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Revitalize Your Partner Retention Plan

With spring right around the corner, which for many is a time of renewal and anticipation, we share four ways to breathe revitalization into your partner retention plans:

  • First of all, have one.  Many companies have ambitious plans for recruiting new partners, but few develop plans to retain valuable existing partners. The reasons for having a plan for partner retention are no different than those for retaining customers.  Simply put, it’s cheaper and minimizes time to market to work with existing partners than incurring the expense and taking the time to find, recruit and onboard new partners.

  • Invest in those diamonds in the rough.  It’s best practice for companies to extend additional benefits to partners that invest in training, certification, and any number of program requirements.  Typically, the “A” partners get a lot of attention as they are often the highest revenue-producing partners.  And, of course, you want to keep those partners happy.  However, “B” and “C” partners are people too, and frequently, there are gems worth cultivating. Again, renewing your B and C partnerships will cost you less and get you to market sooner than starting over with a new partner.

  • Spice it up. When was the last time you looked at your partner business proposition? How compelling is it for existing partners to continue to invest in you and, ultimately, sell new products and services on your behalf?  How much does it cost (time and dollars) to train the partner’s sales force?  How much does it cost for the partner to port an application to your new Cloud offering?  What new infrastructure is required to support your offering?  And, mostly, what does it all cost compared to what they’re doing today, potentially with a competitor? All of these factors go into a partner’s decision to stay with you and/or to consider taking on new offerings.  Make sure you’ve made it as attractive as possible for them to stay with you.

  • Loyalty-Shmoalty.  As we’ve said before, if you want loyalty, get a dog.  However, there are partner program offerings that go a long way to encouraging partner goodwill.  Things like partner recognition awards and events (and not solely for revenue), highly responsive pre- and post-sales support, and free and easily digestible training go a long way to making it worth your partner’s decision to stick around.

  • Investing in your existing partners to keep them energized about and committed to working with you is smart business.  What have you done lately to ensure that success is maximized with them?


    March 4, 2013  ·  

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