Does your New Year's resolution include doing a better job of account planning with your channel partners? If not, it should. Partner Account Planning is a great way to improve channel performance, but is often taken for granted. With the beginning of a new year, there's no better time to improve your partner relationships than with a refreshed joint account plan to improve sales performance. So let's discuss how you can improve your channel partner account planning efforts.
Why are Partner Account Plans so important?
First off, it is unlikely that your partners will achieve the goals that you need to establish, without a clear and common view of what those goals should be. It is amazing how often companies fail to put at least a simple partner plan in place, to ensure that everyone is chasing the same objectives. Beyond common objectives, the likelihood that revenue goals will be met go up subastantially if both parties commit to a common plan and approach. In addition, the act of building these plans creates a foundation of trust with your partners. This mutual trust is achieved through your joint accountability, knowledge, and collaboration. Listen to your partner's challenges and share your expertise in an open dialog. By collaborating and working within your partner's framework, they will view you and your organization as a reliable ally. You will be able to maximize their potential with custom made business plans and joint action plans. Everyone will be on the same page, setting up the perfect environment to bring success to both parties.
What are the key elements to your Partner Account Plans?
There are some very basic elements that need to be built into any form of joint Partner Account Plan. Keeping this in mind, the following are the most basic elements that you should include in your partner plans:
- Marketing Plan
- Joint Investment Plan
- Action Plan
Depending on the size and nature of the relationship you can scale up or scale down requirements of the partner account planning process. If you click on the button below you will be able to download a simple partner account planning checklist, that goes a level deeper in outlining an account plan checklist. This will at least provide you the foundation to customize your own partner account planning template.
What are the primary benefits to creating Partner Account Plans?
A strong partner planning strategy leads to success for both parties. Achieving a joint revenue plan is the most obvious benefit to both parties. That said, the benefits extend beyond that:
- Setting realistic joint expectations
- Outline all sales and marketing activities
- Establish KPI's to track progress
- Clearly define target market and lead offerings
- Jumpstart new partners quickly
- Build an action plan to resolve obstacles in advance
Need help building the structured partner account planning process?
We created the Partner Account Planning Checklist above for you to download. This checklist was designed to be a flexible guide, and provide you a resource to get started. We strongly encourage you to customize it for your needs and the needs of your partners.
The key is not taking the Partner Account Planning process for granted this year. Get the year started on the right foot and kick off the development of the Account Planning process with your partners. If you're interested in discussing how to get started, please send a note to Steve Perry at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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