MarketStar Blog | Partner (3)

Quick and Dirty Tips for Successful Channel Partner Marketing

By now, you’re all very much aware of channel partner marketing and its many benefits. We’ve covered it extensively on our blog. From little-known secrets that can boost sales productivity to partner management best practices that will revamp relationships, our in-depth articles cover the spectrum of this highly-skilled sales and marketing processes. While it’s certainly helpful to read detailed examinations of specific topics, sometimes, it’s the little things that count. 

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The Top 3 Traits of Successful Partner Sales Programs

Developing a sustainable, successful partner program can be a useful tool for modern sales teams. Not only do these programs provide scalable opportunities, but they can maximize revenue and lower the costs associated with in-house sales solutions.

However, developing a successful partner sales program is easier said than done. While roughly one-third of businesses support indirect sales channels, not all companies excel at providing their partners with the right technology, guidance, and information to sell effectively.

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Types of Sales Channels You Need to Have in Your Growth Strategy

Before the internet, there were two sales channels: indirect and direct. If you were a brick-and-mortar business, you sold your products directly in your store. If you were a wholesaler, you sold through resellers or distributors.

In today’s world, things are a bit more complex. And choosing sales channels to reach your targeted customers takes more effort. While the internet has certainly simplified many aspects of selling, it’s also created new demands for teams to learn and utilize disparate marketing channels.

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3 Partner Management Best Practices That Will Revamp Your Relationship

Channel sales programs enable tech-driven enterprises to gain market share, increase brand awareness, and remain competitive. However, finding value-added resellers (VARs) to sell your technology services and products can be difficult.

As manager of channel sales, you most likely focus a majority of your time on top-tier enterprise customers but need help reaching second-tier markets and smaller companies; recruiting reliable reps and making sure they’re enabled and ready to sell is the core of your problem.

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Invest in your channel partners, but selectively

When attempting to cultivate a broad partner community, vendors often make the mistake of inundating the target partners with content, en mass, and then simply wait for them to raise their hand and ask for help.

Partner onboarding support varies widely from program to program, and vendors have different expectations for how long they’ll need to hand-hold a partner until they are self-sufficient from a sales and technical perspective – in some cases the technical aspects are an ongoing support function that is provided to the partner in perpetuity. Too often the partners get thrown into the main channel program at the lowest level to fend for themselves. They then become frustrated when they are not being able to find the information they need, or being held to performance standards they don’t yet have the competency to meet. 

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Big Data in Business to Business Selling: Fact or Fiction?

“Big Data” is gathered from every corner of our digital life, including demographics, geography, spending habits and even lifestyle.  There are thousands of data points collected and used to market and sell goods to us as consumers and this data has spawned entire industries and software companies. 

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Create Diverse Communication Methods to Engage your Channel's Long Tail

Channel partners have become more diverse than ever, making it hard to rely on one or two profiles to build an effective support and coverage model. This diversity only grows as you move further down the list of channel partners until you reach the bottom tier, where most vendors see the mix of high diversity and low revenue potential as a reason to write off any support beyond a portal or website. If you want to capture significant long tail revenue, you need to avoid generic messaging and give partners effective communication that fits their specific needs.

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The Secret to the Channel's Long Tail: Build a Long-Term Relationship

Lead nurturing is arguably more important with partners, with whom you’re trying to establish a long-term business relationship, than it is with individual end-users. And much like end-users, partners without a deep, existing relationship already established with your company will likely fall in and out of favor with your product and service offerings as their customers’ demands change.

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Stop Chasing Your Tail: Game Changing Concepts for Engaging the Broad Channel

More is better! That’s been the mantra of indirect channel programs within the IT industry for decades. Why? Because as high-tech products and services have continued on their break-neck pace of innovation, product lifecycles continue to shorten.

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Partner Management Best Practices: Mining the Long Tail

by Hobart Swan , originally printed in CCI's Channel Management Insights Blog located here:

The maxim leading many technology manufacturers’ channel strategy has long been the 80/20 rule: the top 20 percent of partners deliver 80 percent of sales so only focus on the top 20 percent. But what if the increasing sophistication of marketing technology can help alter that rule a little bit. Vaughn Aust, Executive Vice President for Digital and BI Solutions at MarketStar, says that advances in analytical and automation technology make it possible to get more business out of that often overlooked bottom 80 percent of partners. He’s been in the business a long time and just might be on to something.

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