Channel Enablement Definition
A channel enablement definition is: utilizing resources to ensure that channel sellers have all the tools they need to be successful—and that the organization can track the success of their efforts—
to increase operational efficiency and improve alignment. What is channel enablement exactly? Channel enablement has emerged as a leading concern for organizations that rely heavily on partners to sell and market their products and services.
That channel enablement definition encompasses a lot of different activities and resources that can be utilized to improve a channel selling effort. The easiest way to sort out the complicated ins-and-outs of channel enablement is to break it down into the problems that can occur and then the results that come from engaging in a channel enablement strategy.
Problems Channel Enablement Solves
Embarking on a channel selling—or partner selling strategy—necessarily comes from a place of lacking. That lacking could be resources, time, knowledge, access, or any number of other things. Channel sellers grant an organization a route into an area they want to go, while reducing the hassle. An organization could engage in a partner selling agreement to enter a new geographic region, make inroads to a different market/industry segment, or to leverage the channel sellers existing relationships.
All of those are fantastic opportunities unlocked by channel selling, but without a commitment to channel enablement there are many different problems that can arise.
Many of the breakdowns that can occur with channel selling are because the decentralized nature of the strategy. Channel sellers exist around the globe and have a different set of standards and values than the organization that they partner with. Of course, an organization will choose to partner with channel sellers that match their goals and values as closely as possible, but it’s impossible to be as aligned as a traditional employee would be.
Here are some of the ways that this strategy can lapse, and will eventually be solved by channel enablement:
- Branding, Compliance, and Personalization: Far-flung channel sellers might not always have access to the latest and most up-to-date content which presents branding and compliance issues for organizations. Additionally, channel sellers won’t be able to easily create custom, personalized content for buyers without sucking up too much of the partner marketers’ time.
- Communication: Similarly, it can be difficult for partner marketers to quickly update their channel sellers when new information or new content has become available.
- Analytics: From the organization’s viewpoint, they need to be able to monitor how their channel selling strategy is working. They need to know if sellers are using content, if it’s effective, and if they’re accessing the portal everyone works within.
How Channel Enablement Improves Channel Selling
Those problems above may seem inconsequential, but if they begin to pile up they can quickly derail an organization’s channel selling strategy. Channel enablement is all about reducing the barriers between an organization and the channel sellers. An organization that is serious about being successful with their strategy will employ a platform that removes the headaches we listed out above.
Let’s look at how those problems are solved:
- Branding, Compliance, and Personalization: A channel enablement platform will give marketers the ability to automatically update content and push the latest versions out to the sellers. Similarly, they can restrict content that can be personalized by channel sellers to only sections that are necessary, therefore removing the risk of non-compliant or off-brand content.
- Communication: A channel enablement solution should contain a central hub where both partner marketers and channel sellers can easily obtain the latest communications on industry happenings, new content, or industry news.
- Analytics: One of the most powerful aspects of a smart channel enablement platform is the ability to track everything. Partner marketers can easily track how often content is sent, what content is successful, and which channel sellers are engaging the most.
Channel enablement is a big topic and a necessary initiative as more organizations undertake a channel selling strategy. Utilize channel enablement to take your strategy to the next level.