Why Your Partner Marketing Program Isn't Scaling

Launching your partner marketing program is exciting! But why isn't it scaling? Today we outline what could be holding you back from scaling to your full potential
Luke Swanek
Luke Swanek
April 4, 2018
Why Your Partner Marketing Program Isn't Scaling

After months of planning and securing your roster, you’ve launch your organization’s first partner marketing program. Congratulations! Unfortunately the early sales results aren’t yielding the expectations you had in mind. Know that you are not alone, thousands of businesses have also struggled to scale the efforts of their partner marketing program and have come out short. This article will cover 3 key reasons your partner marketing program isn't scaling the way you want it to.

Just because you’ve secured a roster of partners, doesn’t necessarily mean they will proactively market your product or service with the attention you would hope. Partners need training, support, motivation and resources to be successful.

1) Your partner’s don’t care

When structuring your partner marketing program, you need to ensure you’ve set your partners up to be properly motivated. Have you incentivized them with rewards they care about? Do they believe those incentives are achievable?

Your partners are participating in your partner marketing program because they want to get something out of it. In order for them to care, those rewards need to be tangible and they need to be real.

A great option for structuring your partner program is to leverage the use of tiered levels to acknowledge how successful partners are at reselling your product. By making this information available to all partners, you can create a competitive ecosystem and further incentive partners through achievement levels and rewards. Some examples can be found here.


2) Yours partners are left in the dark

It’s important that your partners are kept in the loop of important changes to your organization’s products or services. When you release a new feature or update, do you set aside communication specifically for your partners?  Are your partners aware of your product roadmap and what upcoming features customers can expect to benefit from? This can directly contribute to why your partner marketing program isn't scaling.

Your partners have direct access to current and potential customers of your business. They are a channel for communicating your key selling points and it’s important that they’re given timely information in moments that matter. If they aren’t aware that the feature all their customers have been asking about is shipping next month, how can they sell it?

3) Your partners aren’t set up to sell

Think about your partners as your own sales representatives. What resources and training have you provided your own team in order to hunt and close deals for your business? That same thinking should be applied to your roster of partners.

Have you provided them with tested messaging, best practices and marketing materials they can leverage and customize to align with their own content calendar? Do your partners have easy access to product specifications and pricing grids?

Set your partners up for success by giving them what they need before they even have to ask for it.

Always keep in mind that what you’re striving for is challenging. Rolling out a partner marketing program is no small feat; scaling one requires an even greater level of tact. It’s good to reiterate the process and improve your program along the way. By taking the perspective of your partner into consideration, your partner marketing program offers great potential for growing your business.

Bonus tip - give your partners some love! Just like your own employees, partners also appreciate feeling valued and included. Find ways to recognize their efforts and make them feel like they’re part of your team. Congratulatory messages when partners refer important customers are easy check points you can build into your partner marketing processes and they can go a long way!

Luke Swanek

Luke Swanek

VP Sales, Cofounder at GrowSumo

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