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Expand Your Market and Grow Your Sales With Channel Partners
What is a Channel Partner?
A channel partner is someone who sells your products or services in addition to his own. Types of channel partners include resellers, distributors, agents, influencers, or affiliates.
The main difference between them is their involvement with your brand. An affiliate or agent would receive a commission for promoting your products. A distributor would buy your products at wholesale pricing and sell at retail. A value-added reseller would be more involved in the sale and onboarding of the client and would often combine other products or services and an influencer would get paid a fee, and perhaps a commission, for recommending your products or services.
Why Should I Use Channel Partners?
There are several reasons you should consider using channel partners:
- Leverage Their Resources - It's not always easy to find salespeople with experience and expertise in your industry. But when you do, it's time to leverage them and let them represent your brand. A channel partner will bring you qualified leads and help you close deals faster.
- Save Time & Money - When you use a channel partner, you don't have to train new salespeople, worry about customer service questions, or spend money advertising to attract customers. You simply pay them a commission on every sale they make and send them out into the field to sell to prospects. This frees up your time so you can focus on other aspects of your business.
- Build Your Brand - If you're looking to establish yourself as an expert in your market, you'll want to look outside your company for people willing to promote your brand through word of mouth. By partnering with a reputable third party like a channel partner, you can gain credibility while they take care of all the marketing and promotion.
- Get Paid More - Having another person selling your product means they're earning additional revenue for you. This extra income helps offset any costs associated with hiring new reps. In fact, some companies even offer higher commissions to channel partners because they know how valuable it is to them personally.
- Expand Your Market Reach - With a network of trusted channel partners, you can reach a broader audience. This could mean finding new ways to expand your business and making connections with potential buyers in new markets.
- Boost Sales Faster - With a channel partner to introduce you to interested parties, you'll be able to quickly set appointments and get face-to-face meetings.
How Do I Find and Select a Channel Partner?
To begin building your network, start by identifying your most likely channels for success. Here are four places to look for potential partners:
- Local Business Forums, Associations and Groups - Look online for local groups related to your industry. Join these groups, attend events, and share information about your product and services. People often become aware of what others are doing within their community through group activities.
- Directories - Many industries host directories where professionals list their credentials, contact information, and specialties. For example, if you own a law firm, check the Yellow Pages under "Attorneys" to see listings from other attorneys who specialize in personal injury cases.
- Referrals - Ask friends, family members, colleagues, staff members, clients, and others in your network to recommend a channel partner. Word-of-mouth recommendations are the best form of marketing, but many people aren't aware of this option.
- Direct Marketing - Companies specializing in direct marketing can help you target specific audiences based on geographic location, demographics, gender, age, occupation, and behavior.
Once you've identified a few prospects, you'll need to learn more about them before selecting one as your partner. First, determine whether they already carry your specific line of products or services. Then, ask yourself which ones would be most beneficial to you. What areas do they cover? How much do they charge? How big is their team? How well versed in your field are they?
Once you have narrowed down the choices, schedule an initial meeting so that both sides can discuss expectations, compensation plans, and overall objectives. If you're going to invest time and money into a partnership, you better make sure there's a mutual fit between you and the company.
How Can I Build My Network?
The easiest way to start growing your network is to join existing forums and associations. You can use your professional expertise to contribute articles to these sites. These publications will help you to establish a reputation among other experts in your field. When someone sees your name and qualifications, they'll think you're credible enough to be worth contacting for advice.
How Do I Keep My Channel Partner's Focused and Engaged to Sell My Product?
Asking good questions during the sale process will show your channel partner that you value their input and commitment. The following steps will help keep your channel partners active:
- Establish clear goals - Determine how successful you want to be with each channel partner. Be realistic; don't expect to meet all of your sales quota with just one partner. Also, consider what type of referral traffic will lead to future opportunities. Are you looking to find new customers, or are you primarily concerned with increasing volume?
- Provide frequent updates - Send periodic updates throughout the year detailing accomplishments, changes, and new projects. This keeps your channel partners informed about your progress and helps them feel invested in your success. It also shows that you're committed enough to take the initiative to reach out to them when something comes up.
- Reward referrals and sales - Give channel partners irresistible reasons for making referrals and sales. Incentivize them by offering discounts on their next purchase, free items, cash bonuses, or a formal incentive program where they can earn a reward by meeting targets. Help them succeed, not only in selling your products, but in business generally.
If you're not generating any leads from your current channel partners, it's time to change tactics. Your network is a powerful tool for building business. Use it wisely.
Channel Partner Sales Suppliers
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Frequently asked questions
World Incentive Network Inc. is a BC based company, founded in 1996. We are a full service incentive marketing and performance improvement company that creates, markets, and manages reward, recognition, and incentive programs.
As part of our services, we connect qualified buyers with vetted suppliers. We do this as affiliates, value added resellers, consultants, and influencers.
We provide a variety of services including consulting, program design, program management, and marketing. These services are paid for by the business who needs our assistance.
The suppliers listed in our directory pay us for marketing their business and selling their products or services.
The suppliers in the WIN directory have been chosen so that businesses of all sizes can find the best solution for their specific needs.
There are suppliers who cater to Mom and Pop businesses, small businesses, mid-market companies and enterprises.
Our role is to connect you to the supplier that is best suited for your business and its needs.
The WIN Directory is a marketing service for business performance improvement suppliers. We enter into arrangements where we market, and sometimes sell, on behalf of the supplier.
We also work with the buyer to help them select the best option for their particular needs, whether it is simply recommending a supplier and making the connection, or combining a variety of suppliers to create a unique and customized solution.
If you need help to create, promote, and manage incentive programs or recognition programs, our specialists will take care of you.
And, if we're not a good fit for each other, with respect to your needs and our services, we will happily refer you to a better suited service provider.