Tuesday, March 4, 2014

What Have You Done for Your Partners Lately?

Your partners are one of your company's most valuable assets. Are you doing all you can to help them be as successful as possible? If you are not sure, here are a few easy steps to determine what your partners are thinking and how to improve  your program:

1. Talk to Your Partners -- pick several key partners for a 15 to 30 minute call to discuss the current value of the program and what you can do to improve the program and 'their' success.

2. Send out a broad survey to your base with no more than 5 questions about their perception of the program and how you can improve it. Survey Monkey is an easy to use tool for such surveys. Leave room in the survey for the partners to provide comments, ideas and suggestions. 

3. Invite all your partners to attend a 30 minute Webinar to discuss the partner program and any updates or planned improvements. This will go a long way to improve your communication with the partners and increase value of the program. Potentially you could schedule a partner Webinar on a regular basis (like once per month or quarter). GoToMeeting provides an easy to use Webinar tool.

4. Start a regular partner newsletter to communication new company, product and program information. If you keep it brief and focused on topics of interest to your partners it will foster better relationships, improve communication and will nurture your partners. I can provide suggestions for good email and newsletter tools to simplify the process. In addition, you can leverage content from you newsletter to your Blogs and social media posts. Speaking of Blogs and Social Media that takes me to the next suggestion.

5. Leverage Blogs and Social Media to communication with partners. Do you have a partner blog? How about a facebook page just for partners? These are easy to use methods for staying in contact with partners and demonstrating your commitment to the channel. You can start small with a partner facebook page and expand from there. Much of the content you produce every day can be re-purposed in Social Media and blogs.

These simple steps will let you cost-effectively provide partners with more awareness of your program and commitment to their success. 

For more information about starting, integrating and improving your partner or marketing programs, contact Larry Fournier on LinkedIn or by email at: fourthman@usa.com.

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