Partners are the ones keeping your supply chain running and helping you reach your goals. That’s why it is in your interest to give them the best training. The only thing is… Since they don’t work for you, but are your partners, they don’t really have the obligation to follow your training or to invest time and effort to satisfy your needs. And, here’s that friction again.
But don’t worry. If you understand the necessity of training and manage to motivate your partners to do it, you’ll be able to remove the friction. You might even make the prospect of training appealing!
Why is training partners important?
Training your channel partners on your brand, products, and services, technical matters, and how to sell your brand is how you’ll make sure that they work well with your entire network. In other words, failing to train them could mean complicated processes and a revenue loss for you.
Another positive impact from training is customer satisfaction. Training channel partners to communicate better with customers has a positive impact on the sales process. Once trained, your partners know what they sell, to whom, and how. That works better than just randomly presenting products!
You probably know already that acquiring customers is way more expensive than retaining existing ones. Answering questions and providing solutions fast, significantly reduces the chances of losing customers. Your partners can only provide customer support if they’ve been trained.
Partners are ambassadors of your brand. Your logo is everywhere on their website. They talk about your products and services… In this age of social media and virality, a mistake from your partners can damage your brand by association. Giving a proper training alongside presenting your company and its ideals can avoid this kind of situation
Alright, now that some of the benefits of training your partners are obvious to you, it’s time to give you tips on how to sell that idea to your partners.
3 things to remove friction in the partner training process
Your channel partners need to see the value of training beyond yours, what’s in it for them.? The first step is to identify their pain points and opportunities. Only then will you be able to offer them training programs that make their life easier and add value to their business proposition.
Use your end-users to motivate partners to get training
Very often, vendors train their partners before marketing a product or service. But why not switch upside down that process? Launch a campaign about this new integration. Generate demand via marketing first. End-users will get curious and eventually ask questions to partners.
Your partners will not want to look incompetent. They’ll directly seek answers and expertise from you. If partners don’t see the point in getting training, force them to via your end-users. There’s no better incentive than interested end-users.
Bet on your technical team to convince partners
The easiest way into an end-user is usually not via the CEO. When it comes to asking your partners to get training, it kinda works the same. Your partner success team might not be the best choice. Think about it… It is the technical team that supports partners for this kind of exercise.
Also, they’re the ones saying to them: “Hey we’ve got that new product, it works so well and it could totally be integrated into your ecosystem”. Might feel strange at first but just let your technical people hop on board on this one. Partners see them as trusted advisors and are very likely to follow their suggestions.
Make “Training” an “Opportunity”
One key critical element to technical training is to know why and what you’re educating your partners about. At the end of a training, your partners should know:
- The types of end-users you’re targeting
- The ecosystems your products integrate with
- Why you make their and end-users’ lives easier
You’re not only telling partners what support they need to deliver. What you want to do is present the value of your product and the secret to sell it. In other words, you’re explaining to them how to make money. And for sure, everybody is eager to listen to that.
Ready to remove the friction in your channel training process?
There are 3 things you need to consider when removing friction from your channel training process:
- Motivation : directly use your end-users to trigger your partners to get training
- Technical : rely on your tech people to convince partners that they need training
- Opportunity : make training sound like something partners cannot miss
Try out these three tips to remove the friction of training.
Curious to know more about removing the friction? Our 2nd podcast episode dives into different parts of the process. From recruitment to onboarding, training, marketing, and sales. Listen below or head to Partnerships Unraveled for links to your favourite streaming service.