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ATD Blog

3 Easy Tips for Better Channel Sales Enablement Training

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

When it comes to sales, channel partners are third parties such as resellers, online marketplaces, distributors, and value-added providers that deliver your product to customers. This is a common practice within sales organizations because of a few notable benefits. Channel partners already have a network of customers with whom they’ve built some level of trust and may find it easier to expand into those markets. However, consistency of process and branding can become problematic when working with external groups. Moreover, it may be difficult to keep partners updated with product, service, or branding changes, so it’s important that these partners receive targeted sales enablement training to ensure your brand is accurately represented.

Creating Sales Enablement Training for Channel Partners

Training channel partners can be challenging. Your learners are diverse, and their parent companies, areas of expertise, interaction with customers, and level of knowledge may differ. Your sales enablement training initiative will need to address a number of challenges to be successful.

Learning Assessments
While it may be simple to provide your channel partners with the same training your internal sales team received, their needs may be quite different. You will need to quickly assess before you can create a custom e-learning course. For instance, vendors may need more brand training to learn how to better market your product, while sales representatives may need to focus more on product training. There are several ways to analyze how your channel partners are interacting with your product. Surveys are straightforward and can help you understand what your partners know well and where they feel they need to improve.

One common challenge with training for channel sales is the difficulty in keeping partners up to date with product changes. To keep your branding consistent, ensure your channel partners are closely aligned with your internal processes and messaging. The key here is to design your sales enablement training to be flexible and accessible.


Learning portals can help to improve accessibility. Using a central content hosting location for your channel partners helps keep things consistent between them. By tracking which users are accessing specific assets, you can also push updates to those users when an asset is updated. However, there are also design strategies that can increase accessibility. For example, custom e-learning activities designed for mobile learning can reduce the burden on channel partners to learn on-the-job.


When working with sales representatives who are a step removed from your company, motivation may become a challenge, and you may have less control over their reinforcement. A well-defined employee onboarding program for your partners can help. Using modalities like gamification can increase engagement with learning content through intrinsic motivating operators.


Channel sales are often vital to distribution or expansion. Although there are some notable training challenges inherent to this model, many of those can be overcome through careful design strategy and training technology deployment.

About the Author

David Peterson is director of learning solutions at AllenComm, where he focuses on supporting strategic relationships with clients helping them create innovative and engaging training experiences. He holds a BS in Marketing and Business Administration and an MBA from Utah State University.

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