As we adjust to a COVID-19 world, many businesses are forced to consider a new normal for conducting various business operations. Some businesses have flourished during the pandemic while most have struggled during this unprecedented economic shutdown.

Many must recalibrate in order to work efficiently and effectively to serve customers within existing and newly created market segments. If you have a history with channel partners or strategic alliances they are most likely experiencing the same challenges. This begs the question: How do you ensure you and your channel partners are aligned as you begin to recalibrate your business? One way to gain alignment within a shifting or evolving business model is to conduct a fresh assessment to gain insights into possible changes; then make the required adjustments to optimize your channel relationships.

The re-assessment should begin by addressing the following broad topics:

  • Confirming your partners overall business goals remain the same and most importantly – what has changed;
  • Understanding how your partners will meet the existing business objective, as well as, any new objectives required for success in today’s market;
  • Evaluate and confirm partner executive alignment based on any new roles and responsibilities; and
  • Set the stage for any new program changes and plan to re-launch any appropriate aspects to achieve partner program success and alignment.

Once these broad topics are addressed -and you have a better understanding of what has changed and how to deal with it – you can begin to identify and recalibrate specific changes to your channel strategy and go-forward plan to accelerate success.

Consider taking a deeper dive into the following four key areas of your current partner program as your channel partners come back to work.

First, recalibrate your channel strategy. This may include taking a closer look at existing selling processes, offerings, the channel team, target buyer/end-user or market segments, and required program strategy governance revisions.

Second, recalibrate marketing for channel programs for the new normal. Take a close look at demand generation tactics and spend, revised channel partner success metrics, new channel sales engagement and conflict, channel incentive, and engagement stakes to jump-start performance, updated content for earned and paid media, updated sales, and technical enablement model, enhanced partner onboarding and program collateral and messaging delivery in the absence of physical trade shows and conferences.

Third, consider how you may recalibrate partner engagement. This may include changes to ongoing management and P&L components, resetting organization growth and development, target buyer/end-user demand generation, and overall partner engagement go-forward-plan.

Forth, recalibrate automation platforms as changes dictate. Consult with your technology support team to assess any revisions in portal and technology needs, new portal integration and adoption issues, and finally alignment between the channel team, channel partner, and your technology support team.

Existing channel partnerships will thrive in a COVID-19 world if you and your team invest the time to assess and recalibrate your current partner strategy, marketing plans, partner engagement, and automation to support the channel.

Contact to discuss how our channel experts can perform a channel assessment on your program to understand gaps and opportunities for growth.