2021 brings with it a The Channel Partner Journey
Mapping out the company’s desired much-needed tide of hope and optimism. While 2020 has been a rollercoaster, it has allowed us to understand the importance of channel partner programs. They have had to be reimagined and redesigned to provide more diversity in the last one year.
Going into 2021, understanding the focus areas to build and reinforce is necessary. Here is our take on the 2021 channel partner programs trends and how they are going to evolve.
channel partner journey will provide a holistic view of the current status of your channel partner interactions and how it aligns with your future plans.
Research shows that one of the most challenging aspects of channel partner programs is the struggle to engage, qualify, or progress.
This analysis of the current and the desired state of partner-customer interactions will drive higher sales and retention rates, enhanced customer satisfaction, and adoption of novel technology.
The Optimal Channel Partner Experience
With fierce competition across platforms, vendors and partners alike have plenty of options. This makes it essential that the individual elements of the channel partner program evolve beyond conventional goals and requirements. It needs to become a two-way street where both the vendor and partner must find value.
Based on the economic after effects of the pandemic, B2B companies are likely to increase their efforts to recruit more vendors and channel partners.
A robust channel partner program needs to be accessible to all agents starting from the ones who just joined to the more established. Apart from accessibility there needs to be consistent support. Providing a smooth channel partner experience is central to promoting loyalty. Additionally, this helps in optimizing the program and strategizing better as a one-size-fits-all program does not serve a purpose here.
Making the program simple and engaging will ensure higher revenue generating activities to propel the program towards the ideal.
With the pandemic having eliminated in-person workshops and seminars, several people have taken this time to upskill themselves across a variety of domains. Enforced social isolation in concert with digital initiatives are changing conventional modes of business.
These new skills must be reinforced by encouraging channel partners to deploy these skills and training into their every day interactions
Apart from reinforcing skills learned, the company must also have skill development programs. A tiered training reinforcement program with rewards as incentives to encourage active engagement. These training programs will go a long way in equipping channel partners with nuanced knowledge on the various products and services they are selling.
Research shows that such programs demonstrate an increase in overall sales in a stagnant market. Often, higher the training of the representatives, higher the product sales.
Research from Forrester demonstrates
- 571% increase in incentivizing non-transactional referral partners
- 200% increase in recognizing electronic reseller/retailers
- 124% increase in service provider eligibility.
Channel Partner Incentive Programs
Personalization has grown from would-be-nice-to-have to a strategic imperative. Transforming channel partner programs begins by providing customized learning experiences for every partner with appropriate, accessible rewards. These rewards can put together based on their designation with personalized incentives based on the markets they service.
Usually, people would choose an experience over material goods. This would promote loyalty and serve as an incentive to deliver consistently to win more rewards. With the vaccines being rolled out, it looks like the second half of 2021 could have some experiences as rewards based on the situation then.
Work From Home Incentives
With the number of people working from home at an all-time high, several companies have decided to continue this into 2021 as well.
The pandemic and prolonged social isolation has led to people struggling. Incentive programs could help engage the remote workforce while also addressing possible concerns.
Whether for channel sales incentive plans, customer incentive programs, market research incentives, employee rewards, or anything else.
Digital rewards have been on a steep incline and have only served to become more popular in 2020. These can include the following:
- Vouchers or gift cards from various brands such as Amazon, Starbucks, Sephora, IKEA etc.
- Gift or Virtual prepaid cards valid across different brands.
- Subscriptions to online stores such as Audible, Netflix etc.
Digital rewards provide instant gratification as they can be used immediately. This is the primary reason for their soaring popularity.
How can Zaggle Propel help?
Zaggle Propel is built to strengthen and maintain engagement for employees, consumers, and channel partners. At Zaggle, we understand how important it is to maintain a great working relationship with your channel partners. We work towards reimagining and redesigning tools for the best channel partner program.
Zaggle Propel comes with an intelligent, easy interface, centralized dashboard, that supports customizable integrations capable of working with complex, multi-level KPIs.
Please reach out to us in case of any queries.