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What is Channel Partner Enablement and the Keys to Success With It?

What is channel partner enablement?Do you go to market through partners? If you do, you need to be aware of, and implement, a channel partner enablement strategy for your company.

In organizations running sales enablement, the channel is often overlooked, or at least under-supported. Partner enablement is the solution.

For businesses using Revenue Enablement, the channel should be included by default. However, in many cases, these Revenue Enablement team will have a team within it focused exclusively on the channel.

In either case, in this article, we will discuss what channel enablement is and how to implement it well.

What is channel partner enablement?

Partner enablement, or channel partner enablement, is the process of enabling your channel partners to fully understand your solutions, the challenges they solve, and when to sell them to their customers.

The approaches are very different than what you would typically apply to internal teams, because:

  • Your channel partners are often selling from multiple vendors, oftentimes your competitors.
  • Partners do not work for you; you can’t force them to take specific training or pay attention to your offerings. You have to find ways to grab their attention.

What skills should your partner enablement manager have?

The fact that channel partners don’t work for your company requires channel partner enablement managers to be excellent communicators and relationship builders.

And that’s in addition to the skills they need to have simply to do standard sales or revenue enablement. Those skills include:

  • Five or more years experience in content marketing, sales enablement, sales ops, or sales development
  • Excellent content management, content creation, content development, and copywriting skills
  • Experience building sales training content and training programs, especially with training and coaching sellers or other customer-facing teams.
  • Experience delivering instructor-led sales training.
  • Deep experience with at least one Sales Enablement tool and the customer relationship management (CRM) solution you are using.
  • Ability to interpret insights from data, having strong analytical skills, and an ability to balance data-driven and user-provided feedback AND the ability to partner with sales operations to further operationalize a data-driven approach.

What is the average Partner Enablement Manager salary?

In the U.S., according to Glassdoor, the average salary of Partner Enablement Managers is $134,551. This is nearly $30,000 higher than the average Sales Enablement Manager according to Glassdoor.

What is Channel Partner Enablement and the Keys to Success With It?

Of course, the average Partner Enablement Manager salary varies across the globe. At the time of this writing, per Glassdoor, here are the average base salaries for several locations across the globe.

  • Canada: CA$84,654 per year.
  • United Kingdom: £52,992 per year
  • India: ₹482,942 per year (nearly doubling in two years).

Defining and Deploying Your Channel Partner Enablement Tech Stack

For the sake of this article, we are assuming you already have core sales systems in place.

We will focus instead on the content portions of your channel partner enablement tech stack.

Content Management and Delivery Tools

When supporting the channel, the big technology headache is the licensing models used by most Enablement vendors. Therefore, we are focused on recommending solutions that have an essentially no-cost-for-partner approach to the channel.

In this case, we recommend, where we see customers have tremendous success using the Enable Digital Sales Room as a collaboration room for engaging with their partners. Not only does it work well, but the partner users access the deal room without needing a license for Enable, making this the most scalable solution available for partners.
Digital Sales RoomsSolid capabilities, dynamic content (optionally), security, chat/conversation capabilities.
Content PlaybackBasic, No Annotations or Notes
SearchTitle, Description
ReportingSellers can use reporting to identify customer engagement, identify who to reach out to and what to discuss.
Email IntegrationsGmail* (new but untested by our team)
CRM IntegrationsSalesforce, Hubspot (* Only at Growth Plan Pricing)
PricingStartup Plan
– Unlimited Content Storage for docs, videos, infographics, PDFs, etc.
– Content Management including attributes, versioning control, permissions, etc.
– Digital Sales Rooms
– Contact-based engagement tracking
– Sales Room Analytics

Growth Plan
– CRM Integration (Salesforce & Hubspot)
– Video Conferencing Integration (Zoom & RingCentral)
– Content Repository Integrations (Google, Microsoft, DropBox)
– Content Level Analytics
– Individual Content Link Sharing with Detailed Tracking Metrics
– Mutual Action Plans
– Ideal for teams with 3 or more users

Pricing not Published
– Custom Delivery Domain Name
– Reference Management
– Sales Room and Mutual Action Plan Templating
– Custom Integrations
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Are there any other major differences between channel partner enablement and other types?

The short answer is no.

Other than the differences already covered above, the roles operate in much the same manner.