a necessary part of any sales process. Make the demo process easy with free equipment to support your channel partners.
2. Extra MDF (Manufacturer Development Funds)
“To win partner mindshare and for future growth, companies must co-innovate, co-invest and collaborate across the ecosystem.” – Accenture
A little extra MDF can go a long way. Providing additional funds gives your partners the opportunity to invest in marketing techniques that generate more awareness and ultimately, more sales.
3. Price Breaks on Products
Price breaks = Higher margins = More incentive to sell. No brainer.
4. Yearly Training with Your Team
Why work with a partner who isn’t up to date on your latest advancements and solutions? Including your channel partners in your yearly trainings will ensure your teams are functioning at peak performance – internally and externally.
5. Free Certification Training and/or Free Seminars and Courses
Seminars and courses exist for almost every topic under the sun. And according to a report by Statista, across generations, employees see learning as an integral part of their career success this year.
Keep your channel partners competitive by providing the funds for on-going training and course work that will elevate their sales ability and improve their impact on your bottom line.
6. Yearly Upgrades for Necessary Products
Don’t let your channel partners walk around with out-of-date software or beat-up equipment. Keeping them running means keeping them equipped with the latest and greatest you have to offer.
7. Subscriptions to Relevant Sales and Automation Tools
Did you know, “61% of businesses leveraging automation reported exceeding revenue targets in 2020?”
In line with #6, remove the manual hassle by providing the tools and technology that your internal teams have available to them. Not only will this make your partners more productive, but using the same technology means you won’t have to go back and forth between different applications all day.
Example: A great tool for your toolbox? One that offers critical lead information. ZoomInfo enables your team to gather the information they need to make their ongoing work of lead generation a resounding success.
8. Sponsored Webinar or In-Person Event
Hosting a webinar or in-person event? Providing free tickets for your partners and their prospects or clients will elevate the experience all-around. And who knows; that event could be the conversion point for a prospect teetering on the edge of becoming a revenue-generating client.
9. Free Tickets to an Annual End-User Conference
If an end-user or client is hosting an event, your channel partner should be there. Footing the bill for these events ensures your partners are making an appearance where they need to be without the costly worry of how to get there.
Sometimes you just need a perk or two that will keep your channel partners from looking elsewhere for opportunity. That’s where these benefits really matter.
Building loyalty doesn’t happen overnight, but with these benefits, you’ll be well on your way to creating a win-win partnership.
10. Sales Contests
Everyone loves a chance to win. Hosting a contest is an easy way to make your channel partners feel involved. Creating buy-in and excitement garners you extra sales.
Example: Sales contests don’t always have to be about who makes the most sales. From “Most Improved” to “Sales Bingo,” change it up and keep your channel partners actively engaged!
According to a study done by SurveyMonkey and Bonusly, “82% consider recognition an important part of their happiness at work.” While awards seem simple, they are impactful in recognizing contributions while simultaneously generating on-going loyalty.
Example: Whether you win for Category, Performance, or Heart, HubSpot’s Impact Awards is a great example of the kind of effect awards and recognition can have on a team.
12. President’s Club
Achieving President’s Club status is like winning the gold medal of sales. So, it makes sense that your channel partners would want to be included in the opportunity. Opening the proverbial door of your club will keep your partners feeling like a real member of your team.
13. Gift Cards or Other Freebies
Gift cards are a quick and easy way to show your appreciation. Plus, who doesn’t love a gift card?
14. Performance-Based Bonuses
If bonuses aren’t already built into your partnership agreement, this can be an easy step to incentivize your team and keep them engaged with your partnership.
15. Let Them Pick!
Sometimes the best thing you can do is let your channel partners pick for themselves. What interests one may not interest another. By letting them pick, you know the investment you are making in their benefits will pay off in the end.
The benefits you afford your channel partners extend well beyond a gift card or free training. These valuable additions are what keep your best partners from changing the channel – driving loyalty and productivity to sustain and maximize your channel partner program a success.
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