Posted by : Amanda Stein Tuesday, October 2, 2012

If your business uses channel partners or resellers to get its product into the hands of consumers, then it is crucial you know how to motivate your resellers. Empowered resellers will work hard to sell your product, but unmotivated resellers rarely produce good sales numbers and may even start selling for your competitors. There are a few key things you can do to motivate your channel partners and ensure good sales numbers for your business.

Provide Incentives

Whether you like it or not, resellers are motivated by money. Take the time to analyze the margins your resellers are making on your product. Low margins means they are making less per sale. If a competitor comes along with a similar product and higher margins, you can bet that many of your resellers will be lured away by the chance to make more money. Evaluate your sales numbers and see if there are any opportunities to shift some of the margin to your resellers. Even if it means slightly less profit for your company, it will pay off in the long run.

Another way to provide incentives for your resellers is to offer cash bonuses when certain predefined sales targets are met. This is a win-win situation because your resellers will be motivated to sell more in order to get the bonus, and your company will benefit from the increased sales. A friendly competition with a big prize is also a good way to encourage resellers to push your product. Give the reseller with the highest sales numbers in a month a weekend getaway or a gift card for a fancy dinner.

Offer Support

A good reseller is one who knows your product inside and out and is able to sell people on its features and benefits. However, if you don’t educate your resellers properly, they won’t be able to sell your product effectively. By providing training to your resellers, you are giving them the tools they need to confidently sell your product. Send updated informational and marketing materials to your resellers on a regular basis, and let them know if there are any new features or updates to the product. The more information the reseller has on your product, the more sales they will be able to make.

Treat Your Resellers With Respect

Transparency, communication, and respect are key to building strong relationships with your resellers. If your resellers feel abandoned by you and your company – or simply don’t like you – they won’t put their full effort into selling your product. Take the time to get to know your resellers and let them know you encourage their feedback. Always have an open-door policy with your resellers, because if they feel they are valued, they will be much happier selling your product.

It can take time and effort to build a solid channel partner program, but once you do, it will pay off with motivated resellers and better sales for your business.

Richard Willis is a business consultant who has worked with both large and small businesses. He focuses on helping businesses develop strong sales channels and increasing product sales.

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