Channel partnerships have evolved
Channel leaders at technology companies who’ve had their heads down over the past few years might not have noticed a fundamental shift happening within the partner space, prompting the need to re-think their channel partner experience.
Similar to the customer experience, the partner experience (PX) is your partners’ holistic perception of your business developed through your interactions, the resources and technology you provide, and your working relationship as a whole. In a rapidly changing business environment, optimizing your partner experience will improve their experience with end customers, creating new opportunities for your company to grow and boost channel success.
Three factors contribute to the shift within the channel partner space.
In the past, partners often sold a focused product offering and aligned their business with a particular vendor.
Technology companies didn’t have to compete much to win partner business and loyalty, and high switching costs meant end-users had fewer opportunities to change vendors.
The technology industry has grown more competitive in the last decade with the increased ease of switching vendors, the popularity of subscription-based models, and the growth of cloud-based software.
Changing roles of partners and vendors
Today, the role of partners and vendors has changed considerably. The role of partners has expanded across the customer lifecycle with a renewed focus on customer satisfaction.
Business owners and other end users have higher-than-ever expectations for service providers. They want someone who understands their business goals, not just their IT needs.
Company leaders are looking for partners who can advocate for their business and ensure they see the solution’s value.
Not all partners are the same, have the same needs, or are motivated the same.
Therefore, vendors should prioritize the needs of different types of partners. They can begin to create a better partner experience by grouping partners into two categories — legacy and future — and creating resources specific to each category.
For example, a future partner (aka a newly recruited) partner might need help getting initial traction with customers and making early wins. On the other hand, a legacy partner team may need assistance with adjusting their processes to new selling challenges.
How can partner-centric organizations keep up?
Assess your partner experience to close the gap
The partner experience is one of the most critical components of your partner program and channel ecosystem. With careful planning and ingenuity, you can start building and optimizing the perfect partner experience.
Take the first step by downloading our guide to understand how you can build an optimal experience or access our worksheet with a step-by-step assessment to help you take your partner experience to the next level.