When starting the automation process, it is essential to focus on four primary areas to build a robust relationship with channel partners through a Partner Relationship Management (PRM) solution or other solutions. Listed below are the 4P’s that make up the basis of any successful program.
The categories below are indispensable and require a comprehensive review not just when starting out in automating, but even when incorporating novel automated functionality to existing programs.
One of the most prominent hurdles most organizations face is in finding, fostering, and retaining talent. Having the right team proves the best asset in devising and implementing strategies that allow the organization to grow and evolve.
The number of channel professionals on each team will differ based on the size of the program. It is possible to run a successful team even with a minimal number of people. However, it is imperative to consider if all the members of the team bring the skillset required for each project.
Ensure the team has the reed skillset
When different people are coming together, it is essential to figure out whether the individual elements in the team flow together cohesively.
Primary roles within the team include partner marketing, partner operations, partner experience, partner communication, and partner programs.
- It is essential for all members of the team to understand the nuances of channel and partner business models.
- Establish who among the members will be managing the new automation elements.
- The team in place needs to have the bandwidth and knowledge of the system and process.
A well-defined end-to-end process makes or breaks the partner automation project. However, it is not possible to automate a process that does not exist.
Review the current processes in place to gauge how they will translate, or evolve when automation is implemented? Re-evaluating the processes in place currently is the best way to understand how they will function within a new framework.
Once the entire process is understood, it is essential to develop an end-to-end process for each element within the old framework. The automation will identify each component and the resources it requires.
This can include:
- Deal Registration flow
- Assigning someone internally to update/maintain the content
- Figuring out how the CRM is going to be integrated to reduce redundancy and eliminate duplication of information.
- How can automation be leveraged to increase adoption rates, particularly when partners reach out requesting content that is available via automation?
- How will the MDF process in place evolve and transform once the process is automated?
It is essential to understand the existing process in-depth to make the change to automation easier, smoother, and seamless. This will go a long way in aligning with automation swifter increasing ROI.
While gauging the channel partner’s preparedness for automation, it is essential to understand how automation aligns with the channel partner’s needs. There are plenty of excellent automation modules in the market but it is essential to understand not all of them will be able to meet the specific needs of the organization or the channel partner.
For this to be successful, automation requires the presence of channel partners capable of understanding the intricacies of what to implement when and how the direct benefits obtained will align with the automation.
It is important to be aware of the time it will take for channel partners to adopt the new automation policies such as deal registration or the change in the method of contact such as heading to the portal instead of emailing.
For the program to be successful, it is vital to make channel partners understand the innumerable benefits of implementing automation. This can be done by creating a clear messaging to the partners around the benefits of automation. This plays a crucial role in implementing automation and having the channel partners start using the tools offered.
The addition of partner process automation elements requires defining clearly the value proposition that it brings to the channel program. Introducing a novel automation element should not be done without gauging its value proposition. All aspects of the automation need to possess a clear set of benefits that can be linked to individual components of the program. This will go a long way in enabling channel partners to be cognizant of the benefits automation offers to them.
Automation needs to be aligned with program objectives while simultaneously helping the organization achieve them. An important point to be considered is that despite the level of planning prior to deployment of automation, incorporating the feedback from channel partners, team members, is essential to ensure a smooth transition. This process needs to done while explaining the various benefits it will bring.
The only way to measure the success and effectiveness of the tool in concert with other aspects of the program is to be open and willing to change as the metrics in place show the results. It is crucial to consider usage and performance gauging success.
The above four elements will make it simple
- To identify a platform that matches the organization’s current needs and future plans
- To configure the platform based on specific requirements
- To deploy it to channel partners out to your partners with the best chance of success
With the optimal People, Partners, Process, and Program the organization’s automation project has the elements it requires to be a grand success.
How can Zaggle Propel help?
Zaggle Propel is a simplified platform to manage your employee and channel partner rewards and engagement programs. We specialize in developing holistic programs for companies to better serve their channel partners.
With certified experts and experience, we will help you transform the relationship with your channel partners. Our tools and services make the transition smooth through periods of transformation.
Our centralized dashboard, custom integrations, and vast catalogue of rewards make the process of automation seamless and enjoyable.
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