Manufacturers have long faced a number of challenges for generating and managing leads, to say nothing of what it takes to close most of them. Of course, the same can be said for a manufacturer’s channel partners. Inbound marketing has accelerated the demand for improving your internal processes for delivering qualified leads to your channel partners.
The good news is that 2015 is going to provide your company with more options than ever before when it comes to these key areas thanks in large part to advancements in lead management capabilities.
Partner Relationship Management
Whether you’re already improving relationships with channel partners or this is a goal for 2015, one huge advantage is that you now have partner management software available to make things easier. PRM software has been available for years but advancements in technology has improved this key functionality for supporting your channel partners and improving close rates.
Thanks to partner management software, not only can you better train your channel partners to acquire and manage leads, but you can continue to optimize this relationship to get the best possible results. Inbound marketing focuses heavily on providing helpful information and nurturing leads through the sales funnel. This leads to great success and less time wasted on strategies that basically amount to taking shots in the dark.
Generate Better Leads
If you’re only relying on outbound marketing at the moment, one major sticking point is probably the fact that you have so little control over the leads you generate. This can cause all kinds of overhead that ultimately produces little in the way of actual results. You can wind up with a number of leads that just aren’t right for your company that will never go anywhere, but that will take up your time while you discover they aren’t the right fit.
With inbound marketing, communication is a two-way street right from the beginning. The result is that you bring in vetted, high-yield leads that are far more worthy of the time and money you commit to them.
Generate Better Marketing Tools
The other great thing about utilizing inbound marketing is that you learn more from your market as well. Even when you aren’t converting every single lead, then, you’re still walking away with vital information you can then use to refine your marketing efforts. Eventually, this will lead to better leads and greater profits.
Furthermore, when you leverage relationship management software, you can more easily make the information you acquire available as resources available to your sales partners. This enhances communication and encourages partners’ progress toward more and better leads.
Send Out Better Emails
There’s a pervasive myth that email marketing is largely dead. However, this myth was born from the struggles manufacturers faced when trying to use emails crafted from outbound marketing efforts. In 2015, there is no excuse for sending out a spammy email to people who don’t want to receive them in the first place. With inbound marketing, your email campaigns will land in the inboxes of the right companies (remember, that you’ve now done a better job of vetting these prospects) and that they will nurture a company into becoming a customer, rather than trying to force the issue. Likewise, your channel partners will also see success when they begin using inbound email campaigns to nurture leads.
2015 holds a lot of promise thanks to your improved ability to harness inbound marketing strategies and deliver qualified leads to your sales partners. Make your New Year’s resolution to utilize inbound marketing to better learn about your customers and generate leads to ensure you enter 2016 with more business than ever before.