Joint venture marketing partners attract new business and well trained partners close deals. Setting up at least a basic online wiki about the partnership, company or products is important so that anyone who needs to know can have access to. Creating a working document like a wiki allows your businesses to have a central location where specific product information, new product announcements or special sales information can be found. A wiki should be a tool that partners refer to on a periodic basis rather than a FAQ that might be provided in an early training session with a new partner. There are both complex software and easy ‘drag and drop’ applications to set up online wikis that can be built quickly with existing marketing collateral and company information that’s essential for sales reps and others to know, with a view to close deals.
The following are a few important elements of an online wiki for aspect of the communication channel between partners.
Include a few paragraphs about the company only as a quick reference to reinforce how the company should be represented to a new potential customer. By keeping short paragraphs that can teach a sales representative a short blurb about the story of the company and a supporting comment related to the industry is a major piece to develop at the top. Have additional information for supporting details through a link out to the website, but always concentrate on the first two lines for each section as those need to be short and punchy and allow the sales reps to then carry out their work to attract new business so you get leads that will result in closed deals.
This is a very important segment of the wiki that has to be kept up to date on a regular basis. This can help ensure that once a specific problem occurs or a unique opportunity is presenting itself that the right people is being contacted. Make sure for critical points of failure that a business partner’s at least two people that can be contacted if the primary person is unavailable during an emergency. It isn’t essential or necessary to carry the executives listed in this section of the sales training wiki unless relevant. The point of this situation is to have a working document that keeps all of the working people implementing roles in the business partnership related to selling and servicing a customer.
Keep links to product information and sales sheets that can be quickly downloaded and emailed by sales reps to potential customers. Sales representatives should be reviewing this section on a specific time determined according to the two companies. This way they will know that any new products or special promotions will be found in the system every Monday at 10AM for the week ahead or whatever schedule fits the company.
If there is important company news within the last months, have this in the wiki so the sales rep can answer accordingly if asked a question about the news. This is very important if there’s been something negative; as it is essential people have an appropriate response.
If applicable, have a basic reference list that can be performed by a partner when they’re discussing the partnership with existing clients or at the very least have a past / current client list that can be shared.
It’s important to still have a list of attachments with the link to download the document. Make this list in order by date to ensure that the newest items are still at the top. Making a wiki that is only text really doesn’t capitalize on the benefits a wiki can provide. A well-developed wiki can help attract new business with the help of partners that are fully educated about the partnership and the product and services available.
If you have a computer that is supporting your website, ask them to recommend an easy to use wiki platform that can be hosted on your server. Another option is to take a cloud based wiki tool like Zoho Wiki and use the drag and drop features to set up the wiki training page. Don’t think a basic FAQ will perform the work in terms of educating a partner’s sales force. You need to develop many tools that will guarantee the information is absorbed and a sales training wiki can be a great fall back tool for anyone that has to quickly catch up to speed before meeting with a customer.