Channel partners are a great tool for international expansion. Here are some tips to make your global channel partner network a success.
Going global can be great for business. In fact, 75 per cent of small to medium-sized enterprises enjoy higher profits when they pursue international expansion, TransferWise reports. But expanding into foreign markets isn't easy. It requires careful planning to make your international business venture a success.
One of the key issues with going global is that you probably won't know the new market as well as the one you're used to. There may be economic, cultural and marketing differences that mean the tactics you use at home don't work abroad. That's why many organisations choose to use channel partners to make their foreign expansion a success. Channel partners are already established in the marketplace you're trying to enter - they have their own customer base and understand what selling techniques work.
If you decide to use a network of international channel partners to sell your products, there are a number of tactics you can employ to make the partnerships as successful as possible.
1) Understand that every channel partner is different
When you first connect with each channel partner, take the time to understand their individual needs.
It's all too easy to treat every channel partner in the same way, offering the same training, sales advice and incentive programmes across a variety of different countries. However, the reason you're using channel partners is because you understand their markets are different to yours, so to treat each reseller as uniform essentially defeats that purpose.
Instead, when you first connect with each channel partner, take the time to understand their individual needs. What are the unique elements that make up their marketplace, and are there any products you sell that simply will not work in their stores? This will enable you to communicate the right information effectively - there's no point offering a product demo for something that is never going to sell in that location, for example.
2) Offer training and other tools in different languages
It's important to remember linguistic differences. Just because the people you've spoken to can speak English doesn't mean their staff will be able to. Offering training and advice that's been translated properly is therefore essential to international channel partner success.
Power2Motivate understands this, which is why our Channel Partner Incentive rewards platformis available in 17 different languages.
3) Use collaborative technology platforms to get information across quickly
The successful transfer of information is key to an effective channel partner network. Prices, product features and sales tactics can all change extremely quickly, and it's vital you are able to transfer this information to the relevant parties as soon as possible.
The successful transfer of information is key to an effective channel partner network.
Using cloud or collaborative technology platforms will enable you to do this. For example, Google Drive lets you upload files onto the cloud, where anyone who's been added to that drive can view them, so you can share new product specs or pricing information as soon as it comes in.
On the other side of the coin, your channel partners are likely to have questions about products and how they work, especially if the relationship has just started. That's where a collaboration platform such as Trello is useful. This allows people to create collaborative boards where each member can add cards. Normally used in project management, it is also a good way for partners across different countries to ask questions. Having one of your employees go through the board and answer queries regularly enables the free flow of information and stops bottlenecks in sales.
Channel Partner Incentive Programmes with Power2Motivate
If you're considering global expansion, channel partners could be what makes your venture a success. That's why it's important to reward their good work with a Channel Partner Incentive Programme from Power2Motivate. Our easy-to-use cloud-based platform is packed with features essential to developing your channel partner relationship and is customisable to your business' needs - whether you want to focus on boosting brand awareness or reward positive behaviour change with reseller incentives, Power2Motivate will get you results.
For more information, reach out to the team today.