• Training for channel partners more important now than ever

        • As organisations of all shapes and sizes continue to struggle, cutbacks to various parts of the business are understandable. However, unified communications and collaboration specialist TelcoSwitch believes that now is the time for technology firms to redouble their efforts to train and nurture their partner relationships, rather than place them on the backburner.

          The next few months are almost certain to be challenging, even for technology businesses that have performed well during the pandemic. To continue to succeed in the face of limited resources and a cash-strapped customer base, organisations will have to emphasise the quality of service and technical capabilities more than ever before. For Sam Giggle, Head of Sales at TelcoSwitch, this underlines the essential nature of channel partners and the need to look after them.

          He said, “for many tech companies, the connections they have with their channel partners are the lifeblood of their success. In times of economic turmoil such as this one, it’s more important than ever that we have each other’s backs, which means that vendors should be taking steps to enrich these relationships, rather than letting them fall by the wayside in favour of other priorities that might erroneously be deemed more pressing.

          “Achieving this requires a concerted effort not only to maintain a basic level of contact with partners but to go the extra mile in terms of training programmes and ongoing support. This is something I’ve always been passionate about and see becoming even more important in the months to come.”

          Sam says that the training and guidance provided for channel partners should go well beyond a simple session that introduces a partner to a product or pricing spec, before awarding the partner a certificate and sending them on their way. There should also be a long-term pastoral element to this relationship, with training being personalised, interactive and frequent throughout the duration of the partnership.

          He added, “training should always be a hands-on process, whether you’re in the midst of a pandemic or not. Partners should be taught to understand products inside and out, as it is this level of technical expertise that breeds success and reinforces the long-term reputation of both vendor and partner.

          “This process should not just end abruptly at the end of a particular training course. Effort should be made to stay in regular touch with each and every channel partner, with additional sessions offered as needed to ensure partners can accurately meet end-user requirements. Remote training should also be a core element of any offering, as it will likely be some time before everyone feels safe meeting in person again.

          “Consistency and quality are of the essence in such a time of upheaval. If tech companies continue to invest in their partner relationships, they’ll be on a positive footing for the future.”

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