So you're a manufacturer with direct and indirect sellers. In general, you probably have pretty decent control over and insight into your direct sales team. However, capturing the mindshare of channel teams can be a brutal task. By nature, channel sellers have dozens, if not hundreds, of products and services from a plethora of vendors to keep track of. The way they run their day-to-day operations are fundamentally different than the operations of a direct sales team. However, their goals are the same as direct sellers: to deliver the best solution possible to their clients. In order to do that, channel sellers need to be on top of the latest and greatest in their portfolio of vendors and solutions. But getting your solution top of mind for these sellers is sometimes easier said than done.
Every company that sells at companies like Walmart, Best Buy, or through a VAR manages to engage and educate indirect sellers. But how? More specifically, companies embracing a channel selling model may be asking themselves:
- How do you engage and educate sellers at large channel partners such as Best Buy, Walmart, ATT, Verizon and more?
- How do you get past the endless number of distractions, alternative tasks, and requests to take the training?
- How to train diverse teams that are older, younger, and have cultural differences?
- How do you monitor and measure training efforts for diverse teams and groups?
Zunos, the industry's leading micro-learning and gamification platform, has provided some of the top technology brands in the world with field and channel training solutions that go above and beyond the effectiveness of the dreaded day-long, offisite trainings., utilizing three simple principles.
- Keep it short and sweet
Keep the knowledge communication short and sweet. Leverage micro learning principles to get the key points across in small, interactive experiences. A 7-minute microlearning experience is much less intimidating than a 4-hour classroom-style training. Make it easy for sellers to take in training in small chunks, and they'll keep coming back for more.
- Maintain a cadence
Communicate to the channel on a consistent basis. Keep a regular update cadence so people know that they are going to see something new at the same time every week. That way they can start to build it into their regular routine to keep engagement high.
- Modernize the Experience
Deliver the knowledge in a format that provides a similar experience to other apps modern channel salespeople are familiar with. The closer your trainings can feel to consumer apps, the more likely they are to embrace them as they do their personal apps. Gamification is also a great way to encourage engagement - think badges, leaderboards, earning points to redeem toward something exciting.
All in all the execution isn't hard - it simply requires a reframing of the concept of channel engagement - make the complex simple, more human, and more fun.