Don’t Neglect Channel Partner Programs

In today’s buyer-centric world, salespeople need to create value more than ever or they won’t get in front of prospects. If your go-to-market strategy relies heavily on channel partners, that’s one more step you are removed from your ultimate end-user. Training is essential to having success with channel partners, and just as in-person sales calls shifted to virtual due to the global pandemic, so too has channel partner training.

Georgia-based Incentive Team works primarily with home goods manufacturers who sell through channel partners. With traditional in-person meetings with these reps not possible, Incentive Team’s clients have focused on creating informative, on-demand videos and offered incentives for completing the courses.

“Selling is positioning a product so it resonates with the consumer walking through the door. We are huge believers that training plus incentives equals the change in behavior that our clients are looking for,” says Peter Goldberger, founder and CEO of Incentive Team.

In many channel partner training programs, sellers earn points for completing on-demand training sessions. The points can be redeemed for merchandise, travel, gift cards and other rewards.

“Organizations are taking whatever they’ve done in the past, setting it aside and looking at the new realities,” says Lincoln Smith, chief strategy officer of HMI Performance Incentives. “Using incentives to motivate channel partners to complete on-demand training is not about trying to buy someone. It has to do with identifying those VIPs that you normally had a lot of touchpoints with and providing them with added value.” 

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