Channel Insight: Four Changes That Can Drive Big Results In The Sales Channel

By Seth Jacobsen Posted on 8/28/18 4:15 PM

Sometimes, the small things can make all the difference. All too often, Channel Managers are looking for big sweeping changes that will make for dramatic results – even when smaller-scale fine-tuning can potentially bring about just as much positive change. Also, small changes are easier to communicate to your partners, and their staff, making for hassle-free implementation. These are just a few of the things we suggest in our consulting work, when working with global brands to help improve lead-gathering and conversions.

Here, we uncover four quick and easy adjustments that can help your partners improve their sales success rate.

Big Results

1. Make more information available online.

As we’ve mentioned whenever talking about how Millennial buyers think, the younger generations are extremely comfortable doing information-gathering for themselves. In fact, in many times, they prefer it. They are going to look favorably on businesses who provide a lot of information on their website, in formats which are easy to consume.

Don’t force your buyers to call in. Give them the research tools they need as part of your own website, or on your partners’ websites, along with plenty of prompting and options for contacting a human representative when they need one.

CMO's Guide To Managing Sales Channel Partners

2. Stand for something, and make that stance known.

For better or worse, we are living a politicized world where buyers (and the companies they represent) often expect a level of ideological alignment from the businesses they frequent. It’s extremely difficult to be “all things to all people” unless you’re already a global brand on the level of Coca-Cola. In the meantime, it can be remarkably easy to gain a larger audience just by making your corporate views known and appealing to like-minded people.

So, whatever your company stands for, translate that into a mission statement and make it available throughout your ecosystem. Encourage your sales partners to focus on buyers who match you in terms of needs and ideology. This also gives you a clear way to differentiate yourself, even in industries full of parity products.

3. Keep expanding your training options.

In many cases, the best incentive programs aren’t simple freebies and giveaways – they’re opportunities for advancement. Dedicated partner-level employees will welcome chances to learn more, improve their skills, and otherwise become more effective workers. Encouraging training and re-training also, of course, improves the level of customer service and response being offered to buyers.

Having a centralized e-learning system with individual tracking and career paths is an excellent way to inspire more sales, better support, and expand mindshare among agents. It’s non-disruptive, and an overall solid investment.

4. Open more lines of communication.

How easy is it for ground-level sales staff to reach you? How many lines of communication do they have access to? Chances are, the answer is “not enough.” Many buyers are working under tight time pressure, and they don’t have time to sit around waiting for answers to tricky questions. Worse, if your sales partners don’t feel it’s easy enough to get those answers, they might make up answers instead. And that rarely ends well.

Simplify the process of contacting you and\or your engineers, if you’re in a technical field. Help your sales partners feel supported, and that you’ll help them make sales with tricky customers with detailed needs. You’ll be rewarded with more conversions and happier partners.

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