Channel Partner Certification in Action: Real-world Strategies for Effective Training

Creating an effective channel partner certification program requires a strategic approach with clear objectives, engaging training methods, skilled trainers, rigorous assessments, and ongoing support.

Let’s get into each step with best practices from industry leaders:

  1. Define Clear Certification Requirements: Begin by defining clear certification requirements that align with your company’s goals and the capabilities you expect from your partners. For instance, Microsoft’s Partner Network offers various certification paths, such as Microsoft Certified: Dynamics 365 Sales Functional Consultant Associate or Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert, each with specific skill sets and knowledge areas.
  2. Craft a Robust Training Curriculum: Develop a comprehensive training curriculum that covers technical skills, product knowledge, sales techniques, and customer service best practices. Salesforce’s Trailhead platform is a prime example, offering a wide range of modules and trails designed to equip partners with the skills needed to succeed in selling and implementing Salesforce solutions.
  3. Engage Skilled Trainers: Identify and engage skilled trainers who not only possess deep expertise in your products or services but also excel in delivering engaging and interactive training sessions. VMware’s VMware Partner University partners with certified instructors who undergo rigorous training to ensure they can effectively convey complex technical concepts to partners.
  4. Leverage Diverse Training Delivery Methods: Utilize a mix of training delivery methods to accommodate different learning preferences and schedules. Adobe’s Adobe Certified Expert (ACE) program offers a blend of instructor-led training, self-paced e-learning modules, virtual labs, and hands-on workshops to cater to partners’ diverse needs and learning styles.
  5. Implement Rigorous Assessment Mechanisms: Implement rigorous assessment mechanisms, including quizzes, practical exams, and performance evaluations, to validate partner skills and knowledge. Cisco’s certification exams, such as the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) exam, are renowned for their depth and rigor, ensuring that certified partners demonstrate proficiency in Cisco technologies.
  6. Recognize and Reward Certification Achievements: Recognize and reward partners’ certification achievements with formal certifications, digital badges, incentives, and exclusive benefits. Google’s Google Cloud Partner Advantage program grants certified partners access to specialized training resources, co-marketing opportunities, and priority support, incentivizing partners to invest in certification.
  7. Facilitate Continuous Learning and Collaboration: Foster a culture of continuous learning and collaboration by providing ongoing training resources, mentorship programs, and collaborative platforms. HubSpot’s HubSpot Academy offers a wealth of free training courses, certifications, and a vibrant community forum where partners can connect, share insights, and learn from each other.

By following these steps and leveraging insights from successful industry examples, you can develop a robust channel partner certification program that not only equips partners with the necessary skills but also fosters long-term partnerships and drives mutual success.

About the Author

Brett Strauss has been leading the way in customer and partner education since its early days. He’s the Founder and President of NetExam. Connect with Brett Strauss on LinkedIn

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