Set goals and expectations to make partners happier (and more productive)
Do you ever think about how influential partners are to your customers? I mean, really think about it? Solution providers (partners) have a lot of power in the vendor/customer/partner relationship. It’s rare for business leaders to have a line item in their budget for a specific product. Instead, they have an initiative with a goal and a desired outcome. They want help from people who know their unique business and who will produce results through technical solutions. Those people are your partners. Make every effort to ensure your partners have a good experience with you and your customers will benefit.
Partners are the customer’s trusted advisor and put together a full solution to address the customer’s business need. On average, that full solution requires seven products and services to come together to produce the business outcome. How you engage organizations and individuals that put together those solutions will affect your success in increasing sales and services leverage through partnering.
Where do partners influence customers?
The influence of partners on customers isn’t a one-to-one ratio. On average, five partners touch the customer through their buying journey and can influence, consult, sell, build extensions, provision, integrate, manage and/or drive change within the customer. From our recent research, vendors tell us the top five roles they want partners to play are all in the early stages of customer sales and success lifecycle:
- Create customer awareness
- Discover business needs and desired outcomes
- Provide advice
- Recommend a technology solution and
- Influence the brand decision
Are you measuring your partner experience?
Partner experience, like customer experience, is every interaction the partner has with your business – from your people to your programs and your systems. We are surprised less than 30% of vendor respondents indicated they are measuring partner experience. The better the partner experience, the more they are likely to engage with you to sell your products as part of the full solution. Evaluating partner experience can be a simple survey to your partners or a detailed assessment of all your processes and policies across all aspects of the partners engagement with you.
It is comforting to know that 30% of vendor respondents plan to start measuring partner experience in 2023. We can’t wait for the vendors complete these assessments and see if they create initiatives to enhance the partner experience. 20% of the vendor respondents have already completed at least one partner experience initiative and another 20% have one in progress. We often see the first initiatives are streamlining the contract processes, creating training paths and enhancing partner portal usability.
If you can’t wait for more data and insights from our recent study on enhancing the partner experience through the journey, check out our intro report here. Want to discuss the data? Please contact us – we're happy to chat. Don’t delay on making sure you’re doing everything you can to make happy partners because happy partners bring in more happy customers.