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Sales Skills  >  2-Day Courses

Managing Channel Partners

Training course in CHannel Partner Management

Learn how to manage Channel Partners professionally and confidently

Two Day Course

Course Brochure Download
Managing Channel Partners brochure
  • Acquire methods for establishing ‘rights’ and ‘responsibilities’
  • Learn a disciplined business planning process
  • Discover simple yet powerful methods for influence and persuasion


Channel Partners (or Distributors or Value Added Resellers) are independent companies who resell and distribute our products in line with our brand values. Managing Channel Partners involves (i) Agreeing an initial contract (ii) Negotiating, on an annual basis, a Business Plan that sets sales targets and identifies the marketing programme that will support the Channel Partner in the year ahead and (iii) Reviewing (usually monthly) the Channel Partners performance.

This fast paced, bespoke, two day course is designed to give people who need to manage Channel Partners a set of highly practical tools, techniques and systems to help them to do this in a methodical and professional manner.

Learning objectives

By attending this highly interactive two-day course you will:

  • Gain an insight into the golden rules of successful Channel Management
  • Understand the importance of win/win plans in developing strong relationships
  • Acquire a ‘toolbox’ of tried and tested influencing skills
  • Discover how to plan in a systematic manner
  • Master an elegant process for running effective review sessions

Who should attend?

People who are new to Managing Channel Partners and those who have some experience in this area and who wish to further develop their skills.

Day 1

The inner game of Managing Channel Partners

The phrase the ‘inner game’ is a term borrowed from sports psychology. It is a reference to the fact that what is going on inside a person’s head (their state of mind) is crucial to good performance. Here we consider the role perception and beliefs of people who are expert at Managing Channel Partners.

  • Examining your current beliefs
  • Reviewing expert beliefs
  • Making changes that you feel are appropriate for you

Exercise: applying the ‘Affirmations’ technique

Day 1 (cont)

Influencing skills

The ability to influence and persuade is the key competency of people who are good at Managing Channel Partners. Here we cover vital influencing tools grouped into three ‘sets’ or topics. Mastery of this skills toolbox, which is based on NLP (Neuro linguistic programming) concepts, allows experts at Managing Channel Partners to conduct face-to-face meetings with elegance and precision.

Creating rapport

Building a sense of trust and partnership with key staff within the Channel Partner’s organisation.

  • Matching and leading body language
  • Matching and leading values
  • Matching and leading jargon
  • Matching and leading on sensory-based language

Pairs exercise: practising the pacing and leading technique

Day 1 (cont)

Needs definition

This set of tools is concerned with asking high quality questions that map out precisely the Channel Partners needs and requirements.

  • The logical levels concept
  • Moving up logical levels
  • Moving down logical levels
  • Softners

Pairs exercise: conducting logical levels interviews

Sending positive messages

Using assertive tools combined with NLP techniques to put your point of view in a firm, persuasive and courteous manner. In this section we also cover methods for dealing with hostile and aggressive behaviour.

  • Behaviour labelling
  • Positive language
  • Three step technique
  • Feel, felt, found technique
  • Assertive broken record
  • Fogging

Day 1 (cont)

The initial contract

The initial contract spells out what the rules of the game are with respect to the business relationship between the Channel Partner and the Supplier. It provides a clear framework for determining the rights and responsibilities of both parties.

  • Three levels of Channel Partner
  • Identifying the Decision Makers
  • Nine key topics that the agreement should cover

Pairs exercise: drafting and then negotiating a Channel Partner agreement

Day 2

Boulden eight step business planning process™

Once the Initial Contract has been agreed the next stage is to negotiate a Business Plan with the Channel Partner. This document sets out the specific goals that are to be achieved in the year ahead and is written on an annual basis. At Boulden we recommend an eight-stage business planning process

  Step What's involved
1 Develop a Channel Partner database Capture key pieces of background information e.g. size of organisation, contact telephone numbers, past buying history etc.
2 Identify the Decision Making Unit Confirm the ‘key’ people in the Channel Partner’s organisation as far as our product is concerned. Develop a plan to build/maintain good working relationships with these people.
3 Assess market conditions Carry out a ‘Pest’ analysis to determine what economic and political trends will impact on the Channel Partner in the year ahead.
4 Highlight business opportunities Use a modified ‘Ansoff Matrix’ to identify products and services that we could offer the Channel Partner.
5 Set ‘sales targets’ Set specific, measurable targets for what we want from the Channel Partner e.g. volume of business, prompt payment of invoices etc.
6 Set ‘service targets’ Set specific, measurable targets for what we are willing to do for the Channel Partner e.g. deliver to set service standards, ensure a given level of product performance, provide marketing support etc.
7 Create scorecards Negotiate the SMART goals with the Channel Partner. Then track the progress that is being made against the agreed sales and service targets by capturing them in a single document - (called a scorecard.)
8 Develop an action Identify the main activities that need to be taken in order to achieve plan the targets listed on the scorecards.

Case study: working with the Boulden Account Planning Process™

Day 2 (cont)

The Boulden Prosper system™

The Boulden Prosper systems™ is a seven step process for running powerful and effective review meetings with Channel Partners

Setting the scene

Looking in-depth at the first three stages in the Boulden Prosper systems™. This involves, setting clear goals for the meeting, establishing a relaxed atmosphere and confirming the topics that are to be discussed.

  • Prepare the agenda
  • Rapport building
  • Outline the topics to be discussed

Pairs exercise: drafting the agenda

Day 2 (cont)

Understanding the Channel Partner’s point of view

Working with logical levels diagrams to identify the Channel Partners’ needs, opinions and thoughts regarding each agenda item so we know precisely why they hold a particular point of view and how specifically they would like to move forward.

  • Seek the Channel Partners’ views
  • Probe the Channel Partners’ views

Pairs exercise: probing to develop needs

Agreeing the way forward

Explaining how we think each issue should be dealt with and if appropriate challenging the Channel Partners’ views and suggesting alternatives before formally noting down what has been agreed.

  • Express your views
  • Record outcomes

Pairs exercise: putting an alternative point of view

Day 2 (cont)

Prosper Case studies

The use of role-plays to practise moving through all seven stages of the Boulden Prosper systems™ in one session.

Group exercise: role plays

Running joint marketing campaigns

Running promotional activities in partnership with a Channel Partner is an important part of making the Channel Partner/Supplier relationship work well. Here we look at running successful, cost effective marketing campaigns.

  • The Campaign Mindset
  • Understand the numbers
  • The Marketing Campaign Scope Document
  • The Marketing Campaign Action Plan

Pairs exercise: planning a marketing campaign


All our programmes are run on an in-house basis and we conduct interviews and facilitate focus groups to gather information with which to write bespoke exercises and case studies that precisely reflect the culture and work environment of the participants.


Feedback is based upon peer review using a Boulden assessment checklist. Completing the Boulden assessment checklists is not only valuable to the people involved in a given case study, it also helps those completing them to gain an in-depth understanding of the building blocks that make up excellent Channel Partner Management.

Course structure

There is an option of following the workshop with a three month long Action Learning project to link the lessons from the training back into the workplace. If this option is selected there is a closure workshop at the end of the project phase where delegates present how they have applied the techniques learned on the course into their daily work routines.

Remote Training

All of our workshops can be delivered as Remote Training via e-learning modules plus Zoom based virtual workshops. Please see our Virtual Training page for more information.


To talk to us about our range of courses contact
Boulden Management Consultants:
via our Contact form
Tel: 0844 394 8877