STORY INLINE POST
Channel partners can help boost sales and generate additional exposure but they can also damage brand identity, customer experience and create unhealthy competition. Specially in an envious market such as the Mexican energy sector. Here is a quick guide that was key in the implementation of Quartux Partner Network, a successful platform and partnership network that has resulted in positioning Quartux as the leader in Mexico’s energy battery storage sector and has brought value to the client, partner, and company itself.
- Define the type of partner that best suits your business:
A solid channel strategy is based on quality not quantity. There are many types of partners with different skillsets, motivational drivers and human principles. What has worked for Quartux is a very well identified recruitment strategy based on analysis and alignment, disregarding volume. Scorecards with very clear characterization points are applied in the valuation of each partner, considering their specific background, experience and ability to provide added value to the product. For example, one of the channel partners positioned very well on the experience count but failed on other points, such as high velocity implementation and reaction time, and, therefore, did not align with the company’s core sales process. Other partners where the perfect match on the commercial side, but principles, values and long-term goals diverged from those held by Quartux. Fit and purpose are essential in the overall outcome of the relationship.
- Define motivational drivers:
The key in the success of a channel partner is their motivation in selling the product (not ours or theirs). It is a very subtle but significant distinction that in our experience makes all the difference. In Quartux we avoid seeing the partner as a “reseller” or middleman but rather as an active participant in the product development and sales process. We understand their skill-set and identify how it can be used to provide better value and service to the final customer.
It is not the product of the company or the product of the partner but rather the combination of expertise that provide the best solution for their client base and that is why the partnership is efficient. This will help strengthen the relationship with the partner and make them feel more identified with the product which will increase motivation to sell.
There are also other distinct motivational drivers that are specific to the partner and it is important to consider these as well. These drivers might range from technological interest to economic reasons to an added value proposition for their own products. The key is to identify the partner’s interest and exploit it, given it aligns with the company’s values and motives. Most Quartux partners do not choose economic benefit as their main driver or motivation but other long term drives such as diversification and product development which align with the company’s objectives.
- Define responsibilities and expectations:
One of the interesting things that happened with one of the partners was that after a period of some months, they became restless and had a very confrontational conversation with the company. They were not seeing results in any of their efforts and thus were very displeased. We decided to show them some data that made them understand the sales process, the timings for each step and the results that were expected. After a couple of months, they closed some projects and are now one of Quartux’s more trusted partners. Aligning expectations and time periods was key in having a constructive relationship that resulted in many sales.
In addition to attracting new clients, you will also be able to develop mutually beneficial relationships in the industry. It is important to acknowledge the risks involved in doing so and being able to make the right choice when developing this strategy.