There are probably hundreds of different things to consider when it comes to reseller sales enablement – but we wanted to touch on three key pillars of reseller enablement that are critical to delivering a successful partner program.
In Episode 3 of our podcast, The Sales Way, for B2B Sales Enablement Leaders and Sales Managers, we look at how to get started with Reseller Sales Enablement. Take a listen here or read the edited transcript below.
So what is Reseller Sales Enablement?
At a basic level, we’re talking about how you can sales enable your resellers and channel partners – so that covers sales training but it’s also about making sure that your resellers have the right processes, resources and tools in place to go and sell your product and navigate through the entire sales cycle.
To keep things simple, we’re going to focus on three ways you can get started with reseller sales enablement.
Perhaps you already have a reseller or partner program in place and want to make some improvements or drive more sales through your reseller base. In many cases, companies start reseller programs then build in more and more features along the way, but sometimes leave out the basics.
Or, maybe you’re just starting out and are at the beginning of building out your partner program and want some tips on how to get your program off to a good start. We hear you – and that’s what we’re going to cover.
Training your resellers
So the first thing to look at, is ‘how will you train your resellers’?
Are you planning to integrate the training you currently give to your own sales employees with reseller training, or are you planning for resellers to have their own, separate learning pathways and their own, individual content?
To stop you duplicating your efforts, it’s important to think about what training material you already have, and how you can repurpose that content for your resellers.
So, for example, you might have training content that shows your own sales teams how to position your products against your competitors, but you might not want to share this confidential information in your reseller training content, or you might want to edit it to some extent as the content will be shared and consumed outside of your organisation. So a simple edit might give you the reseller content you need, without creating loads and loads of additional, new resources.
Being realistic about your resellers’ attention
An important point to remember when planning reseller sales enablement content, is that your partners will be likely being trained by a number of other suppliers and vendors, so you maybe can’t expect your resellers to undergo the same level and depth of training as your own employees – so what content will you share with your resellers for training purposes, and what content isn’t going to make the cut? You need to look at what is absolutely necessary and useful for your resellers, and cut out the fluff so that you’re keeping their attention and not overwhelming them with content.
Engaging with your resellers
Another important consideration is how you will engage with your resellers.
So the questions we would ask someone setting up a reseller program to think about would be:
- How will I communicate with my resellers – will there be a reseller portal where they contact my company and where support requests are logged?
- Will I be employing Reseller Account Managers to engage with resellers on a regular basis?
- Will we be creating joint Account Plans and go to market plans with our resellers?
- Will we be doing joint meetings between customers and our resellers? Or will partner sales reps go out and meet with clients without us?
- How much involvement will we need to have, as a company, when working on sales opportunities with our resellers?
- Are we expecting our resellers to be fairly autonomous in sales activities or will they need a lot of support from us?
- Will we need to create Reseller Sales Playbooks for our partners and will we be delivering onsite training to them?
These are really important questions to guide your thinking about how you structure your partner program and help you to ensure you’re focusing on the most critical areas rather than getting lost in the detail.
Reseller resources and sales tools
Finally, what resources and tools will you be giving your resellers to help them sell your products and services? Again, there are a number of key questions to ask to figure out what you need to provide to your partners:
- Will you need to create a partner portal that houses all of your training content and product data for resellers, or will you just give your resellers access to an existing company intranet where they can download product briefs, sales playbooks and resources? (For a template pack with everything you need to create a Sales Playbook, take a look at the Sales Playbook Template Pack).
- Will you need to create new content just for your resellers, such as playbooks or Reseller Program Handbooks showing how your reseller program works? Or will you need to create tools to help resellers register deals for better pricing?
- How will resellers be compensated – will this require a new tool for logging compensation claims or can your existing company tools be used?
This probably sounds like an overwhelming list of things to consider, especially if you’re in the early stages of building out your reseller program, but it’s likely you already have a lot of resources in place if you’re currently operating your own sales team. The requirements for your resellers are just extensions to what you already have in most cases – you just might need to rejig how you offer out these internally available resources when it comes to engaging with your resellers.
We’ve got an epic free how-to guide on How To Create a Sales Playbook if you want to learn more about creating sales enablement content for your resellers.