How Manufacturers Can Empower Channel Partners for Growth

In our recent survey — “What’s Keeping Channel Chiefs Up at Night?” — we asked manufacturing channel leaders what they value most in their channel partners (the distributors, brokers, resellers, wholesalers, and others who bring their products to market).

The top answers, identified by more than 75% of survey respondents, were: 

  • Product knowledge

  • Selling particular products

  • Developing leads

Those data points inspired us to ask ourselves:

“What processes, habits, and technology implementations can best nurture those highly valued assets?”

We think our answers are a must-read for anyone in the manufacturing sector.

Product Knowledge

Why it matters: A genuinely deep understanding of the products they’re selling gives channel partners a robust vocabulary that helps them engage in effective conversations around the features, benefits, and value propositions that potential customers need to know. Product knowledge enhances not only new relationships, but also repeat sales and long-term loyalty.

How to make it happen: 

  • Provide easy access to product manuals and documentation.

  • Foster a culture of ongoing learning and collaboration, including conversations between channel partners and product experts.

  • Offer customized self-service learning modules focused on product features and benefits.

Targeted Product Offerings

Why it matters: By enabling channel partners to focus on specific products (and related services, when relevant), manufacturers help sellers to better address the needs and preferences of target segments — and to tailor sales efforts to them more effectively. The more specific the offer, the less generic (and more effective) the sales pitches.

How to make it happen: 

  • Customize product offerings based on specific market segments, customer needs, and preferences.

  • Automate the creation and co-branding of assets to ensure timely and efficient distribution.  

  • Leverage data analytics and market intelligence solutions to identify high-potential market segments to target and emerging trends to watch.

  • Engage in collaborative planning and strategy sessions with channel partners to ensure that goals are aligned (and, where applicable, incentivized) and develop targeted product strategies.

Lead Generation

Why it matters: By providing channel partners with the resources they need to identify and nurture leads, manufacturers help sellers narrow their focus as a way to expand their customer base. 

How to make it happen: 

  • Provide channel partners with tech tools to track and manage leads effectively, ensuring that opportunities and relationships are nurtured down-funnel.

  • Deploy customer relationship management (CRM) software systems to centralize lead data and streamline lead management processes.

  • Leverage marketing automation technology to support lead nurturing activities such as personalized (or segmented) email campaigns and targeted content delivery.

  • Use data analytics and reporting features to analyze lead performance and identify high-potential leads for prioritization.

The Way Forward

We offer these insights from long experience working with marketing and sales leaders in the manufacturing sector. Fielo offers software solutions for channel partner engagement, incentives, loyalty, and training. And whether they use our solutions or not, the most successful manufacturers are those that truly view their channel partners as true partners, investing in the tools they need to meet and exceed goals. 

If you’re interested in learning more, we’re interested in talking to you.

Reach out to take a closer look at Fielo today.