Last week, we dove into some suggestions for staying top of mind with your channel reps and partners by digging deeper into channel marketing engagement. We looked at the benefits of harnessing both digital and face-to-face communication to connect and increase brand awareness among your channel reps. This week, let’s take a fresh look at the infographic and focus in on how strategies for recognition and reward can help you stay top of mind. Then, we’ll consider how creating initiatives and educational opportunities can foster stronger relationships with your channel.
1. Give Props and Reward Performance
Everyone likes to be recognized for a job well done–it fosters a sense of professional pride in the recipient and colleagues alike. And while no one expects a reward, rewarding performance presents you with the opportunity to show your appreciation and provide your channel reps with a taste of your brand.
#3: Holding a recognition event for your channel reps on-site.
This is a great way to make your commitment to celebrating top performers known while staying top of mind#2. It’s something you can host regularly–every quarter, maybe–and it cuts out the bothersome logistics of channel reps having to clear space in their calendar to meet you out someplace (though this can be nice, too, when scheduled with their needs in mind). In order to make this kind of event successful, consider how to keep it short, sweet, and predictable. Perhaps start every event by recognizing top performers with short but thoughtful comments that speak to their particular successes and make note of a personal strength. Then, provide refreshments and make it easy for folks to return to their work day. Choose a time of day that considers reps’ schedules.
#24: A team lunch to celebrate “Most Improved” performers.
This could be particularly effective with channel reps who are new to the profession. This approach allows you to take on a mentor role with newer reps, and lay a foundation for a long and successful relationship. Celebrating improvement also communicates a growth mindset ethos–your reps will value this approach.
#5, #7, #24, #44: The more opportunities your channel partners and reps have to engage with your products, the better.
Use rewards as an avenue for showing them how great your brand is.
#29: Appreciating customers is just as important as appreciating your channel.
Helping your reps and partners put on a customer appreciation event brings you benefits both immediate and long-lasting. You get to engage with your channel in a way that adds value to their day, and you have the chance to have a say in the role your brand plays within the event. Perhaps you’ll sponsor refreshments, t-shirts, or a table with brand information. In any case, playing a central role in a customer appreciation event benefits all parties.
2. Host Networking and Educational Events
We mentioned how a weekly email providing your channel with ideas for learning can position you as a professional resource. This week, consider how hosting networking and educational events likewise increases your visibility as a valuable professional.
#15: Invite top partners to a summit in a desirable location.
You should design the event so that each attendee has the opportunity to hold a workshop on a topic in their wheelhouse. All will be wiser, and you will be top of mind for putting together such a worthy event.
#31: Serve as a resource for helping your channels access and analyze their big data.
This kind of time investment shows your reps and partners that you care about their success, and it makes your success more likely, too. If you have any doubt about the importance of big data to your brand’s success, check out this piece Louis Columbus wrote for Forbes.
#37: Host regular, engaging training sessions.
Do not overburden your channel reps and partners with too much information, and follow best practices for presentations. Keep your sessions focused on specific topics and include helpful resources. Consider providing a digital record of resources instead of printing everything! Email a link to the resources once the session is over, or share your presentation with links. Consider surveying attendees ahead of sessions about their needs in order to better tailor your approach and remain relevant and accommodating.
Which tips from the infographic resonated with you? Which have you tried before, and would you recommend them or advise against them? Looking forward to hearing your thoughts in the comments.