Channel partners have emerged as the business necessity for vendors. They help companies expand their business and reach different geographical areas. Though beneficial for their business many vendors don't quite appreciate the idea of having too many channel partners as it makes it tough for them to keep a track of them. As big vendors have 100s or 1000s of channel partners helping them in their business, communicating with channel partners, keeping them informed, having a track of their sales record and giving them loyalty and performance rewards, is quite a job in itself if done manually. But thanks to the advancement of technology, there are software such as Partner Relationship Management (PRM) that can make channel management lot easy for the vendors. Besides, vendors can even choose to outsource some of the difficult tasks of partner training and certification to channel management agencies.

Discussed below are some of the chores of channel partner management that can be made easy using software or by taking help of channel management agencies.

Partner Certification

If desired, vendors can even choose to outsource the task of partner certification and coordination of accreditation programs to agencies. Such agencies keep a track of channels partner's participation in training programs as well as sales performance and help vendors identify the right candidate for rewards. By outsourcing work, companies can save precious time. And, rewarding partners when needed help to keep partners motivated and loyal.

Partner Communications

Vendors can keep direct contact with all their channel partners simultaneously using partner portals. A web based application, partner portals are one of the most popular means of partner communications. It helps manufacturers to stay connected with their channel partners. Vendors can upload sensitive information such as price change or a change in business strategy, which can only be visible to channel partners. As partner portals ease the most challenging task of partner communications, it makes channel partner management lot easy. Besides, effective communication helps vendors to maintain cordial relations with their channel partners that help strengthen the business.

Partner Training

Channel partner training is an essential but one of the most daunting tasks for any vendor. Gathering and motivating channel partners to learn about their business practices and making them implement those learning is a hard task especially when dealing with hundreds of channel partners. Realizing the dilemma of vendors, some agencies have taken the onus of partner training on themselves. Vendors can outsource the task of partner training to professional agencies such as RelayWare that have resources and technology to take up this challenging task. Such agencies assess the knowledge baselines and training needs of different channel partners and help to create an interesting training curriculum using audio and video technology specific to the needs of the channel partners. The content is then published in the partner portals so that it becomes accessible to channel partners. The agencies help conduct online tests and training events to ensure transfer of knowledge to channel partners.

Author's Bio: 

Walt Robertson frequently writes on the advancements in channel management techniques. He recommends using partner portal software for better communication with channel partners and outsourcing the time consuming chores of partner training programs and partner certification to channel management agencies for effective channel partner management.