A sales channel model involves a company partnering with a third-party to deliver its product to the consumer. Instead of investing in an in-house direct sales team, this channel partner sales strategy is the fastest way to enter a market quickly and at a low cost.
Businesses operating in the Software as a Service (SaaS) industry rely heavily on channel sales to expand into new markets and build customer loyalty. From HubSpot to Zendesk to Slack, these organizations understand that gaining a reputation in a new customer base and making connections with partners are significant steps to building credibility as a business.
Why Channel Sales Matters
As mentioned, you can get your foot in the door of a new market by partnering with a third-party that already has influence in it. The benefits of this arrangement include:
- Reduced marketing and distribution costs since your partner will already have the infrastructure in place for the job.
- Efficient scaling to accommodate increasing sales by expanding your number of partnerships.
- Instant brand recognition, as your partners will already have credibility in the market
- Offloading the customer success procedures to another company
Channel sales is especially vital for an SaaS sales strategy, which relies heavily on keeping customers interested and loyal to your product to encourage membership renewals.
It’s Not an Easy Task
Interacting with your channel partners effectively is not a simple process. There are many factors to consider when building channel sales for SaaS.
For instance, what model of partnership is ideal for your business and industry? Should you choose an affiliate partnership by rewarding your partners for successful sales? Do you opt for Value-added Resellers (VARs) who will bundle your product with a variety of other features to improve marketability? Or do you just need a distributor as a middleman between you and the buyers?
And how do you motivate your channel partners to become active members in your community? Regular communication and incentives are important points, but one that many organizations fail to address is educational resources. That’s where channel sales training comes in.
Educating Your Channel Partners
Whether they’re distributors, vendors, resellers, or otherwise, partnerships work best when they have the information they need to sell your product or service. Education keeps motivation up and ensures that all partners align with the overall goals of your company.
Education also improves buyer retention. For example, you can teach a partner how to answer difficult questions from consumers and address their concerns more effectively. Doing so raises customer satisfaction and keeps your company in the minds of the consumers.
Online Resources for Channel Software Sales
Providing any type of business-grade training can be costly. You not only have to develop the course material that’s both relevant and informative but you also need the equipment and lab space for participants to interact with the course.
That’s why most companies turn to virtual IT labs for their training needs. These cloud-based training platforms allow users to take coursework over the Internet at any location and at any time. This flexibility is excellent for a growing list of channel partners, who may be located in multiple off-site areas.
Virtual training is flexible and accessible enough to meet the demands of modern businesses. Any organization looking to stay competitive cannot overlook it.
The adoption of a virtual learning environment for channel partners raises your chance of success significantly. It’s also an excellent way to generate metrics on the progress of your partnerships. Which members are doing well in terms of knowledge retention, and what can you do to make sure everyone is on the same page regarding the details of your product and how to present it?
No matter what issues may come up, online education enables businesses of all sizes to stay on track and get the most out of channel sales.