Channel sales are the B2B enterprise tech growth engine of the future. One internal channel sales manager (CSM) paired with several assigned channel partners can generate as much revenue as multiple internal salespeople at a fraction of the cost. CSMs serve as the linchpin between corporate strategic objectives and execution in channel, and internal communications is the vehicle through which global channel organizations can tighten alignment between corporate, the field, and partners to drive tangible business value.
Implement these 4 key best practices to maximize the effectiveness of internal communications which in turn directly impacts channel performance:
Pre-Plan Internal Communications Drip Campaigns
Pre-drafting all communication drops in advance of campaign launch ensures that the information distributed is accurate, timely, and consistent across partner and internal audience groups. Be sure to include drop dates, subject lines, and all links and help instructions. It’s much easier to identify holes and discrepancies when the entire communication string is evaluated as a whole v. a series of one-offs. This not only streamlines the review process, but also simplifies the execution of the sends which can in turn be pre-planned, automated, and repeatable as a process.
Keep the Field in Loop on Communication to Partners
Before any communication is sent to partners, it’s critically important to alert the field in advance of the send so that CSMs are prepared to field questions from partners. It’s best to bake the advance internal send into the documented process for partner communications. For instance, if a partner communication is scheduled for a Wednesday, this action should trigger a pre-communication send to the field on Tuesday. To ensure clarity, CSMs should receive an exact copy of what partners will receive the following day with a forwarding note containing deadlines, action items, and next steps.
Deliver Relevant Content in Bite-Sized Pieces
The days of hefty newsletters chock full of valuable information and resources are long gone. It’s content overload – when a CSM receives a lengthy communication covering a wide range of topics that may or may not be relevant, it gets bypassed. For time-sensitive initiatives, events, and launches, it’s far more effective to communicate to the field via executive communications. Concise communication from leadership feels personal and gets read. Clearly spelled out action items, next steps, talking points, and help instructions will not only garner attention, but also provide mission-critical direction when CSMs communicate with partners.
Empower Internal Influencers
People pay attention to communications that they receive from their direct supervisor. This is why “cascading” is a crucial step to ensuring key communications are opened, read, and acted upon. As part of the documented communications process, team leaders should be instructed to forward the communication to their direct reports with a brief note expressing the importance of the communication and any action required. As a reminder to team leaders to forward the email, place “please cascade as appropriate” at the end of the subject line.
Leveraging these 4 internal communications techniques will not only boost campaign metrics but also achieve critical alignment between partners and the field to drive channel sales.