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. For those who prefer the quick power-shot version, here are six quick and dirty tips for amplifying your channel partner marketing.
1. Make your products/solutions easy to sell.Your partners are usually selling multiple products and services from multiple companies. That’s why it’s important to make it as easy as possible to access and sell your products and solutions. According to a productivity study, reps spend only one-third of their time selling; 31 percent of the time is spent searching for content, while 20 percent is spent on administrative tasks. From effective onboarding to ongoing training, it’s important to keep your partner’s needs in mind. If you make it easy for them to sell your product, they’ll be able to spend more of their time doing so.
2. Take ownership of relationships.
Whether you’re working with 50 or 500 partners, conflicts can arise. They are inevitable in any collaborative relationship, especially when you’re working with outside vendors and resellers. Partners will look to you to identify conflicts and resolve issues quickly so that the process of selling is kept moving along. Ongoing enablement and support ensures that partners are getting the most current, relevant information.
3. Keep the lines of communication open.
It’s up to you to ensure you are encouraging collaborative relationships. Implementing a culture based on collaboration and communication is the first step in creating a successful partner program. This means that your partners should know exactly where, how, and when to communicate and what tools are available to them. And it means keeping the lines of communication open. A consistent communication strategy inspires positive, productive relationships.
4. Establish structured processes for providing leads.
Effective recruiting and onboarding partners is only the first step in creating sustainable, enduring relationships. Despite the fact that your partners may have preferred marketing and selling techniques, it’s important to also provide them with structured lead delivery processes. It’s up to you to implement a methodical system for qualifying leads and tracking the buyer’s journey. Augmenting your lead outreach program with solid data not only improves productivity by up to 15 percent, but it also decreases lost sales by up to 27 percent.
5. Utilize your partner’s digital networks.
An effective social media plan is a crucial element of any successful marketing strategy. Of the 85 percent of all U.S. consumers who use social media, 58 percent said they follow brands through digital networks. The best resellers bring large networks of contacts across multiple channels. Synchronizing your social media strategy with your partners can greatly increase brand awareness across your partners’ target audiences. Work to empower channel partners with effective resources, content, and co-branded campaigns that they can leverage to connect with their social networks.
6. Leverage the right content at the right time.
You already know that content is the core of successful marketing. However, in the context of channel partner marketing, it exists as a two-part process: You need the right content for both your partners and their end user customers. Arming partners with effective content enables them to sell your offerings and prepares them to offer direct solutions to prospects’ pain points. As far as the end user is concerned, you need relevant content to showcase the value of working with resellers and buying specific offerings.