If you’re looking to grow the client list and revenue of your data center, you’ve likely at least considered building a channel partner program and how you’d go about recruiting like-minded VARs and MSPs.
For many CEOs, this is a very appealing proposition as you’ll likely reach highly-fragmented market segments that wouldn’t be cost-effective to reach on your own. And you’ll gain an army of evangelists and sales staff without having to increase the headcount of your organization.
This issue was raised in our Inbound Revenue Acceleration Webinar for Colocation Data Centers – specifically, how to launch and build a channel program. You can watch and read an excerpt from this webinar in this blog post.
How Should You Go About Channel Management When Growing a Data Center?
What a lot of people don’t realize is that if you’re trying to attract a certain kind of reseller, if you’re trying to attract a certain kind of VAR, and we’ve had a number of conversations like this with clients and prospective clients during the past few months, it’s just another buyer persona.
Because when it comes to VARs, you’re not looking to attract all 160,000 SMB VARs in the U.S.
Or the hundreds of thousands of Microsoft partners in its ecosystem.
That would just be too broad of a net for most data centers to cast.
Buyer Persona for Data Center Channel Partners
So you need to be super-specific about who are the kinds of channel partners that you want to attract.
- What are they worried about?
- What are their goals and challenges?
- What are they searching for online?
- Where do they hang out online and offline?
- What are the things that can get them a promotion?
- What are the things that can get them fired?
- What are the things that can get them new clients?
- What are the things that can get them kicked out of new clients?
Worry More About Their Problems Than Yours
Once you understand all of those issues, you’ll need to create hyper-relevant content that helps those VARs, your potential channel partners, address their problems.
This includes content in the form of blog posts, screencasts, videos, podcasts, eBooks, white papers, and checklists.
This content is all about you teaching how to be a better VAR and how to be a better channel partner.
Early on, these VARs are not looking for your channel program. They’re just looking for advice on how to solve a specific problem in their VAR-, their reseller-, or their MSP-organization.
If you can be perceived as a teacher, as a trusted advisor, as a subject matter expert, as a thought leader, it builds up that trust. And that’s an extremely important prerequisite for getting them excited about joining your data center’s channel partner program.
That Delight phase – at the end of the Inbound methodology – is extremely critical. Because getting them signed on as a partner is only half of the battle.
You need to make sure that you have the right enablement strategies in place to teach them – you’re basically teaching them how to sell through.
It’s not about selling your channel partners. It’s about teaching your channel partners to do what your sales team is able to do on a more independent, channel partner basis.
How did you get your data center’s channel partner program off the ground? And what was the biggest lesson you learned from recruiting your first 50 partners? Let us know in the Comments.
If you're in the data center, mission critical or cloud services industries, or you sell to the data center industry, don't miss our weekly update newsletter -- Data Center Sales & Marketing Institute (DCSMI) Update Newsletter. Get notified about new reports, events, podcasts, and blog posts.