Channel partnerships, or white label partnerships, provide companies with another vehicle to sell their products and services or increase their product offerings. For both parties involved, these relationships can serve as a way to drive sales and reach more customers. For small or mid-size companies, partnering with a larger organization or a more established entity can also enhance credibility.
If you’re considering a technology channel partnership, here are the top three tips for a successful channel relationship:
- Confidentiality – Ensure your channel partners that the terms of your agreement and their usage of the technology will remain confidential. While there are some companies that are comfortable disclosing their channel arrangements, many prefer the security and privacy that is associated with white-labeled relationships.
- Support – Although channel partnerships are most successful when the technology easily complements a company’s product suite, reselling a technology, may not come as easy to the reseller’s sales team. Therefore, it’s important to equip your channel partner with the sales tools necessary (e.g. collateral, training) to make selling a breeze. Your partner company is already busy enough staying current with their own products/services, so provide them with clear and concise positioning to help them simply integrate your technology. Additionally, it’s also helpful to provide some kind of reporting functionality to sales teams in order track technology usage and other customer behaviors. These metrics will serve as great feedback for sales to better target customers.
- Benefits – In conjunction with providing succinct training, you need to clearly show your channel partner how your products/services benefit their organization. Show your channel partners that they can save on product development costs and hiring additional staff while adding a new technology or increased functionality to their product portfolio. In addition, be sure to articulate that the channel partnership will help deliver the product/service to market much faster than if the company developed the technology from scratch. All of these cost savings will help increase revenue. What partner wouldn’t want to hear that?
Developing channel relationships can be an effective way to increase business and generate revenue. However, these partnerships require a clear, mapped out strategy to outline the benefits of the relationship and determine how tasks, information and money are distributed between the two organizations in order to be most effective.
Too many partner relationships die on the vine because the new products are treated as an additional menu item. It is important to truly integrate the new item(s) with the existing suite to drive sales and customer retention. Both sides of the relationship must view each other as a true partner and continue an ongoing relationship that drives revenue for both sides.