Some channel sales challenges are more common than others. We’ve gathered 8 of the most common ones right here – and added easy solutions to each one.
Channel sales is a model where companies use 3rd parties to promote and sell their products to their end-customers. It can have some serious benefits when it comes to scaling sales, but it’s not without its challenges. Here, we’ve gathered 8 of the most common channel sales challenges – with solutions.
The most common channel sales challenges
1. A lack of channel partner engagement
Challenge: Partner engagement is key to drive a successful channel sales strategy. The issue is that channel partners are oftentimes not entirely engaged and that your product falls into their peripheral. Which, in turn, can threaten your revenue growth.
Solution: Prioritize partner relationships. Find ways to communicate continuously, work together on marketing campaigns and offer incentives. Always keep your partners updated and make sure that it is easy for them to work with your product.
2. Misaligned targets and expectations
Challenge: If the partnership and its goals are not crystal clear from the start, you and your channel partner may misunderstand each other or move in different directions.
Solution: Articulate targets and goals from the start. Have these targets available to your channel partner at all times and set up a plan that shows your aim, roles and desired outcomes. Make sure to check in with your partner regularly – to catch potential problems on the horizon.
3. A lack of training and support
Challenge: If partners lack a solid grasp of your product and its target audience, sales may shine with their absence.
Solution: Hold initial and ongoing training sessions and make sure your partner can always reach your training resources. Make sure that you and your partner have a dedicated place where questions can be asked and answered.
4. Low visibility and oversight
Challenge: Channel sales often translates to a lack of control when it comes to sales data and customer interactions. It is, quite simply, harder to control the interactions as there is someone between you and your end customers.
Solution: Package your product materials in an easily accessible place, so that your channel partners can have an easy time sharing the right things. Find a tool that lets you track interactions and results, to ensure that your channel partners are going about it the right way – and catch any potential problems before they bcome hazardous.
5. Incentive structures that are just too complicated
Challenge: Reward systems that aren’t clear-cut can lower your channel partner’s motivation substantially.
Solution: Set a robust incentive structure from the start and make sure that any rewards you offer are both attainable and clearly linked to results. If you can can have a solid feedback loop going with channel partners, you can have an easier time developing this structure even more as you go along. So that it can become clearer and more understandable the longer your partnership runs.
6. Market conflicts
Challenge: Sometimes, partners may actually compete with each other – or even go head-to-head with your own sales teams.
Solution: Choose partners with care and clearly segment your markets. Keep a watchful eye on everything to be able to spot potential overlap and quickly fix them.
7. Brand dillution
Challenge: Your partners don’t know you and your product like you do. With that, they may misrepresent your brand and product, leading to an inconsistent customer experience.
Solution: Keep your brand guidelines and product message in a place that is always accessible for partners. Make sure everyone has understood them and find ways to track customer interactions to ensure consistency.
8. Being compliant at every step of the way
Challenge: Maintaining compliancy is way more dificult when you don’t control what is communicated to end customers – and when there’s a 3rd party between the two of you.
Solution: Keep partners updated about regulatory guidelines and make sure they go through compliance training if necessary. You should also find a way to make sure that the material your channel partners have is always updated to the latest version – or they might just share the wrong thing with the wrong person.
With SP_CE you can control partner interactions and maintain your message and compliancy at each step of the way. Our platform gives you
- 1 central, digital room that your partner can share with customers – filled with the right product message and material. Material that you can keep automatically updated through a robust version control.
- 1 room to collaborate with your partner and keep them active with regular updates. Making sure your partner isn’t just enabled but also engaged.
That way, you and your partners get the ultimate conditions to succeed. Read more about SP_CE for partner enablement here, find more information in our Channel Sales FAQ – or contact us to see how SP_CE can boost your partner sales.