Were you able to attend our recent Business Planning for Success webinar? Thank you to everyone who attended and for all of the great questions – it was a pleasure to share our research and insights with you. In fact, we had such great conversations during our Q&A time that we thought we’d gather some of that bonus content into this blog for you. So, if you had to leave early or missed our webinar, here are four bonus golden nuggets about business planning success that you don’t want to miss.

When you think of business planning templates, how does automation fit into the business planning process?

Automation can really help to simplify your process, but your process has to start off simple. In other words, automation won’t simplify an already-complex process. There are many great platforms available that can play a big part because they’re able to document, automate, help the partners self-serve, as well as bring visibility across multiple people in the company. While all of these aspects can make life significantly easier, the first step must be to come from a place of simplicity to start with.

How do you educate and drive change in a company so that they might adopt modern practices like this?

The way planning traditionally began was around MDF and incentives – they were all vendor-centric items to be addressed. It’s time for channel organizations to step up and recognize that these partners are extremely valuable for many reasons and we need to start truly listening to them. Planning cannot continue to be a one-way street; it has to become a two-way street as we try to drive a behavioral change with the partners as well as internally and with the stakeholders. The trust and commitment have to go both ways.

What techniques can we use to engage our sales teams in the process?

Channel account managers have to be able to balance the focus on long-term goals with the sales teams’ short-term goals. Channel managers have the relationship to maintain with the compensation and goals of the sales team ideally focusing around that relationship, not just the revenue. It’s also important to remember that partners have a very different perspective and that must be kept in mind across the entire organization to truly understand what the end goals should be. Nothing changes without vision, a strategy, accountability, and education; the teams must go on that journey with you.

What best practices do you suggest to get a company’s support for partners when they are a minority of the overall business?

We work with companies in this position where partnering is perhaps only 20% of the business or they are just getting started in this arena. Take a look at the segment of the market you’re going after for which partners are essential. Maybe it’s small business or some other smaller markets that may be niche-oriented where partners are critical; in those situations, the partner is king. Focus on that and raise your visibility in the vendor hierarchy to drive the importance of partnership. The recognition of critical partnerships is growing quickly – you can avoid being left behind.

Click here for the full-length webinar, and feel free to reach out to our team for any questions you may have!