Five top tips for growing your business as a channel partner 

APD Channel Partner Team strive to educate and support our partner network community in providing innovative and operationally beneficial mission critical communications solutions to delight your customers and to grow business revenue for both organisations.   

Our channel partners provide services or sells products on behalf of other complementary software, hardware, networking or cloud services vendor and include value-added resellers (VARs), systems integrators, consultants, managed service providers (MSPs), original equipment manufacturers, distributors and independent software vendors.

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Working in partnership like this is a mutually beneficial way to grow our market and both businesses. It enables our partners to delight customers and build new revenue streams, whilst extending usage of APD technologies into additional regions with local sales and technical expertise delivered by our global partner network.

Our channel partners aren’t exclusively selling APD solutions and may be also selling additional complementary technologies from other vendors, so we’ve put together our top five tips on building your market success – from your perspective as a channel partner.

1.       Keep up to date with the latest information

The best vendors will provide you with a rich repository of information about their latest products and solutions; technical advice and data sheets; brochures and marketing initiatives you can make use of. As simple as it sounds, make sure you regularly check what’s new here. If it’s possible, register for alerts when new content is added and make sure you sign up for the partner newsletter.

If your agreement includes training and development, use it. Good vendors are always happy to share the latest thinking on their solutions, new product releases and industry insights. This might be the difference in identifying, qualifying, servicing opportunities and winning new business.

2.       Keep comms open – always

You may be a channel partner for several vendors covering a breadth of solutions. However, it’s important that you keep in touch with your key contacts at the major vendors you represent. When you’re front of their minds, you’ll be the first to hear about the latest initiatives and product developments. You’ll get first refusal on incentives and VIP rewards. You’ll also be in a better position should you experience sales challenges and need extra support.  

3.       Learn from your peers on the best sales strategies

Whenever there are partner events, make sure you attend. It’s not uncommon to feel competitive against other channel partners, but often you’ll have no conflict whatsoever – you will likely operate in different verticals and/or entirely different parts of the region, country or world. At partner events, you’ll get to meet peers and learn from them on the best sales strategies they’ve used to promote the products you’re also selling.

4.       Build a sales plan

Build a mutually beneficial business sales plan with your key vendors that will help build your pipeline faster and give you the opportunity to challenge the vendor for support. To ensure the plans you’re creating can deliver accelerated results, you’ll need to take a critical look at six areas and use the insights behind each.

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  1. Customer relationships – think about who you already work with and which new contacts can you take the products to market with?

  2. Revenue – how frequently are you measuring forecast revenue intake? Monthly, quarterly and annually are the best timeframes. Once a year isn’t enough to keep yourself accountable.

  3. Channels - how do you plan to go to market with the portfolio of solutions you’ve got access to? Do you have established personal sales channels or will you engage with your marketing team to promote new services through digital channels?

  4. Key activities – what are the initiatives you’re willing to sign-up to delivering in order to achieve their revenue targets? This can be as simple as setting an objective that you’ll setup a minimum of 20 sales meetings; attend 2 trade shows and present your new portfolio at an upcoming user group.

  5. Key resources – which tools do you already have at your disposal to sell new solutions and what is still to be put in place? You may need to consider sales personnel, technical expertise, collateral, websites and other means for promotion - be realistic when you ask yourself what’s needed. 

  6. Costs – it’s critical that there’s an honest conversation about what costs will be incurred in establishing the partnership and with clear expectations about who will be covering these. It may be that you want to create co-invested marketing initiatives, but the vendor may suggest this would be considered when there’s demonstrable pipeline in the plan. Just be willing to work together on this as you’ll both stand to benefit.

5.       Get social

Enable your success as a channel partner through social media. The growth of social media platforms and trends are increasingly viewed as optimal opportunities for channel partners to promote and market their businesses.

While traditional marketing methods are effective, an increasing number of technology resellers believe that utilising professional social media platforms offers additional avenues for channel-led firms to communicate their marketing information.

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People turn to social media to interact with your company, research products, find industry news, and much more. Sure, there is the entertainment value of social media, but the business value is just as great; in fact, research shows that 91% of B2B buyers are active on social media (IDC). So why would you not promote your partnership with the vendor and tap into their social reputation? You’ll benefit from brand awareness and this can in turn create new sales opportunities.

Join our Partner Programme

We’ve got all the tools you need to excel as a channel partner with us. We specialise in critical communications and control room technologies, and we’ve got partners around the world who are proud to add our solutions to their portfolios. Have a look at our programme and sign-up if you’d like to know more - just visit the Partner hub for information.