Why is Partner Relationship Management Software Critical for Your Channel?

In the ever-evolving professional landscape, and the total integration of cloud applications, using a quality partner relationship software is more important than ever. A PRM takes you from partners to teammates, integrating and managing complementary priorities as you manage goals, targets, and sales.  xAmplify is a PRM designed and built with partners in mind; we eliminate friction, and implement automation for engaging, managing, and educating partners.

What is a PRM?

A Partner Relationship Management program streamlines the process of companies that engage in channel partner programs. PRM software allows for portal management so partners can easily access your company’s program, while also allowing them to access leads, register deals, and analyze sales metrics.  {link to article about PRM}

How does a PRM Impact Business?

Using a PRM reduces duplication of work, and creates a standardized, yet customizable, process for all channel partners. A PRM gives you control of your partner program and allows you to optimize it as a revenue-generating asset.

A PRM establishes strategic business standards and provides easy access through a partner portal where partners can find a number of resources.

Onboard Partners

Training documents and resources can be housed in a PRM to ensure your partners have access to all required onboarding documents. From product orientation to marketing briefs to lifecycle statistics, a comprehensive training program can be uploaded to the partner portal.   

Lead Management

Minimize the duplication of leads through a lead management component in a PRM. Eliminate having to track down a lead status, or asking for updates; both you and your partners can see and share leads as they come in. 

Reduce Length of Sales Cycle

With efficient lead management, and deal tracking, sales cycles are reduced, resulting in faster sales. Deal registration lets partners register deals that syncs directly with Salesforce without any customization or hassle, removing yet another barrier to finalizing the deal.

Partner Insights

Take the guesswork out of your partners’ engagement. Built-in analytics let you assess your partners’ engagement with your program, campaigns, and content. Eliminate partnerships that don’t serve you, and reward ones that do. Evaluate partner growth and impact on revenue from your partner dashboard.

Integrated Content

Marketing asset distribution is made easy with a PRM, as you can create and upload marketing materials directly to the PRM. Reduce the amount of time spent managing marketing materials; partners can download content as a PDF or HTML.

xAmplify’s partner program solutions help you unlock revenue potential across your partners, while also establishing sustainable revenue growth, and end-to-end pipeline transparency. A PRM is a great first step in your program maturity. To learn more about how to digitally transform your channel business, contact us at xAmplify. 

3 Secrets to Smart and Successful Channel Relationships

What does a successful channel relationship look like?

That was the first question we asked channel influencer Stephen Denny in our webinar. The “Killing Giants” author has been in the channel for a very long time. He and Sudhir, our CEO, discussed what these relationships look like to them. 

Here are some of our key takeaways. 

1. Your partner’s view of success is different than yours. Find out what their view is and make sure your views align. 

2. Your partner relationships need to involve many people. If your channel manager or your point of contact on the partner’s side leaves, you’ll be out of luck. You avoid this by having more than one person talk to your partner. 

3. Grow and maintain a relationship through regular contact. Unlike marketing automation software, relationships can’t be set up and run automatically. They take work.

To see the recording and to hear about future webinars, register below.

4 Ways You Can Engage Your Partners

Your partners may not be your customers, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still send them information. Contacting your partners on a regular basis ensures that you’re regularly interacting with them. It also keeps your partners in the loop on any industry news and changes that may be occurring. 

You probably already send your partners a newsletter on a monthly or quarterly basis, but sending a weekly or biweekly email goes a long way in maintaining your partner-vendor relationship. This email can include industry news, sales and marketing best practices, and any company news that affects them. 

However, you don’t have to stick with emails. You can tag your partners in your social media posts when publishing your blog or remind them on Twitter of your latest partner webinar. You can send them a video message introducing your latest product or just to say “happy holidays”.  

4 Types of Partner Marketing Messages

In addition to your regular newsletter, here are 4 other messages you should send your partners. These messages ensure that your partners are apprised of any important changes or events and kept in the loop on industry news, while also helping them stay current with their skills. These messages provide the benefit of growing your partner-vendor relationship as they show your partners that you’re invested in them and their success, as well as your own. 

The Welcome Kit

This should be the first thing you send your partners. The welcome kit helps familiarize your partners with your partner program, processes, and your partner portal. This should be a sequence of 5 emails sent within the first few weeks of the partnership. 

The first email should be a welcome message introducing the partner to their channel manager and explaining the onboarding process. If you choose to include a video message with this email, it should be a minimum of 60 seconds. The following emails after that should introduce your partner program, your products, and your partner portal. You may choose to use videos for these introductions as well. If you choose to use video, then the video can be 2 to 5 minutes long as you are introducing and explaining how things work. 

Finally, you should include a summary email restating the information given in the previous emails. This final email should also include their channel manager’s contact information and links to any resources they may find useful. 

The Weekly News Brief

This is a single email containing any relevant industry news, company news, and other information that your partners can use to plan their upcoming week. This email should also mention any upcoming events that partners may be interested in attending and should include links to further information. 

You can also include any sales or marketing tips that your partners may find useful. You can also mention a blog post you read or a podcast you listened to make the email sound more personable. This email can be sent early Monday morning or on Friday the previous week. 

Notifications About Events Your Partner May Like to Attend 

Like your customers, your partners should also get notifications for company-hosted events that are relevant to them. These can be partner-exclusive events such as “meet and greets” that allow partners to meet their channel managers in a less corporate setting. They can also be events open to anyone such as trade shows and industry conferences.  

Along with the emails and reminders about the event, your partners should also receive an additional email(s) with tips on how to get the most out of the event. You can send them tips such as how to estimate the number of business cards they’ll need to hand out at the event or best practices on following up with potential leads after the event. 

Surveys Asking for Your Partners’ Opinions 

Surveys are a great way to ask your partners questions about your partner program, your products, and their overall impression of your company. These surveys should be sent out on a regular basis such as quarterly or annually. You want to send your surveys frequently enough to spot emerging trends, but you also don’t want to annoy your partners by sending them too frequently. You may need to do some testing to find the frequency that works best for your partners. 

To find out more about when and how you should survey your partners, take a look at our post on why you should survey your channel partners

Thank Your Partners

Everyone loves feeling appreciated. They want to know they’ve done a good job, made important contributions, and that you recognize those contributions. Thanking your partners for a good quarter, helping you win an award or other important contributions goes a long way in generating goodwill. 

While you can certainly send them an email expressing your thanks, why not give your thank you a more personal touch. Sending your partner a video message expressing your thanks shows that you’re sincere. Video messages take time to make and won’t give your partner the impression that you’re just “checking the box” on having a good partner relationship. 

Conclusion

By communicating with your partners on a regular basis, you increase their engagement and grow your relationship. First, you should send them a welcome kit to make sure your relationship gets off to a good start. This shows your partners that you’re willing to invest in them and their success. The other messages you send will only reinforce that impression. 

You should send them a weekly news brief with professional development tips, company and industry news, and anything else they may find relevant. This builds upon the good impression you made with the welcome kit and sets you up as an authority they can contact when they have questions or need advice. You should also send them notifications for any events you think they may be interested in and include tips on how to make the most out of those events. This can help your partners get more leads and grow professionally, making them more likely to attend those events in the future. 

Also, send them regular messages thanking them for their contributions. These messages show that you recognize their work and appreciate them. Keep sending them your newsletter as well. This should include their successes and recap any major updates, news, and other events that occurred during the month or quarter. Finally, you should be sending them regular surveys to get their feedback. This shows your partners that you’re interested in their opinions and are invested in their success. 

Video Messages to Engage Your Partners

For the past few years, video has been on the rise. According to a survey done by Lemonlight,  99% of respondents liked watching video content from brands. 98% of those respondents also believed that video will play a larger role in the future. However, video doesn’t just have to be for your customers or your partners’ customers. You can use video to generate more partner engagement. 

Unlike a monthly newsletter, videos can feel more personal. Your partners are also more likely to watch them than read an email. But definitely follow up with an email. 

Videos also take more time to produce letting your partners know you’re taking the time to provide them with a good experience. If sent early enough, they can also help you and your partners start off on the right foot. Video helps you improve the partner-vendor relationship and increase your reputation among your partners, making them more likely to recommend you to their customers. 

Video Messages You Should Send Your Partners

There are 3 kinds of messages that you should use video for: a welcome message, an end-of-the-year message, and messages about product, company, or partner program updates. Including video in these messages can make them feel more personal to your partner.  

Introduce Your Partner to the Important Things 

Video is a great way to introduce your partners to yourself, your company, and your partner program. You should start with a greeting video from yourself and the channel manager that your partner will be working with. This video should be short, about a minute long, and let the partner know how to reach their channel manager. It should also let them know the next steps. 

The next part of the campaign can be a series of emails introducing your partner to the partner program and their partner portal. You can also send them a series of short videos that teach them how to do common things such as accessing marketing collateral and registering a deal. These videos/emails will quickly onboard your partner and start your relationship on a positive note. 

The End of The Year Message

Instead of sending your partners a generic happy holidays message, why not send them a video? With a video, you can end the year on a positive note by having their channel manager give them a personalized holiday message. As it’s the holidays, you can get creative in these videos by conveying your wishes in a festive way such as having your pets dressed in holiday wear and holding up a festive sign. 

You can also follow up the holiday message with a more formal email reminding your partners of any end-of-the-year housekeeping they need to do such as getting in their MDF requests before the deadline or registering any last-minute deals. This type of message aims to end the year on a positive note and lets your partner know you’re thinking of them. 

Product, Company, or Partner Program Updates 


These updates aim to keep your partner in the loop on any new products you release, any changes you’ve made to your partner program, major product changes, and more. This is a good way to personally explain any major changes that could affect your partner. It’s also a good way to demo your new product to your partners and get them excited about it. 

Aside from keeping your partners in the loop, these videos can convey your excitement about working with your partners. Videos can show a lot more emotion than can be conveyed through an email, so they can show your enthusiasm about new changes that benefit your partners, upcoming events, and any other great news you want to convey. 

Sending Video Messages with xAmplify

You can use our video campaign feature in xAmplify to send your partner these video messages. After you have your videos created, the next step is to create a campaign. You can do this on the xAmplify platform in just a few steps. 

  1. Upload your video into the content section
  2. Create your video template in the design section
  3. Create your video campaign in the campaigns section
  4. Schedule or send to your partners. 

To see how video campaigns work in xAmplify, contact us.

 Conclusion

Video is a great way to engage with your partners. It helps keep your partners in the loop on any changes that affect them and introduces them to new products. It also makes a great impression on them when you use video during the onboarding process and helps them get to know their channel manager better. Using it at the end of the year helps conclude the year on a positive note and strengthens your partner-vendor relationship. 

Trust Factors: How to quickly build trust in your partnerships

Good partnerships are built on trust. But how do you get your partners to really trust you? What factors should you consider? Dr. Paul Zack answers these questions and more in the latest Partnernomics episode. Dr. Zack is currently a professor of economics at Claremont Graduate University and joins host Mark Brigman, to talk about his new book Trust Factor.

Here’s what we learned:

-Relationships need to be built intentionally in order for them to work

– High performers want chances to grow. If you’ve got a really high performing partner, make sure they have opportunities to grow with you. 

– At a minimum, once a month, video chat with your partners to build/maintain trust.

– To get to know your partners better, put them in a stressful situation (ex. Take them skydiving). This gives you an idea of how well you’ll work together in the future. 

– To build trust with your partner, you can give them a medium-stakes project to handle. This will also help you judge how well the partnership will work. 

Listen to the full episode here for more insights into what factors affect trust both in partnerships and your own organization.

3 Things to Do to Make Mergers Easier on Your Partners

Mergers are a chaotic time for everyone. You have to figure out how to merge your finances, your departments, your partner programs, and much more. Your partners are going to be wondering exactly what is happening with your partner program and what it means for them. You’ll also have to pick and choose which aspects of your partner program you want to keep and why. 

Here’s 3 things you should do to help guide your partners through the merger and how partner insights can help you decide which parts of your partner program you should keep. 

  1. Communicate, communicate, communicate

Everything runs on proper communication. As soon as you find out what the merger means for your partner program let your partners know. Your partners will need to know what the new system looks like and what it means for them. Make sure to introduce them to any new channel managers or other team members they may be working with in the future. Make sure to make yourself or one of your other team members available to answer any questions they have. 

Constantly communicating with your partners during this process will show your partners that you’re thinking about them and how the merger will affect their business. This will strengthen your relationship with them and in turn, their engagement. Also, make sure to note down any questions or feedback they have so you can address it when merging your partner programs. 

  1. Train your partners, train your team, train yourself

Unfortunately, figuring out what to tell your partners isn’t the only thing you have to do. You have to figure out how to merge your partner programs. Is one partner program more mature than the other? Which elements of the partner programs should you keep? Should you get rid of any elements? What are the costs of switching partners from one program to another? Should you keep the platforms’ partners used or should you switch everyone to a new one? 

All of these are questions you will have to ask before you decide how to move forward with a new or combined partner program. Often this will mean training your partners and yourself on a new tool that you’ll have to use. You’ll have to create a training program, schedule webinars, and maybe even sit down with them and walk them through the new tool. 

Along with training your partners on new tools, your team will have to be trained as well. So will you. This is harder than it sounds as your business doesn’t stop running when you undergo a merger. You have to find time to train your team and yourself while still keeping up with your responsibilities. 

If possible try and train your team and your partners together. This will help your team and your partners get to know each other and start building a relationship. Your partners will know who they can contact with questions, issues or advice and your team can get immediate feedback on the new tools. 

  1. Make things easier

A merger is a great time to take a look at what’s worked and what hasn’t. Your workflows are changing, your tools are changing, and you’ve gotten new people with new ideas. Set up some time with your team, bring the feedback your partners have given you and think of some ways to make things easier on your partners. 

That could look like having more regular meetings with your partners. Maybe you only met once or twice a month before and your partners would prefer meeting on a weekly basis. Perhaps your partners are overwhelmed with your onboarding process and want a quick start guide on how to jump in and start selling. Or maybe you want more insight into how your partners use your content and want to introduce or switch to a new tool. Whatever it is, now is a good time to restructure your partner program to make things easier for your partners. 

How partner insights make mergers easier

If you’re currently undergoing a merger, this is an intimately familiar scenario. Your company has announced that it’s merging with another company and the next thing you know, you’ve got someone in your office asking you about your partner program. They’ll probably want to know what tools you use to manage your program, how many people are on your team and your ideal partner profile. But, then they’ll want to know things like who are your top performing partners? What percentage of revenue comes from your partners? How many leads do your partners generate? 

Do you find yourself struggling to answer those questions? You can answer some of these questions with the deal registration form data you get from your partners, but not all of them. Previously, we talked about how to actually measure partner engagement and what those metrics tell you in our post: The True Measure of Partner Engagement. With those metrics, you can easily answer the question of who your top performing partners are and talk your partners up to your new team members. 

Metrics such as Marketing Activities and Social Sales measure how much marketing your partners do on your behalf and the types of marketing and sales activities your partners do. These can be used to show how engaged your partners are and what type of support they may need from your new partner program. Here’s an example. 

Everytime you make a major change to your product, Partner A sends out an email campaign to their customers describing the change and how it benefits them. They also reshare every single one of your social posts and constantly ask to run webinars with them, host conferences and be a guest host on their weekly podcast. They’re really enthusiastic about marketing you and they generate a lot of potential leads. But, they don’t share them with you. 

Partner A doesn’t need any help with their marketing efforts. Their marketing actives and social sales scores are within your excellent range. However, their lead generation score, the metric that measures how many leads your partners share with you, isn’t great. You talk to them and realize that they’re confused about your lead criteria, especially since you’re undergoing a merger. Then, you go back, discuss with your team and decide to send out an email outlining the changes to your lead criteria. You also put these updates into your partner portal so your partners can view them at any time.

Now, your partners are happy because they know what types of leads they should give you to get their commission and you’re happy because you’re getting the types of leads you want. These types of insights makes it easier to decide how to best merge your partner programs because you can spot areas where your partners seem to struggle and look for ways to help. It helps you make a case for any elements of the partner program that you want to get rid of as you can point to the data and say this is why our current partners were struggling. 

Conclusion

Mergers are chaotic times where everything changes. You’ll have to be the one guiding your partners and your team through the changes. You’ll also have to convince your bosses which parts of your partner program are worth keeping or should be discarded and data is your most powerful tool in that conversation. 

Constantly communicating with your partners will make the changes easier for you and them. You’ll also have to train everyone and yourself on any new tools you decide to use. You’ll be getting a lot of questions and feedback in this process which you can then use to simplify your new partner program for your partners. 

Finally, measuring your partners’ sales and marketing activities can give you a good idea of which parts of your partner program are worth keeping and which ones could use a change. This data, along with the feedback you get from your partners will help you take the best elements of both companies’ partner programs and create a better one for the new company going forward. 

The PartnerUp Podcast: How to Sell Your Partner Ecosystem to Your Board

On the most recent episode of the PartnerUP podcast, partner ecosystems are brought to the boardroom. Listen to Avanish Sahai discuss how the partner ecosystem is a competitive advantage in the current B2B environment. Sahai has led partner programs and ecosystems at Salesforce, ServiceNow, and Google Cloud. Here, he offers advice on how to sell your partner ecosystem as a strategic imperative to your executive board. 

Here’s what we learned. 

  • Your partner ecosystem can increase your growth and bring you into the public market
  • Partner ecosystems are integrated and collaborative which can be difficult to align with a traditional sales and distribution model
  • When your partners innovate, you gain a competitive advantage.
  • Having a partner ecosystem allows your partners to innovate and create products that enhance your existing products. 
  • Customers want fewer, more strategic relationships with companies that understand their business. 

So, if you’ve got a board meeting coming up or just want to learn more about partner ecosystems, clear 45 min from your schedule and watch the episode here

How to Support Partner Innovation and Why You Should

The needs of customers are constantly changing and partners need to keep up. They need to redefine their offerings and even create new ones. As a vendor, you are more experienced in creating new offerings and your partners are going to look to you for advice and support. 

Giving your partners the support they need creates value for both you and your partners. By helping your partners expand their offerings, you can get more industry coverage than you had previously. You may also be able to expand into new markets. You’ll also create lifetime value for your customers which will keep them coming back. 

How to support your partners

Partners need a lot of things to innovate and expand their offerings. They need money to fund innovation, people to help them innovate, and a lot of knowledge, especially if they’re creating a new product. You’ve gone through the whole process of designing, creating, and launching new products and are the best to help your partners undergo that process themselves. You may even have the budget to help fund their innovation efforts. 

Here are 3 ways you can help your partners innovate.

  1. Create a partner innovation program

Similiar to how startup incubators and small business programs provide resources, money and technology to support startups and small business owners, partner innovation programs are designed to support partner innovation in the same way. These programs may offer business development support to help partners market their new offering. They may also offer technology such as specific software or a sandboxed development environment to help partners develop their new offering. 

  1. See your partners as individual businesses

We’ve talked before about treating your partners as individual businesses. By not treating your partners as an extension of your business, you give them space to grow their capabilities. This lets your partners develop offerings that complement and grow your industry coverage. Also, your partners may develop offerings that allow you to expand into areas that you wouldn’t have the opportunity to expand into otherwise. 

  1. Create a community 

Unlike your partner innovation program, this community will be for you, your partners, your customers and anyone else who works with you. Use this community to start and follow discussions on best practices, common problems people encounter in the industry and things that people wish they could do with their current tech. 

As you and your partners listen and participate in these discussions, you can trade ideas with each other and see what solutions you can come up with. You can then use your partner innovation program to support your partners as they develop these solutions and bring them to market. 

Helping your partners develop new offerings and solutions to current industry issues benefits both your partner and you. These new offerings and solutions can provide more value to both current and new customers ensuring that you’re always top of mind for them. They can also help you gain more industry coverage than you would had otherwise. 

Three ways you can help your partners expand their offerings are by treating them as individual businesses, creating a community for them and others and by creating a partner innovation program. By treating your partners as individual and independent businesses, you give them the space and freedom to develop new offerings that complement your existing ones. By creating a community for them, your customers and other people who work with you, you and your partners get a space to share new innovations, best practices and to listen to common problems that inspire you to create new offerings. Finally, by creating a partner innovation program, you provide your partners the knowledge and support they need to create and bring their new offerings to market. 

Why is GDPR important to the Channel?

his post is part of a series in which we explore how GDPR affects the channel especially when using marketing automation tools. As we’re not legal experts, please consult with your own legal experts for specifics about your situation. 

Why we’re still talking about GDPR

In the past few months, numerous companies have had their security breached and their customer’s data privacy violated. Authorities are cracking down hard on companies who can’t secure their customer’s data and companies are finding that they need to update their data policies and rethink the way they gather and collect data.

While this is great for the consumer, it’s difficult for companies to actually do. It’s especially tricky in the channel space as more than one company handles a consumer’s data. Vendors, partners, and data processors such as marketing automation platforms all share consumer data. Each of these parties must comply with data protection regulations such as GDPR. 

GDPR is the most prominent of these regulations and can be tricky to navigate, especially as it applies to anyone who does business with anyone in Europe. We’ve created a series in which we explore how GDPR affects the channel, especially when using marketing automation tools.

What is GDPR?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Act protects data belonging to European citizens and residents. It applies to any company that obtains and/or handles personal data belonging to these citizens and residents. This includes processing, storing, and transferring data as well. This is true regardless of where the company is located. So a software company in the US that handles European personal data would still have to comply with GDPR even though they aren’t located in Europe. 

Under GDPR, personal data can only be processed if any of the 6 specified criteria are met. For the channel, those criteria would be

  • Consent has been given
  • Processing data is necessary for the performance of a contract 
  • Legitimate interest

Consent

Like a medical consent form, the consent form for data collection must explicitly state why you are collecting the data, what it’s for, how it will be stored, and for how long it will be stored. This consent must be obtained from anyone whose data is being collected. For the channel, consent must be obtained from the customer/prospect, the partner and the vendor if using a data processor, an entity that processes any data you give it according to your instructions. An example would be Mailchimp who processes your contact lists and sends emails to those contact lists.  

Once consent has been obtained, it must be stored by everyone who interacts with that person’s data. For the channel, the vendor, the partner, and the data processor must keep the consent authorization for their records. Consent must also be renewed on a recurring basis and may be revoked at any time. 

Data Processing 

Under GDPR, data processing includes collecting, recording, storing, etc…pretty much anything you do with data would be considered data processing under GDPR. Examples would be

  • Collecting emails for a mailing list
  • Storing IP addresses for security purposes
  • Storing contact information in a marketing automation platform

Data processing must occur for a specific purpose such as collecting emails for a newsletter mailing list. You can’t just process data for whatever reason; it needs to be specific and clearly defined when asking for consent. 

Legitimate Interest

This is when your personal data is used in a way you would expect. The data collected for this purpose should be necessary for the organization to collect and the benefits of processing it should outweigh the risks. 

An example of this is someone uploading their resume to a job board such as Indeed. In this case, the person who uploaded the resume can expect recruiters, hiring managers and anyone else looking to fill an open position to contact them based on the information provided in the resume. 

Why is GDPR important to the Channel?

Under GDPR everyone who handles the personal data of European citizens and residents must obtain explicit consent in order to use, process, store, or transfer the data. In the channel, there are typically 3 parties involved in obtaining, using, and storing this data. They are the vendor, the partner, and a data processor such as Hubspot. All 3 of these parties must obtain consent from the prospect/customer. This obtained consent must be stored in each party’s records. This means that consent must be obtained from all 3 parties even though the vendor may not even be located in Europe. 

GDPR is tricky for the channel as obtaining explicit consent means that customer/prospect information has to be shared between the vendor and the partner. This is a large concern when using a through-channel marketing automation system as the partner will be sending the vendors’ campaigns to their (the partner’s) mailing lists. Currently, most marketing automation platforms that the channel uses don’t have the network/software architecture necessary to properly separate the partner’s data from the vendor’s data. This data separation is necessary to be GDPR compliant and since most platforms don’t currently have the separation in place, they run the risk of noncompliance. 

What are the consequences of a GDPR violation?

The penalties for violating GDPR are steep. Fines can be 4% of annual global revenue or more than 20 million euros which is roughly equivalent to $24,000,000. These fines are determined by a number of factors such as whether or not the violation was intentional, how soon it was reported, and whether or not the fined company cooperated with the authorities. 

Since data in the channel is handled by more than one party, it’s possible that if one party such as a partner is found to violate GDPR, the other parties such as the vendor may also be violating GDPR. This is why it’s important to ensure that all parties involved are GDPR compliant. 

How do I know if my partners are compliant?

It’s not just you who has to be GDPR compliant, but your partners too. Rather than leave your partner to navigate GDPR compliance by themselves, you should guide your partners through the process of becoming compliant. 

  1. Be on top of regulatory changes

Make sure to keep up to date with any GDPR and other regulatory changes and inform your partners of them in a timely manner. Be sure to check in with your partner at regular intervals to ensure that they remain compliant. These updates can be sent in your regular newsletter. 

  1. Rework your partnership agreement

Your new agreement will need to include a data-sharing clause as GDPR requires any data sharing to be disclosed to the consumer. This clause should outline what data will be collected, how that data will be used, and how it will be stored. It should also state how long the data will be held for and how it will be removed from both parties’ systems.

  1. Educate partners  

There’s a high chance that none of your partners have lawyers on hand to help them figure out how to be compliant. You should educate your partners on what GDPR is, how it affects them, and what the consequences are for violating it. Make sure to share material like checklists that will help them be compliant, host webinars, and provide additional support and training when necessary. 

  1. Establish compliance procedures and metrics

Make sure to lay out some metrics and procedures so that your partners can show you and others that they are GDPR compliant across all their platforms. These procedures and metrics will establish an audit trail that you and your partners can show the authorities if necessary. 

  1. Know when to let the relationship go

It sucks, but sometimes your partners may not want to be GDPR compliant. If that’s the case and you’ve tried everything to make them see that it’s necessary for their business, then it’s time to let them go. There are steep fines for noncompliance and if your partner gets fined, you might get fined as well. This is the last resort step. 

Conclusion

GDPR is the most prominent data protection regulation that affects a large number of companies. Everyone who handles the data of European citizens and residents must comply with it or risk being fined up to 4% of their annual global turnover. Under the regulation, companies must obtain consent to handle a consumer’s data. They must also have a data policy that lays out how they will collect, use, share, store and destroy the data that they obtain. 

For the channel, the vendor, partner, and data processor (ex. A marketing automation platform) must be compliant. Each party must hold a copy of the consumer’s consent and have a data-sharing agreement in place. Vendors can help their partners become compliant by educating partners and establishing compliance procedures and metrics.

Meet Us at the Channel Partners Conference and Expo

The Channel Partners Conference and Expo is happening next week, November 1 – 4 in Las Vegas. For 25 years, the conference has been bringing the latest trends in the channel, new tech, and new ideas that are poised to disrupt the industry. With more than 250 channel vendors attending and a long list of sessions with some of the biggest names in the industry, there’s a lot you can learn. 

Who we’re excited to hear

With a lineup of more than 100 channel experts hosting keynotes and conference sessions, there’s a lot to choose from. Here’s who we’re looking forward to hearing from. 

LinkedIn: The Ultimate Social Media Tool For B2B Marketing

We all know social media’s important. Who among us isn’t on LinkedIn these days? But are we using it to its full potential? 


That’s why we’re excited to hear from Matthew Solomon, Channel Halo’s CEO, on how to use the full potential of LinkedIn for marketing. He offers advice on how to curate and build relationships and how to find the right buyers. This is a good session for both you and your channel partners to attend.

Cybersecurity in a 5G World

Cybersecurity is a hot topic these days and organizations are increasingly looking to boost their defenses against cyberattacks. We’re looking forward to hearing AT&T’s Theresa Lanowitz talk about how organizations are moving to 5G while also increasing their cybersecurity. She also discusses the results from AT&T’s Cybersecurity Insights Report which states that 94.5% of organizations want help in moving to 5G and increasing their security. 

This session is a must for MSPs or anyone else interested in cybersecurity.

How to Keep Customers Safe and Operations Running in a Post-Pandemic World

There’s a lot going on in the world today and the threat of disrupted operations hangs over all of us.  Speaker Jasmina Muller, Everbridge’s VP of Global Channel Partnerships, joins panelists Cheryl Neal (Tech Data), Janet Schijns(JS Group), and Paul Spencer (T-Mobile) for a discussion on how channel leaders can keep people safe and operations running during times of disruption. They’ll also discuss how automation solutions can help organizations rapidly respond to disruption and keep operations running. 

This is a must for anyone who doesn’t want their operations to even blip during times of disruption.

Who we’re hoping to meet

There’s a lot of people we’re hoping to meet at the conference, you included. We’re really excited to meet anyone interested in growing with their partners and would love to talk to them about using automation to help that growth. If you’re one of those people, let our team know through the official conference app or through our calendly here

We’re really excited about this conference and hope to see you there. If you can’t make the conference, keep an eye on the Channel Partners website for highlights. If you want to meet us, but have something else planned next week, our clalendly has other dates available.