Many successful Channel Partners are small businesses working with multiple vendors across a variety of solutions. Through their success, they’re pulled in a million different directions. We know this because we work with thousands of them each year and they struggle to find time for demand generation in addition to all the other hats they are juggling.
We understand. We’re a small business in The Channel, too – and with that comes juggling growth, creating demand, and working hard to solve challenges.
As we work with these Channel Partners we are giving advice to these fellow small businesses like:
- Engage on social media platforms to drive awareness
- Contribute useful content in the form of blogs
- Practice social selling to engage buyers
- Understand the buyers’ journey
However, when it comes to general business best practices for growing smaller companies, we have different conversations with Channel Partners. Instead of instructing, we’re listening and collaborating on what makes the difference between growth and struggle. Here are four common challenges successful Channel Partners face:
The 10,000-foot view
Successful business ventures put a high degree of focus on the larger picture rather then getting caught up in the details. That said, it’s easy to get stuck in the “forest for the trees” scenario and become bogged down in the details while losing concentration on meeting goals. Sure, it’s important to focus on payroll, human resources, onboarding, marketing, sales, operations … you get the picture, but make sure to spend time developing and honing a growth strategy as well. Meet with the team to iterate and reiterate the plans, accept their input, and be prepared to course correct immediately when needed.
Finding a trusted advisor
A trusted advisor is critical to the success of every CEO in a Channel Partner organization. Sometimes a business partner occupies the role, other times it’s an employee or even a spouse. It really doesn’t matter who they are as long as they act as the voice of reason. Trusted advisors are important gatekeepers of the growth strategy, keeping it on track, and helping inform decisions and mitigate risk – all of which are necessary for success, especially when in growth mode.
When news comes up, good, bad, or neutral it’s important for small business leadership to remain steady and confident in the team’s ability to handle whatever’s thrown their way. It’s ok to be transparent, purposely slow growth, and course correct business and marketing plans. Building a business isn’t a destination, it’s (as they say) a journey – the Partner’s and their buyers’ journeys. Channel Partners who focus on their buyers reap the most rewards.
Standing with bent knees
Let’s face it – technology is evolving so fast it’s hard to stay up-to-date. It can sometimes feel like there’s a monsoon of information, solutions, and products to keep up with. When standing in extreme wind, it’s helpful to bend your knees in order to lower your center of gravity and avoid injuries. Successful Channel Partners use this type of thinking to brace for what’s waiting around the next corner from both a technology perspective and a business perspective.
What else are you doing to support your SMB Partners? Interested in finding out more about how we help Channel Partners navigate the equally fast-moving digital marketing world? Contact us, we’re here to help!