Trying to market yourself as an indirect sales vendor can be a very tricky balancing act. You have to find ways to promote yourself and your product, but in a way that also promotes your sales partners. When vendors fail to do this, it doesn’t merely interfere with marketing efforts – it can actively alienate sales partners.
In our own work, here are some of the most common marketing mis-steps we see, and how to avoid them.
1. Positioning your branding too prominently
This is something we often see in companies which are relatively new to channel sales. After all, isn’t your brand supposed to be prominent? Yes – but not at the expense of your partners doing the sales. It can potentially even interfere with their own branding. For example, if a partner uses green-on-blue as their corporate colors, but you provide them with materials covered in your own red-on-white color scheme, they’ll be discouraged from using those marketing materials because it will look wrong to their customers.
Be modest with your branding. Try to provide marketing materials which are fairly neutral, with brief mentions or displays of your own brand. Always leave plenty of room for partners to insert their own branding.
2. Not providing enough marketing assistance
It’s easy for top-level vendors to over-estimate the level of marketing expertise that any given local sales partner may have. Many of these operations don’t even have a single dedicated marketer on-staff, and their website is either maintained by an employee part-time, or outsourced to a local web company. If you put too many demands on them, such as specific website formatting or the creation of custom video materials, they may not be able to deliver – and they get resentful as a result.
Always be there for your partners to help out with marketing as much as you can.
3. Your information portals are too hard to use
Local sales staff don’t have time to ponder over clunky interfaces, or workflows that require numerous independent logins. If it isn’t quick and easy for them to get hold of the latest marketing materials and documentation, chances are they’re just going to keep using whatever is on-hand – even if it’s totally out of date.
The best solution here is to invest in a single streamlined partner portal, which makes interactions easy. LogicBay can help make it happen! Contact us to learn more about how LogicBay PRM can improve your partner interactions.