Although channel partnerships used to only be popular with traditional hardware and software companies, Allbound founder and CEO Scott Salkin says that they have become way more important when it comes to retaining and growing customers for all types of industries.
“When SaaS really first started growing, a lot of folks talked about how…it could be the death of the channel. But several years later, that whole thing has made a 180. Right now, companies are realizing that the channel can be just as, if not even more, effective for companies who build a great framework around it, who want to go to market through partners,” Scott said.
He recently joined Sales Hacker founder and CEO Max Altschuler to present Cut CAC, Raise Retention and Supercharge Sales with Channel Partners. During the broadcast, Scott explained how high-growth companies are using channel to create communities around their business.
“Look at companies like Salesforce, HubSpot, Marketo and some of the fastest growing SaaS companies out there who have built this amazing ecosystem of alliance partners that are actually building a whole economy around their technology,” he said.
Whether you’re just starting to think about building partner channels or you’re a channel partner vet, here are ten tips from Scott on how to get the most out of a channel partner strategy.
10 Tips to Step Up Your Channel Partner Strategy
- “You’ve got to go out there and start finding partners who have a similar state of mind as you do, have a complementary offering in terms of services or solutions or products that they offer, and that you can build a symbiotic relationship with. It has to benefit both of you.”
- “When you think about all the innovation in sales and marketing and that stack that we’re looking at on our screens right now, it’s kind of skipped over the channel. And a lot of that is because of the complexity, but some of it is just that it’s one of those areas that has some high barriers to entry and it’s not as sexy as some of these other areas even though it can provide some great results.”
- “Make your partner channel a layer within your existing [technology] stack. I look at [channel] as a layer that can actually be integrated with the technologies you’re already building.”
- “From the technology you’re working through contacting customers to qualifying prospects to demoing your solution to closing deals, your channel needs to be a layer in there that’s integrated with your existing stack so you can leverage those existing investments that you may already be making in these technologies and pushing those out to your partners — whether it’s the data, whether it’s the capabilities, whether it’s the best practices that all these different tools and technologies have given your organization to grow. How do you take those things and expand those capabilities out to your channel?”
- “When you’re building your channel, make sure you keep that integrated and find out ways you can leverage your existing technologies instead of spending a ton of money trying to build a separate stack.”
- “How do you drive customer success in an organization? That goes with not stopping thought leadership and content development pre-sales. There are things that you need to be continuously creating, continuously be rolling out to your partners and continuously be helping customers with after the sale is completed.”
- “Think of all types of content you could be providing [channel partners] with.”
- “Channel partners oftentimes feel like partnership is the last thing that’s on the minds of their vendors or the folks they’re selling with.”
- “Having calls with [channel partners], doing QBRs, coaching them, helping them throughout the sales cycle, passing them the right content along the sales cycle — anything you can do to collaborate more effectively is going to be really important.”
- “The human element of partnership is still critical. You still have to have some face-to-face time. Utilize tools that are available online. Utilize video. Pick up the phone and make a call sometimes to your partners and make them feel like you’re collaborating with them from a human perspective — not just providing them tools to help you grow your bottom line.”
When you feel like you’ve got all of these down, check out the whole webinar here with Scott, Max and tons more info on building an effective channel partner strategy.