How to Build a Channel Partner Program in 7 Steps

Apurva Pathak | April 6, 2022 | 229 views

Channel Partner Program
Channel partner programs help multi-billion dollar companies like Microsoft, Oracle, eBay, and many more increase their revenue and grow their businesses.

A channel partnership is when a company partners with another company to market or sell its products, services, or technologies.

What exactly do channel partnerships do for your revenue? What do channel partner programs entail? Let us take a look.

Why Are Top Companies Engaging in Channel Partnerships?


  • Channel partnerships accelerate business growth
  • They create high brand awareness at a low cost
  • They increase revenue through various partner channels
  • They allow seamless expansion into new markets and verticals
  • They contribute to a better customer experience


C-level Executives Are Sitting Up and Taking Notice

In an interview with Media 7, Sam O’Brien, CMO at Affise, discussed the growth of channel partnerships.

Since joining Affise I've had many senior, experienced CMOs, head of marketing, demand generation leads reaching out to me asking how they can learn more about partner marketing. We want to solve that and make it easy.”

Sam O’Brien, CMO at Affise

Global partnership ecosystems are thriving. They accelerate the growth and expansion of companies into new markets and verticals. Managing channel partnerships needs to be taken seriously. C-level executives are doing their bit by hiring competent ecosystem managers. An example of this is Reputation, the global leader in reputation experience management (RXM) expanding its executive leadership by hiring its first-ever Chief Ecosystem Officer, Brent Nixon. He is the other ‘CEO’ who creates and fosters a long-lasting partner ecosystem as Reputation continues to grow across Europe and Asia.

How Many Types of Channel Partnerships Are There?

There are many types of channel partner programs that B2B companies create. Here are some important ones:

  • Affiliates
  • Referrers
  • Resellers
  • Tech Alliance Partners
  • Cloud Service Providers
  • Original Equipment Manufacturers
  • Strategic Partners


What Does a Channel Partner Program Entail?

A channel partner program is a way to get channel partners to do more for your customers. Implementing channel partner programs can transform the way you do business. However, creating them is not easy. They take a significant amount of time, effort, and, most importantly, strategic planning. To ensure the success of your channel partner program, you need to get into deep waters, research potential partners, brace for swift growth, streamline your processes, and confidently venture into markets while being aligned with your business goals.

Here's what you should be looking at before creating a channel partner program:

  • Status of business
Your products or services should be tried and tested for your partners to invest their time, resources, and trust in them. The demand and appreciation of your product or service offerings should be motivating enough for them to go the extra mile.

  • Streamlined sales cycles
Streamline your sales cycles so you know what works best for your in-house sales processes. Only then can you explain to your partners how you want them to sell and distribute your products.

  • Key markets identified
You need to figure out which key markets your partners can help you target through your channel partner program. How can your partners help you position your brand in these new markets? How can your partners do more for you in these markets? If you think they can do more for you than you can do for yourself, then it can be a great foundation for creating your channel partner program.

  • Readiness for growth
Channel partnerships steer new clients to your business. Ensure that you are ready to accommodate this growth, and serve these new customers with the same enthusiasm that helps you retain existing customers. Your customer support personnel are key to creating an excellent customer experience for your new customers.

How to Build a Channel Partner Program in 7 Steps


Discover the Right Partners

Arrive at a consensus with your stakeholders about expectations from a new partner. The partnership should be based on common business goals and brand culture. It should be based on mutual respect, shared vision, and values so customers have the best experience while interacting with your product. Your partner should complement your skills and alleviate your weaknesses. Apart from these factors, choose a partner who has

  • access to the markets you want to enter
  • the ability to help you achieve expected revenue
  • distribution channels that meet your needs
  • a customer base that serves your purpose
  • a strong intention to enter a lasting partnership


Reaching Out to Shortlisted Partners

Once you find a potential partner who ticks all the important boxes on your checklist, approach them to discuss your business goals and what you can achieve together. Highlight your challenges, previous partnership achievements, and the benefits of the proposed partnership so that your partner program creates great value for you both. It is crucial to work towards relationship-building from the get-go, so your intended partner understands your mindset to address customer pain points.

Create a Partnership Agreement

After you finalize your partner, work on creating a partnership agreement. Put on paper your shared partnership goals, target markets, specify your duties in detail, commit to the resources you and your partner will offer to enhance the partnership, clearly state your expectations and terms, list the strategies and tactics you plan to use to achieve your goals, and detail your incentive plan. Other factors like payment terms, indemnification terms, and partner marketing efforts should also be mentioned to ensure transparency from the beginning. Creating a solid partnership agreement will hold both parties accountable for their actions and will protect both businesses from any mishaps. Get a second professional opinion on the agreement to ensure you are not missing out on anything important.

Decide the Metrics

Without tracking the measurable goals of your partnership, you cannot ensure the success of your channel partner program. Follow the SMART analogy for your goals. They should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. Your channel partner program should measure KPIs like these:

  • Total and average revenue per partner per channel tier
  • Revenue achievement against specific products
  • Revenue by geography
  • Number of deals registered
  • Partner satisfaction
  • Channel attrition rate
  • Effective MDF (marketing development fund) utilization
  • New Customer Logos
  • Renewal Rates

By deciding on the metrics that effectively illustrate the performance of your channel partner program, you and your partner can easily understand the weaknesses of the partnership and address them in time to get the most out of the program.

Streamline the Partner Enablement Process

Partner onboarding doesn’t end after signing the agreement. You need to invest time and effort in channel partner management by enriching the partnership through partner enablement activities such as:

  • Customized training for partners
  • Explaining your product to the partners for appropriate brand representation
  • Providing them with tools and resources to sell your product better
  • Continuously communicating and updating the partners about product updates
  • Listening to partners’ concerns and issues in the selling process
  • Congratulate and reward your partners for their achievements


Efficiently Manage Partnership Using PRM Tools

Manually managing all the channel partner program data can be overwhelming. The PRM software eases the management process. You can streamline your recruiting, training, and partner relationship management. Partnership tasks can be managed efficiently through PRM software. Here are the features that your PRM software should have:

 


Create Partnership Incentive Plans

Incentives are a great way to keep your partners on their toes to sell your product better. They will strive to offer your customers a great customer experience and remain enthusiastic about their partnership commitments.
SiriusDecisions’ Principal Analyst, Jay McBain, noted that partners are looking for better partner experiences and more innovative partner incentives.

Your partnership incentive plans should be structured, comprehensive, personalized, clear, and transparent because they can drive an increase in revenue and market share, draw in new customers, and enhance teamwork and collaboration. The most popular incentive plans used by businesses are:

  • Gift Cards
  • Merchandise
  • Award Points
  • Trips and Travel
  • Commissions (Rebate)
  • Sales Performance Incentive Fund (SPIF)
  • Market Development Fund

Conducting special events to commemorate the success of the partners, treating them to frequent dinners, and hosting special educational sessions for them can also create positive reinforcement to work harder towards revenue generation and create an emotional connection with the partners.

Ringadoc Got a 1,983% Boost in Their Annual Revenue

Ringadoc’s channel partner program is a great successful partnership program example. The start-up company saw a 1983% boost in its annual revenue and a 1000% user-base growth within just six months. Interestingly, they did not have to bear any upfront costs for these results!

Summing It Up

To grow sales, revenue, and a loyal user base, B2B organizations need to create successful channel partner programs that can help them thrive in new markets. The best channel partner programs can create higher brand awareness and pave the way for success in new verticals.

FAQ


How can you motivate channel partners to increase revenue?

By nurturing your channel partnerships, providing partners with technological support to sell your product, and remaining connected to your partners, you can motivate your partners to generate revenue for you by aggressively selling your product to the targeted customer base.

What is a great example of a channel partner?

A channel partner is a company or an individual that helps you sell products. Affiliates, resellers, tech alliance partners, and cloud service providers are some of the types of channel partners.

How do channel partners make money?

Channel partners make money through referral fees, pre-defined commissions, or by selling services like customer support, training, or consulting.

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Horizon3.ai, a cybersecurity firm focused on autonomous penetration testing, today announced it has expanded its partner program to include new rewards, incentives, training, and tools to help partners drive more recurring revenue. The mission of the Horizon3.ai Partner Program is to drive growth opportunities for partners and position them as trusted advisors for their clients. Leading this charge is Jennifer Lee, newly appointed Head of Channel Sales. In this role, Jennifer will be responsible for the strategy and execution of Horizon3.ai’s global channel program. Horizon3.ai’s award-winning autonomous pentesting platform, NodeZero, enables partners to help clients continuously verify their security posture by identifying any exploitable risks and weaknesses across all attack surfaces – hybrid, on-premises and in the cloud. Over the last year, the Horizon3.ai Partner Program has seen tremendous growth, adding partners across the US, and recently expanding internationally, with new partners in Canada, LATAM, EMEA and APAC. As the new Head of Channel Sales, Jennifer brings more than 20 years of experience driving joint sales within the Channel Partner community and will oversee the strategy and execution of the program as it continues to expand. In this role, she’ll be responsible for ensuring GTM alignment and maximizing the program’s value for partners. “The driving force behind creating our new partner program really aligns with our channel-first commitment and how we go-to-market,” said Snehal Antani, CEO and co-founder of Horizon3.ai. "Autonomous pentesting enables the next-generation of security assessments. With NodeZero, partners can help customers continuously verify their security postures. Horizon3.ai’s business strategy is built on the concept of enabling partners to create high value, high margin businesses on top of our platform.” “The Horizon3.ai Partner Program enables partners to leverage the industry’s most advanced, comprehensive penetration testing available. By using NodeZero, partners can help their clients find and fix attack vectors before attackers can exploit them, then verify any issue is resolved,” said Lee. “We’re excited that this expansion further deepens our footprint with MSPs, MSSPs, Resellers and Consulting Partners across the globe, opening up new market and recurring revenue opportunities to better position them for success.” "Most MSSPs and VARs don’t have the talent for pentesting, and trying to staff this position can be incredibly difficult,” said Christopher Prewitt, CTO of Inversion6. “Partnering with Horizon3.ai has been a game changer for us, as it's allowed us not only to perform new services for our customers, but also provide a product where customers can pentest their own network – both internally and externally. With NodeZero, the outcomes we provide to customers are special, unique and effective. It allows us to provide better analysis on systemic issues to customers, so they truly understand what needs to be fixed.” Driving New Market Opportunity with More Incentives and Rewards Horizon3.ai is upskilling and empowering channel partners with financial incentives and professional certifications that position them for rapid growth. Benefits of the Horizon3.ai Partner Program include: Partner Portal – a one-stop shop that offers on-demand support and training as well as the tools needed to simplify deal registration and provide superior and knowledgeable partner support. The portal also enables partners to manage their pipeline, quickly leverage Horizon3.ai resources and sales tools, and gain access to marketing campaigns; Deal protection and increased margins – partners can easily grow their business with high margin opportunities through the deal registration program. These levels of margin are available only to the partner with the approved deal registration. This ensures deal and renewal protection for the partner; Partner Certification training – in-person and virtual trainings are available for sales professionals, technical sales support, and operators to achieve certifications with the industry’s top penetration testing platform, helping drive new recurring revenue opportunities; Partner incentives – deeper discounts and sales incentives available for partners that meet specific commitments, like the completion of the Horizon3.ai Partner Certification training Joint marketing opportunities – partners are given priority in joint marketing opportunities with Horizon3.ai, such as sales campaigns, sponsorship opportunities, events, and more; Additional sales, marketing, and technical resources – resources are available to ensure solution competency and enable partners to articulate value and better meet customers’ needs. Join theCUBE and Horizon3.ai on September 27 at 12 p.m. EDT for the session, “Horizon3.ai Drives Global Partner-First Approach.” Tune in to learn why the program is designed to be an easy win for partners. Read more about the Horizon3.ai Partner Program. About Horizon3.ai Horizon3.ai’s mission is to help you find and fix attack vectors before attackers can exploit them. NodeZero, our autonomous penetration testing solution, is an unlimited, self-service SaaS offering that is safe to run in production, available on-demand, and requires no persistent or credentialed agents. See your enterprise through the eyes of the attacker, identify your ineffective security controls, and ensure your limited time and resources are spent fixing problems that matter. Not just a compliance checkbox; this is effective security. Founded in 2019 by industry and US National Security veterans, Horizon3.ai is headquartered in San Francisco, CA.

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CHANNEL PARTNERSHIPS

Pixotope Announces New EMEA Partners and Distributors

Pixotope | September 28, 2022

Pixotope, the leader in live augmented reality (AR), extended reality (XR), and virtual production solutions, is continuing to break down barriers to Virtual Production adoption by expanding its network of partners across the EMEA region. This expansion follows the success of major productions for Pixotope, including support of the world's largest esports event, Valve’s Dota 2, 2021, held in Bucharest’s 50,000-capacity stadium, Arena Națională. Alongside Pixotope, new business partners Tangram, Telmaco, Vantec, The Level, Mondatum, Post Logic, Plan Shoot Deliver, Centron, CVP, and BDS will drive market-leading virtual production technology in their respective territories. David Cheng, VP Sales & Marketing (EMEA) at Pixotope, says, "We're delighted to be working with our new partners in the EMEA region. These new partnerships reflect the increased global demand for high-level, virtual production technology throughout EMEA. We’re looking forward to broadening access to Pixotope technology and seeing what clients create next." David Cheng, VP Sales & Marketing (EMEA) at Pixotope, says, "We're delighted to be working with our new partners in the EMEA region. These new partnerships reflect the increased global demand for high-level, virtual production technology throughout EMEA. We’re looking forward to broadening access to Pixotope technology and seeing what clients create next." All the new business partners represent the best talent in their respective regions to support the adoption of Virtual Production. Clients can take additional assurance with the introduction of Pixotope Certified Experts, who have each taken a specialized course and exam, ensuring the best level of support for productions. To support the new business partners, Pixotope has appointed Lisa Schneider as Channel Marketing Manager, to be responsible for the global Pixotope Partner Program. Lisa joins Pixotope from Arvato Systems, where she supported the sales teams and spent several years in the company's Media & Entertainment division, becoming a familiar face at industry events and exhibitions. Lisa says, “I’m looking forward to working with such a prestigious group of partners and leading a program that brings real value to our business partners, enabling them to grow their business as we grow ours and fulfill our mission to make virtual production accessible to all media creators.” New Pixotope EMEA Partners Tangram Solutions - Spain We are a company offering the best audiovisual solutions through the most advanced technologies for more than 18 years. We provide our clients with specialized advice, being experts in the development and optimization of pipelines for Media Entertainment. We are a company that distributes both software and hardware of the first brands in the audiovisual industry, and we are currently leaders in Virtual Production. We are HP Amplifly Power Partner specialized in Workstations Specialist and Autodesk Gold Partner of Media & Entertainment (M&E). We work with film production companies, series, animation, VR, AR, professional schools, and universities. Always being at the forefront of new technologies, providing the sector with new ideas to speed up production. Telmaco - Greece Telmaco S.A. is a leading European AudioVisual and Broadcast Systems Provider and Integrator located in Athens, Greece. The company has been operating very successfully for many years in Greece and Cyprus, with a branch office in Thessaloniki, Northern Greece. In recent years Telmaco has expanded operations internationally and is involved in Turnkey System Integration projects in Northern Europe, the Balkans, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. VANTeC - Portugal VANTeC provides technology, consulting, integration, training, and support for the media market, optimizing its clients’ resources and offering complete solutions. Founded in 1991, VANTeC has 31 years of experience in the market. VANTeC is part of the Danmon Group*. *The Damon Group works specifically in the broadcast sector, with an international presence in various countries like the UK, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Dubai, Jordan, Vietnam, Spain, and Portugal. The Level - UK & IRE Established in 2020 by founder and creative director Kevin Cooney, The LEVEL has worked with some of the biggest names in television sports broadcasting, including F1, FIFA, ITV and Disney, to deliver a truly immersive experience in real-time production. Blurring the lines between animation, virtual and live performances, The LEVEL are creators and innovators and proud to pioneer virtual production solutions and workflows for the broadcast industry. Based in Nottingham in the heart of the midlands, the team have over 20 years’ combined industry experience, which they are now using to take the business to the next level, delivering real-time virtual productions of all shapes and size across the broadcast, media and corporate sectors. Mondatum - UK We are tech innovators, problem solvers, and contract developers. We specialize in on-set virtual production, in-camera visual effects, and real-time visualization. As Unity’s newest tech partner outside games, we are focused on helping organizations to incorporate game engine technology into their creative processes and workflows. Post Logic - France Post Logic distributes a complete range of software and integrated systems for post-production video, film, 3D animation, and broadcast. We are looking for innovative technologies and offer software solutions for the whole of the image processing chain: management of rushes & DI, film restoration, encoding, storage, & special effects compositing, 3D, DCP, and graphic design, as well as hardware systems suitable for the graphics chain: workstations, render farms, secure direct-attached, NAS and SAN storage, networking, monitoring & HD UHD play-out. Plan Shoot Deliver - Czech Republic Plan Shoot Deliver. That's what we do. Founded by Warren Yanish, who has twenty-five years of broadcasting and content creation experience. We bring thousands of hours of live television, sports, documentaries, and corporate & commercial video production experience to the industry. Our focus is innovative solutions for video technologies, Virtual Production, 3D Environment Creation, XR, VR, and AR content creation. Based in Prague, Czech Republic we have worked with clients worldwide to produce amazing projects using Unreal Engine, Twinmotion, Pixotope, Blender, Houdini, 3Dsmax, Sketchup, Revit, and many others in our production pipeline. Contact us for a solution to your next video, broadcast, or film project using Virtual Production. Centron - Slovakia Centron is one of Europe’s leading integrators in the field of supplying professional audiovisual systems and designing, managing, and implementing projects based on audiovisual and communication technologies. Founded in 1991, we have been operating across the Slovak and Czech markets as a distributor, seller, and integrator of professional audio and video technology. CVP - UK & Belgium For over thirty-five years, CVP has been one of the leading Broadcast and Professional video solutions providers, with a comprehensive sales and support infrastructure across the UK and Europe. The company prides itself on maintaining close relationships with key manufacturers such as ARRI, Sony, RED, and Canon, and uses its unrivalled experience to listen to customers, understand their needs, and deliver the right solution with first-class service. CVP offers creative consultation, sales advice, technical service provision, and training. BDS - Italy Broadcast Digital Service was founded in 1994, spanning thirty years of experience in the construction and assembly of audiovisual and commercial directories in multimedia systems, Virtual Studios, Augmented Reality Studios, and Realtime VFX for Film & TV. For over ten years we have expanded our focus on two new sections: Production & Creative Lab. We always work by your side, guaranteeing highly qualified teams, able to develop ideas and content for important audiovisual realities.

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CHANNEL PARTNERSHIPS

AscellaHealth Named National Association of Specialty Pharmacy (NASP) Strategic Channel Partner of the Year

AscellaHealth | September 26, 2022

AscellaHealth, a global healthcare and specialty pharmacy solutions company, is extremely honored to be named Strategic Channel Partner of the Year at the recent National Association of Specialty Pharmacy (NASP) Annual Meeting & Expo. This award is given to an organization such as a manufacturer, technology provider, GPO, Hub service provider, logistics provider, nonprofit or other that provides a service or solution to facilitate the delivery of high-quality, cost-effective specialty pharmacy care. Honored to receive this award, Dea Belazi, president and CEO, AscellaHealth says, "This extraordinary recognition by such an esteemed organization as NASP belongs to our talented team of strategic innovators with unparalleled industry experience and expertise. It is extremely gratifying to gain this unique distinction in the specialty pharmacy market and our entire organization is deserving of this hon Honored to receive this award, Dea Belazi, president and CEO, AscellaHealth says, "This extraordinary recognition by such an esteemed organization as NASP belongs to our talented team of strategic innovators with unparalleled industry experience and expertise. It is extremely gratifying to gain this unique distinction in the specialty pharmacy market and our entire organization is deserving of this honor.” AscellaHealth is part of The AscellaHealth Family of Companies: including subsidiaries Optime Care dedicated to rare, orphan/ultra-orphan disease patients and Terebellum, a global organization serving pharmaceutical manufacturers. Belazi continues, "The AscellaHealth Family of Companies provide single-source, end-to-end solutions to tighten the specialty pharmacy value chain. In the highly fragmented current marketplace with multiple vendors handling each stage of the pre-launch, commercialization, distribution and fulfilment processes, manufacturers value our one stop, consultative approach. Most importantly, we are always mindful of putting patients at the center of all our initiatives." With a focus on optimizing access to expensive specialty and rare disease medications and improving patient outcomes, AscellaHealth provides a full spectrum of cutting-edge programs and services that are valued by all stakeholders, including patients, payers, life sciences manufacturers and providers. AscellaHealth core services include pre-commercialization and market access, comprehensive Hub and patient support, exclusive distribution partnerships and national specialty medication fulfillment, data analytics, supply chain logistics and payer/pharmaceutical financial solutions. To learn more about AscellaHealth’s unique life sciences solutions, email businessdevelopment@ascellahealth.com About AscellaHealth LLC AscellaHealth is a global Healthcare & Specialty Pharmacy solutions organization serving patients, payers, life sciences manufacturers and providers, offering a comprehensive portfolio of customized, tech-enabled specialty pharmaceutical and personalized medical management services. A multiple Inc. 5000 winner, AscellaHealth’s unique, patient-centric approach is built upon proprietary technology processes for innovative programs and services optimizing health outcomes and quality of life for patients with complex chronic conditions or rare diseases that require specialty medications and/or gene and cell therapies. Most recently, AscellaHealth has joined with its subsidiaries, Optime Care and Terebellum to form the AscellaHealth Family of Companies. Visit www.AscellaHealth.com.

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