Develop channel partner business and relationships effectively
Channel Partner Management (CPM) is a methodology designed to help channel partner managers to develop and manage a portfolio of partners to generate higher levels of sales results.
CPM provides repeatable methods and tools, and develops the skills required to effectively identify and recruit channel partners, jointly plan for partners’ growth and success, and significantly improve the level of relationship with channel partner organizations. The result of CPM is a more successful channel sales organization with higher levels of sales productivity, more efficient use of channel support resources, and more profitable business.
CPM focuses on helping sales professionals to develop higher levels of business too, though, and with a portfolio of channel partners.
The CPM Channel Management Life Cycle
CPM is designed for any sales professional who must build and manage a portfolio of channel partners and maximize their sales results.
What is included in the Channel Partner Management?
Designed to develop critical skills for working effectively with channel sales partners, CPM enables sales professionals to:
Identify and recruit the right kinds of partners
Analyze partners and identify their relative strengths and weaknesses
Work more effectively with channel sales partners
Prioritize partner sales activities and optimize the use of company support resources
Jointly plan and set realistic expectations for partner performance
Earn trusted advisor status with channel sales partners
Gain greater “mindshare” of channel partners for selling company solutions
Sell more business to, through, and with channel partners
Multiple Delivery Modality Options
CPM can be learned through live instructor-led training (ILT) workshops, or via virtual instructor-led training (vILT) sessions. We find that a blended learning approach that incorporates a mix of delivery modalities produces the best results for skill development and method proficiency.
For ILT and vILT delivery, each SPI instructor has been certified to rigorous standards, and they each bring years of channel sales and management experience to ensure their credibility and enhance facilitated discussions. Alternatively, SPI can certify client instructors for in-house delivery and coaching, at the client’s option.
Workshop Topical Agenda
CPM is a modular program, designed to be tailored to the unique requirements of each client. The standard instructor-led CPM workshop is a three-day, highly interactive program, using in-classroom tools and application exercises. The standard workshop includes:
Welcome and Introduction to Channel Partner Management
Identify the desired state of many partner relationships
Identify your level of relationship with your partners
Introduce the channel management lifecycle
Discuss and capture channel management difficulties
Target, Recruit and Encourage Channel Partners
Understand how partner organizations plan, evaluate, and buy
The steps of the “recruit and encourage” sales process
How to effectively target and select the right partners
How to identify the pain and power sponsorship in partner organizations
How to stimulate interest with the targeted partners
How to conduct an effective meeting and diagnostic sales conversation
How to create a plan for a partner to evaluate the potential relationship
How to demonstrate value to sell and close partnerships
Discussion: What constitutes effective partner selection criteria?
Team activity: Create a Reference Story to stimulate interest and credibility with partners
Team activity: Pain admission exercise
Role-play: Role-play a consultative sales conversation with a prospective partner
Team activity: Controlling the sale exercise
Channel Partner Growth Planning and Enablement
Identify the trusted advisor value cycle
Identify partner enablement capabilities and differentiation
Elements of a partner growth plan
How to create effective partner growth plans that benefit both parties
Identify the key relationships in the partnership
Identify the primary business initiatives of the partner
Key tasks and time frames for action
Value and success criteria
How to assess the strength of the growth plan
Team activity: Identify your differentiators
Team activity: Build a partner growth plan
Managing the Channel Partner Plan and Relationship
How to conduct a business review session
Identify competitive encroachment
How to check the health of the partnership
Leverage partner satisfaction surveys
Team activity: Conduct a partner health check
Team activity: Conduct a sales company indirect health check
Activity: Discuss the value of partner satisfaction surveys and how to use them
Managing the Channel Partner Plan and Relationship (continued)
How to act as a virtual sales manager to the partner sales team
How to conduct pipeline and opportunity reviews with partners
A model for preparing and executing coaching sessions with partners
Opportunity vs. skill coaching
Prepare for coaching discussions: GRAF model
Partner pipeline management
Discuss the types of partners you engage with globally
Discuss the importance of putting CPM principles to work
Prepare a 30/60/90 day implementation plan
The CPM workshop is designed with adult learning principles in mind. The program’s instructional materials facilitate participant understanding by using a mix of media to transmit and reinforce key learning points. SPI provides full-color training content in electronic workbooks for use on participants’ mobile devices or laptop computers, as well as color reference charts, animated presentations, and interactive content where appropriate.
Useful Sales Tools and Job Aids
The CPM workshop includes a variety of helpful job aids and tools. As participants complete the workshop exercises, they develop proficiency by applying these tools to their channel partner portfolio. After the workshop, channel partner managers can use the tools on an ongoing basis for effective execution of partner management skills.
The job aids provided in the CPM program toolkit include:
Partner Selection Criteria Worksheet – analyzes the fit of a potential channel sales partner
Partner Recruiting Tools – a set of helpful job aids that enables channel partner managers to stimulate the interest of potential partners, conduct effective recruiting conversations with them, verify the potential value of a partnership, and negotiate and secure new partnership agreements
Differentiation Grid – identifies the unique and highly valuable aspects of solutions for sale by a channel partner
Partner Growth Plan – a planning tool for determining the optimum ways for jointly developing a channel partner’s sales results
The strength of Plan Check – analyzes the quality of a joint channel partner plan
Partner Health Check – evaluates the level of business relationship with a channel partner
The strength of Sale Analysis – analyzes the relative quality of partner sales opportunities
GRAF Coaching Preparation – helps channel partner managers to prepare for a virtual sales coaching discussion with a channel partner
30/60/90-Day Implementation Plan – a planning tool for getting started with channel partner management principles successfully
Channel Partner Management provides channel partner managers with the skills and methods they need to develop a portfolio of productive partners and increase channel sales results. The outcomes of this methodology are new growth in channel sales, higher partner productivity, and a higher level of relationship and share of sales with channel partners.