Three Ways To Keep Your Channel Partners Happy

Posted by Kellie Auman on Aug 1, 2017 11:20:00 AM

When managing an indirect sales ecosystem, it’s vital to remember that you are  competing with other vendors for sales partners.  This is true both in terms of recruiting partners in the first place, as well as maintaining mindshare when a partner may be working with multiple vendors.  

The more attractive you can make your channel, the easier it will be to both recruit partners and keep them enthusiastic about the partnership. We’ve worked with plenty of vendors and partners, so we’ve seen a lot of commonalities between various vendor\partner relationships.  Here are three ways to ensure the happiness of your sales channel partners in an extended ecosystem.

Topics: Build Your Channel, Sales Productivity, channel partner engagement, Increase Channel Sales

Three Key Functions Customer Relationship Management Systems Lack

Posted by Kellie Auman on Jul 18, 2017 8:45:00 AM

Many companies use Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems to coordinate and manage their interactions with customers. CRM software provides an excellent system for automating the sales process as well as storing and analyzing sales data. Although CRM systems are generally recognized as the best tool for managing direct sales, they do not provide an adequate solution for managing indirect sales partners (also known as channel partners).

Vendors who use indirect sales partners face a unique set of challenges because their relationships are far more complex. Channel partners are independent; they are not employees who are part of a direct sales force. In addition, they may be located in different parts of the country (or the world), making communication more difficult. And in many cases, they sell your competitors’ products. A loosely-managed indirect sales force can wind up competing with your direct sales staff – or other channel partners.

Topics: Build Your Channel, lead management, channel management, Channel Sales Productivity, dealer training, channel certification training

Six Security Must-Haves For Your Indirect Sales Ecosystem

Posted by Kellie Auman on Jun 29, 2017 3:00:00 PM

Cyber-crime attacks are growing in number, severity, and economic impact.  Nightmare situations involving attacks on institutions like power grids or the SWIFT e-banking network are becoming real, on top of the many highly-publicized data thefts from groups like Yahoo.  Worst of all, there’s virtually nothing the police and governmental authorities can do to stop these threats.  The global, decentralized nature of cyber-criminals makes them extremely difficult to catch, particularly those working out of developing-world nations with limited policing resources.  

When managing an indirect sales ecosystem, it’s virtually inevitable to rely on remote computer services to manage your sales network and keep everyone informed and connected.  While platforms like PRM can help centralize your files, communications, and customer data, no single platform by itself can guarantee security.  In this blog, we list six security must-haves for your indirect sales ecosystem and include more details about our recent SOC 2 Type 1 security certification.

Topics: Build Your Channel, indirect sales, security, cyber-security, soc2

SiriusDecisions Summit:  Aligning Priorities to Drive Intelligent Growth

Posted by Kellie Auman on May 2, 2017 3:15:00 PM

We are thrilled to be sponsoring the 12th Annual SiriusDecisions Summit being held May 16 - 19 in Las Vegas.  As a sponsor of the event, we are helping excite and educate the SiriusDecisions community and highlight our joint commitment to innovation and success. 

This year’s conference, themed Aligning Priorities to Drive Intelligent Growth, will focus on how to best operationalize your growth strategy and align it to your corporate business goals.  With over 43 expert sessions covering an array of interesting topics,  this year's event will not disappoint.  

Topics: Build Your Channel, channel partner collaboration, PRM Best Practice, channel sales

7 Ways to Improve Channel Partner Sales Productivity with PRM

Posted by Kellie Auman on Apr 27, 2017 8:45:00 AM

As the person responsible for your channel partner relationships, you are always looking for ways to help your partners increase their sales effectiveness.  You have a defined focus on driving sales and improving partner engagement, and you are interested in any tools that help. A technology solution like Partner Relationship Management (PRM) software has the scalability to meet your near-term priorities, while being able to grow with your business over time. Below are 7 ways that a PRM solution can improve  your channel partner sales productivity.

Topics: Build Your Channel, PRM Best Practice, Channel Conflict, channel sales

Webinar Highlights: Where Channel Revenue Growth REALLY Comes From

Posted by Kellie Auman on Apr 18, 2017 11:20:11 AM

We recently hosted a webinar on channel revenue growth, and it was a huge success – plenty of participation and great feedback from all who participated.  The event was hosted by our own Seth Jacobsen, and featured two fantastic guests:  Marty Tascona from Deliberate Selling and Michael A. Brown of BtoBEngage.  The result was a talk full of great advice for companies who are both new to the indirect sales market, as well as established members of the community.

The webinar itself is still available online to view, but in case you’re in a hurry, we wanted to put together a ‘highlight reel’ of the most important information conveyed in the next two blogs.  Today, we’ll focus on Marty Tascona’s contributions and then in the next blog, we’ll look at Michael A. Brown’s advice.  

Topics: Build Your Channel, channel revenue growth, channel growth, channel revenue, webinar

Partner Relationship Management 101: Part 2 of 2

Posted by Seth Jacobsen on Mar 23, 2017 5:30:00 PM

Below is a quick recap from Partner Relationship Management 101 - Part 1.

You can also read the full article here

PRM software is an all-in-one, web-based tool designed to help manage and maintain partner relationships.  PRM is easily accessible and ensures each user (vendors and/or partners) has access to the areas they need for success.

Common features of PRM software include:

  • A single access portal, often cloud-based, and available to everyone in your channel ecosystem.
  • A database of customer leads.
  • A centralized communications tool.
  • A central digital repository of all documentation and marketing materials.
  • Learn-at-your-own-pace training modules.
  • Data on your entire channel ecosystem.
  • A customized, data-based incentive program.

Now that we have defined PRM software and provided information on the common features, let's learn how using the tool can benefit your company.

Topics: prm, Build Your Channel, partner relationship management

Partner Relationship Management 101 - Part 1 of 2

Posted by Seth Jacobsen on Mar 21, 2017 11:05:00 AM

Partner Relationship Management (PRM) software is becoming a hot topic, particularly as more businesses look to embrace indirect sales models where they rely on sales partners to drive revenue.  There are enormous challenges associated with managing a growing channel ecosystem, particularly given how much buyer behavior has changed in recent years.

PRM is the software solution that can make business relationships, and growing your ecosystem more manageable.  If you haven’t looked into PRM before, we have put together a brief, two-part guide that will fill you in on its features and why PRM makes sense in a modern indirect sales scenario.

Topics: prm, Build Your Channel, partner relationship management

Partner Recruitment and Your Ideal Partner Profile

Posted by Seth Jacobsen on Feb 14, 2017 2:14:00 PM

It’s a buyer’s market out there in more ways than one.  Due to the proliferation of business startups in recent years, and the vast reach of the Internet, virtually every company is facing more competition than ever before.  That’s not just true for B2B or B2C enterprises, but also for indirect-sales organizations seeking to sign up new sales partners.

In the same way that smart marketing today involves aligning sales and marketing efforts to precisely target buyers, a vendor looking to grow their channel ecosystem should also be focused on smart outreach to potential partners.  It can’t be a “one size fits all” effort.  Because local sales outlets almost always have a wide variety of potential partnerships on the table, they’ll be going with the vendor(s) who can best meet their own business needs.

Of course, having an ideal partner profile is key. From there, the better you can communicate your value proposition to each potential partner, the easier it becomes to create a compelling pitch to bring them onboard.

Topics: Scale Your Channel, Build Your Channel, partner recruitment

Presenting A Clear Value Proposition to Your Channel Partners

Posted by Seth Jacobsen on Jan 31, 2017 2:20:00 PM

 While indirect-sales organizations have been around for a long time, in recent years they’ve become increasingly attractive to a wide variety of businesses which, previously, had been focused on direct sales.  Improvements in communication methods and quicker access to new markets has made channel-based ecosystems much more viable on large scales, while offering fewer trade-offs in terms of loss of oversight and management.

As a result, there is more demand for the best sales partners in your industry, and they can be more selective in choosing which brands want to represent.

In order to effectively grow your ecosystem into one that’s capable of sustainable growth, extra effort is needed to convince partners to join your program.  From there, you will have help your partners focus on pushing your products ahead of other vendors, especially in a competitive offering.

Needless to say, a clear value proposition is needed.  Your partners will be rightfully asking themselves, "What's in it for me?" They must be convinced, and then continuously reminded, of why it makes good business sense for them to work with you.

Topics: Build Your Channel

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