November 17, 2019

Managing Personas in your Channel Program

It’s likely your channel reps will share some common traits. They should be good at talking to people, have some ambition to produce results, and have some confidence and enthusiasm.

Brooke Friendly

It’s likely your channel reps will share some common traits. For example, they should be good at talking to people, have some ambition to produce results, and have some confidence and enthusiasm. But there’s of course different degrees of all of these traits, and the best channel programs will have a blend of personas.

Let’s take some insights from the recently launched book “The Challenger Sale” by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson which offers research-based thoughts on sales and specifically salespeople. Their book breaks down sales people into five different groups:

• “Relationship builders” – Those that are focused on developing personal relationships and avoiding conflicts.
• “Hard workers” – Reps that put in long hours, making calls, researching leads, and taking nearly any action necessary for client needs.
• “Lone wolves” – These types do things their own way. They might get results, but they don’t like to follow processes (such as booking leads into a platform).
• “Problem solvers” – Reps that focus on the customer service side are Problem Solvers. They sometimes get stuck in this mode instead of focusing on future sales.
• “Challengers” – The authors point to this group as driving the most revenue. They’re boundary-pushers that not only question how your organization is offering its service, but also asks hard questions for the end client.

While there’s some crossover with these types of personas, it is helpful to categorize your reps. You want to do this so you can then provide them with the service, information, tools that best suit their particular style. It also helps you to communicate properly with the reps. If you’re dealing with a “lone wolf” then maybe you give them a little more leeway, while gently pushing them towards following your processes. Maybe you have some “hard worker” types that put in 60 hours, but they’re results aren’t matching that effort. Perhaps they aren’t hitting the right clients or adding extra services to their deals that could boost their numbers.

Consider Motivations
Broadly speaking, some reps are motivated by incentives while others are more interested in recognition. This doesn’t mean you’ll find a great rep that’ll work for free, simply there are different motivations at work. Some need the “dangling carrot” of more money, and others might want to win the annual sales channel and the accompanying trip to Aruba.

You can gather information about your reps’ motivations surveys, observation of behavior, and direct conversations. Get to know them on a more personal level to uncover what makes them tick, and what might encourage them to push your services instead of the competition.

Catering to all Types
To fulfill the needs of a variety of personas in your sales channel, you need real measurable engagement. An enablement platform that’s user-friendly and infinitely customizable is an ideal way to provide different types of engagement for different types of people. ChannelAssist’s platform gives you an array of tools to manage the “challengers,” the “lone wolves,” and everyone in between. It offers targeted and gamified learning, a variety of incentive choices, and direct communication tools. You need a variety of customizable features in your engagement platform to match the various personas you’ll encounter as a channel manager.

Motivational Tips for Every Persona
Appealing to the needs of different people requires you to try new tactics. Here are some motivational and process tips that should appeal to nearly every type of channel rep:

• Mix in some non-cash rewards to appeal to some people that aren’t just thinking about cash, and also to keep your reps’ interest in your program
• Make it easier for the reps to increase the size of their deals by providing them with assistance
• Streamline the proposal process by offering a smart platform that’s easy-to-use, which is especially valuable if your product or services are complex
• Foster a culture of recognition where people are applauded for meeting goals and performing other actions

Armed with our technology and professional services, you’ll jumpstart your entire channel program with better communication, results-oriented gamified learning, and the incentives that get the reps’ attention. Talk to us about our intuitive and accessible platform that starts paying immediate dividends for channel rep performance.

Our solution provides the engagement, incentives, education & training modules that will benefit every one of your channel sales reps. it’s customizable, so you can adapt it to different personas and needs, so they can thrive.

At ChannelAssist, we leave no Channel Sales Rep behind.

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