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Channel Matters Blog > November 2014 > Best Bet: Improving Partner Productivity

Best Bet: Improving Partner Productivity

by Rich Blakeman
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Facebook isn’t for everyone. Nor is Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest or any of the myriad other social media platforms available today. Some of your channel partners probably have a hard time using email, let alone using social media as a communications channel.
The fact is, we all have different communications styles and preferences. Some people like verbal communications; others do better with written. Some want information explained; others prefer to draw their own conclusions. Perhaps the starkest difference in communications styles has to do with technology. Some channel partners love using new technology to communicate; others, not so much.
According to the 2014 Channel Enablers Channel Productivity Study, channel managers can get a real boost to partner productivity by adapting to a channel partner’s preferred communication style.
Best Bet: Improving the channel manager’s recognition of a partner’s preferred behavioral and communication style improved partner productivity by 50 percent.
Touch vs. Technology
“Perhaps the two biggest factors that have to be taken into consideration are the partner’s need for frequency of communication and their level of comfort with technology,” says Rich Blakeman, Managing Director at Channel Enablers.
“Partners that are high-touch are great as long as they are contributing to performance,” explains Blakeman. “These partners tend to be engaged. The channel manager just needs to decide how to balance technology against old-fashioned communications techniques. The approach taken must be dictated by the partner’s preferences, not the channel manager’s.”
On the other end of the spectrum are the partners who don’t require much hand-holding. If they are comfortable with technology, self-serve portals, newsletters and other mass-communication techniques can be deployed. If they are less comfortable with technology, office visits and phone calls are in order.
“Regardless of the quadrant the partner belongs in, it’s essential to determine whether they are what Channel Enablers calls an Achiever, Believer or Deceiver,” adds Blakeman. “Spending time, effort and resources with partners who aren’t contributing, drains productivity.”
Last modified on 11/11/2014 7:34:16 AM
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