5-Point Checklist To Build a Solid Channel Partner Training Plan
In the world of business partnerships, a robust Channel Partner Training Plan is key to success. This comprehensive guide from Zomentum provides a 5-step checklist to build an effective training plan for your channel partners. From setting key performance indicators and understanding your partners' needs to deciding on training materials, effective communication, and gathering feedback, this article offers a roadmap to ensure your partners are well-equipped to represent your brand and products.
As you build your partner program, you want to ensure that each partner involved in selling your products is well-equipped to represent it in the manner you intend it to be. Considering this, it is necessary to train partners regularly to boost their performance based on your branding needs, changing market trends, and customer demands.
A solid channel partner training program helps you:
- Build and protect your company’s brand
- Improve partner performance.
- Reduce support costs
- Increase customer retention.
- Manage expectations.
- Experience faster growth.
- Scale revenue stream.
Creating a channel partner training strategy can be a bit daunting at first. But we have made it easy for you. This 5-step checklist contains everything you need to build a successful partner training plan.
1. Set Your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
The first step of setting a successful channel training program is to set measurable objectives that are stated in concrete numbers.
To ensure successful collaboration between you and your partners, establish the following performance measures:
- Course completions
- Trainings completions
- Monthly/Quarterly active learners
- Certificates achieved
- Speed up partner onboarding from X to Y weeks
- Increase new partner retention
- Increase sales from partners
Training implementation timeline
- Complete x training modules in y weeks
You can avoid some metrics based on the training platform you’re going for. For example, you may choose not to include providing certificates on training completion.
2. Get to Know Your Partners Who Will Get the Training
Since your program is about your partners’ success, you must understand their needs.
Here are some ways to familiarize yourself with a partner’s needs:
- Schedule a call with training managers
- Hold a discovery/kick-off call with partners
- Identify the channel partner's strengths and weaknesses
- Identify all internal and external stakeholders
- Send out a survey to partners asking them what they would like in a program
- Ask your customer success manager and employees that work closely with partners about what could improve in the partnership.
Based on this information, prepare a matrix of your partner’s knowledge gaps and your internal strategy. Your training plan should sit at the intersection of both.
3. Decide on the Training Materials
The next step is to create training materials and courses.
Whether your team is creating training materials from scratch or you are outsourcing to an instructional designer, keep your partners’ goals, and the KPIs used to reach these goals in mind.
Choose a training format that suits your partner’s needs. Update your current onboarding, sales enablement, or partner content to make it the right fit for this partner. Although some of your existing training materials may apply, you might need adjustments
Build an engaging training program that your partners can consistently turn to. Include both basic training and product knowledge documents for unique use cases. Conduct these four types of training:
- Product training: Talk about a product's features, benefits, and unique selling points.(The most important training - Often ends with a channel partner being certified to sell/support your products)
- Brand training: Talk about your mission, vision, and brand value
- Sales Training: Train about sales best practices
- Compliance Training: Train on data safety and security and the company’s internal compliance requirements
- Customer Support Training: Train on any systems necessary for success (for example, CRM, customer support tickets, etc.)
For a superior training and learning experience, keep in mind the best practices in designing your content.
Best practices for partner training
- Ensure your content has all the essential information and is written clearly.
- Incorporate product videos and images in your content.
- Personalize your partner-facing content and customize elements to reflect the use cases of their target audience.
- Create learning paths to help your partners understand the information structure.
- Group relevant content together to help your partners retain more information.
- Include quizzes and other interactive elements to make the learning more effective.
Automate and tailor content delivery to ensure more partner engagement if you’re using a Partner training LMS (learning management system).
4. Communication on Partner Training
Introduce your trainers, inform your partners about the training schedule, and distribute the content.
Break your training sessions into milestones to make the training more manageable. Also, conduct quizzes or interactive sessions to make learning more effective.
Introduce rewards or incentives by recognizing your partners’ efforts to keep them motivated.
5. Track and Gather Feedback From Partners
Observe what is currently working and look for methods to improve from the perspectives of learning and profitability. Let the partners have a say in discussing the training programs. Ask them questions that will help you evaluate the program’s effectiveness and the degree to which it satisfies the partner’s training needs:
- Are learning materials clear and easy to understand? Where is your training lacking?
- What media type is most effective, for example, slides, videos, or tests? What content delivery method is most preferred?
- Are learners ready to start working with your products and equipped with all the necessary information?
- Did they get answers to all their questions? If not, do they know where they can find additional information?
- Are there conflicts with the internal business process?
Keep gathering input from your partners, involve them in discussing new programs and courses, and motivate them to share their ideas. Hold quarterly check-ins and assess any gaps in knowledge. Regular feedback helps you stay on the same page with your trainee, becomes a motivating factor, and helps you differentiate your brand from other vendors the partner deals with.
Make Partner Training Simple yet Effective With Zomentum
Your relationship with your channel partners will be more beneficial if you exceed their expectations in training them on all your requirements.
Streamline and simplify your channel partner training process with Zomentum. With our platform, you can:
- Share and update training resources for your partners in a dedicated training center.
- Create sales enablement materials directly used in partner’s quoting, and proposal process
- Support partners actively and provide shadow assistance on deals.
- Manage all your shared opportunities and workflows in a single platform synced to your CRM
Equip your partners with the sales enablement tools and training they need to succeed. Try Zomentum.