Optimize Partner Programs for Today’s Channel

In a world where attention is a commodity and Partners are pulled simultaneously in numerous directions, Partner Program Optimization (PPO) is key. We know… easier said than done, especially when existing programs have been in place for years and assessing and repositioning the value proposition can’t happen overnight.

While every Partner program requires a unique strategy, there’s enough commonality amongst programs for us to recommend an assessment as the most effective starting point for Partner program optimization.

Here’s what to look for:

1. Be the Program Partners Want:

Partners are busy. When it comes to your programs, certifications, tools and trainings, they want every interaction with you to be easy to navigate and profitable. To effectively optimize Partner programs, look through the eyes of your Partners and keep their needs at the forefront of every interaction you have from email, to phone calls, to in-person meetings.

Here’s what most Partners want to know, right off the bat:

  • How many hoops do they have to jump through to become a Partner?
  • How easy is it for them to get training and support needed for success?
  • How are your solutions aligned with their desired business outcomes?
  • How selective are you when it comes to finding the best suited Partners?
  • Which program elements reduce competition within your Partners?
  • What type of support do you offer that drives actionable results?

2. Understand Each Partner’s Starting Point:

We love to talk about the 80/20 split in relationship to Channel Partners and group them accordingly. With an increase in the number of Vendors most Partners work with at any given time, today’s Channel reality is that most programs are filled with Partners that don’t quite fit into a tiered system. Even though it’s simple for the Vendor to create tiers based on revenue and other criteria, it doesn’t create the Partner experiences (PX) your Channel Chief is looking for. When thinking about how to optimize Partner Programs, it’s important to take the time to understand each Partner’s unique strengths and challenges:

  • How do they go-to-market today?
  • Which roles are on their team and how do they compliment each other?
  • Which solutions are in their marketing and sales technology stacks and how do they use that technology to drive demand and leads?
  • How is their business changing and how are they addressing growth challenges?
  • What are their goals for this quarter, this year, and beyond?
  • How can you help them achieve their desired outcomes?

3. Close Gaps and Build Trust:

Trust is central to every successful relationship and that includes those in the Channel. From recruitment through onboarding and enablement, it’s important to be honest and transparent with Partners as well as listen to them and put their needs first. Automation is great for tactics like newsletter distribution and general important Channel impacting announcements, but when it comes to the day-in-day-out training and support for your Partners, catering communications to their situation is key to winning and keeping their attention.

  • Ask Partners which communication channels they prefer
  • Ensure the communications from you add value to the Partner
  • Don’t inundate Partners with emails


Looking for ways to optimize your Partner programs? Start with an assessment. This e-book has you covered. Have additional questions, we’re here to help!

CH Prog Pt 1 cover image.pngGet it!

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