From the moment you saw it, you knew.
You clicked around, figured out their pros and cons, and ran through your checklist of what you can’t live with or without. The way they wrote about their strong suits made your heart skip a beat. With bated breath, you looked at pictures and imagined a lifetime of bliss… with your channel technology provider.
Whaaat? I know. Let me explain.
It does mirror the online dating process (which, let’s admit, many of us are familiar with). You vet candidates, select a list of finalists, sit down and awkwardly talk over coffee, drinks, or (gasp!) dinner, and hopefully find one good interaction that leads to commitment.
What channel technology profile will make your heart sing? It depends from business to business, just like it does in love. What works for one company might make another company swipe left. What works for you? What are you looking for out of your relationship?
We’ve got a few suggestions for what you should look for when you’re shopping around for “The One.”
Play the long game
There’s no rushing perfection or the process of selecting the right solution for your channel partner program. So why not take it slow? You’re running a marathon, not a sprint.
What you’ll want to look for in a provider is a company that will keep working with you after the initial kickoff. They’ll offer you extensive services for both you and your partners to keep everyone happy. When it comes time to court your favor for a renewal of service, you’ll likely be glad to sign again — who doesn’t like to feel taken care of?
Look at their close relationships
People want to find people who already have good relationships in their life. People surrounded by friends are more appealing. It’s the same with ChanTech. Whether it’s their employees or their customers, look for people who are passionate about the tech they’re using.
Don’t look at just their carefully-edited selfie. Look at the people involved. Look at their processes. How would you be using that tech on a daily basis? Does it mesh well with what your team is already doing? Does it vibe with where you need to go? Looking at how other companies are making use of that same technology can help you determine whether it would be a good match for you.
Are they willing to compromise?
Here’s the real kicker. Can your prospective provider give you what your particular channel program needs? If they are trying to sell you a solution straight out of the box, you’ll likely not find many customizable options — and if you have your heart set on the channel program that works best for you, working together with the provider is key.
Working in tandem for mutual success is what channel programs are all about. Why should it be any different with your channel technology provider? Look for flexibility in what their platform offers. Are you getting out-of-the-box content, or a customized setup that reflects the needs and goals of your specific partner program? Is your second date going to be dinner at a cozy insert-your-favorite-food restaurant, or is it going to be at a fast food chain?
Zift can, of course, check all the right boxes. We’re thinking about you and your specific needs from the start. We won’t just run you through our product demo like a slick date; we’ll want to get to know you and learn about what makes you tick. Are we your perfect match? Maybe so, but that’s not really the point of this post. Regardless of which channel tech provider gets your right swipe, doing your homework and taking as many opportunities to get to know the provider and what they can offer you is a must. See if they’re willing to be your business partner, willing to help solve your most complex challenges through software, services and proven best practices.
Jumping onto a provider’s platform without assessing your future compatibility together is a short-term win but a potential long-term loss, just like dating someone you don’t thoroughly vet first. So do yourself a favor and be cautious before you commit — in the channel and otherwise. After all, you never know. “The One” could be right under your nose!
Originally posted on Channel Chatter, by Cameron Sutton. Cameron is a Marketing Content Manager at Zift Solutions.