Distributors play a key role in adding value to the partner community, especially when it comes to enablement. Channel programs are a good example of this, providing time-poor partners with support and resources so they can better market and sell their solutions. But what makes a good channel program and how do you decide which one is right for you? Here’s a quick checklist to help you choose the program that best aligns with your business focus and needs.
Trust and transparency
First and foremost, you need to be able to trust who you are working with. What are the credentials and areas of expertise of the program provider? What is the feedback from other partners that have participated in previous programs? Successful channel programs are created by distributors who set shared goals and objectives with their partners from day one, documenting and setting milestones for how to achieve them. They will provide full visibility across your progress as well as metrics for quantifying performance.
Ease of doing business
Always consider the prerequisites for program participation, such as training and certifications, and what is required to obtain the rewards and incentives on offer. A good channel program should fundamentally be easy to navigate and will minimise the hurdles so you can focus on making sales.
How much knowledge transfer will you obtain throughout the course of the program? For example, what are the training and certification inclusions? Channel programs that can provide technical enablement on top of sales enablement can ultimately provide partners with the knowledge they need to talk to the product and better sell solutions.
Rewards and incentives
A good channel program will offer rewards and incentives that recognise partner investment and success. Consider what rebates, points programs and incentive trips are on offer, and how they directly benefit the growth of your business. It’s also worthwhile considering whether the program has any opportunity to cross-sell and up-sell, and if there is any renewals support.
Marketing is a critical aspect of any good channel program, allowing you to reach customers you might not have reached otherwise – with minimal investment. What marketing resources and activations are available through the program? Some examples might include digital marketing, microsites, events and social media. A good channel program will also offer partners strong lead generation opportunities that allow you to grow your business quickly.
Arrow channel programs
As part of our value add, we offer unique enablement programs that provide funding, education, sales, marketing and lead generation to help you maximise your sales success. We go the extra mile, providing the support in execution and delivery on your behalf.
Arrow APEX is one of our most successful programs not to mention the first of its kind in the industry; the 2017 program saw more than 100 training courses and certifications handed out, and more than 250 Arrow-generated leads handed to partners to create new pathways to market.
Below is a list of other Arrow channel programs. Like APEX, these programs combine training, certification, lead generation and incentives to help partners build a profitable business.
- F5 Secureworld
- NetApp Advance
- Palo Alto Networks Fast Finish (active until July 2018. Get involved!)
- Riverbed Upstream
- Sophos Phishing Expedition
- Symantec Cybersecurity Games
- More programs launching soon. Stay tuned…
At Arrow, we provide access to leading technology, but our passion lies in enabling our partners to grow their business and deepen the degree of influence with customers. Our channel programs have been designed with this core purpose in mind.