Addressing Marketing Disruptors Part 2 (Buyer Trends)

Posted by Kellie Auman on Jun 22, 2017 9:10:00 AM

Welcome to Part 2 of our blog series on marketing disruptors referenced in the 2017 Hubspot State of Inbound Marketing Report.  Today we’re going to focus on the changing human trends and how shifts in buyer preferences and procedures are creating new challenges for marketers.

Buyer behaviors are changing almost as fast as anyone can document them.  Keeping up with the trends is more important in marketing than ever before, particularly in an indirect sales organization where keeping partners on the same page is a necessity. Let's examine the biggest human behavior factors disrupting marketing strategies.

Topics: Channel Marketing Strategy, indirect sales, channel sales, buyers journey, Buyer Trends

Addressing Marketing Disruptors - Part 1 (Technology)

Posted by Kellie Auman on Jun 20, 2017 12:35:00 PM

The HubSpot State of Inbound Marketing Report was recently released and we’ve been pouring over it, looking at the latest insights.  This year, what really caught our eye is their section on disruptors.  We’re seeing a huge influx of new technology, new ideas, and new buyer trends which are forcing marketers scrambling to keep up, and unsurprisingly the Hubspot report talks about that in some detail.

Over the next two blog posts we will cover new buyer trends and what they may mean for the marketing campaigns you and your partner companies put together.  After all, even the best tools for collaborative indirect-sale marketing won’t do any good if the strategies are behind the times. Let's start by examining new technological marketing changes.

Topics: Channel Marketing Strategy, marketing technology, video marketing, buyers journey

Managing Data to Support Your Channel Partners

Posted by Kellie Auman on Jun 8, 2017 12:15:00 PM

Any manufacturer that has built a successful sales channel knows that maintaining competitive advantage in the marketplace rests on the ability to evolve as an organization while adapting to the changing needs of their partners. This requires proper planning, consistent communication and an understanding of what it takes to build long-term relationships.  A company’s ability to make good decisions on the path to building positive long-term relationships with its channel partners typically depends on the accuracy and timeliness of data from a variety of sources and systems.

Topics: Optimize Your Channel, Ease of Doing Business, channel management software, PRM Best Practice, Channel Software, Partner Collaboration, channel management, Channel Marketing Strategy, business intelligence, data visualization

How PRM Can Optimize Partner Sales Processes

Posted by Kellie Auman on Jun 6, 2017 1:15:00 PM

Partner Relationship Management (PRM) software is the most powerful tool currently available for vendors to oversee, document and improve the performance of their sales partners.  In the past, running an indirect sales ecosystem often meant simply trusting partners to get their sales accomplished, without too much ability for direct oversight.  Today, however, PRM allows partners to be managed almost as closely as a department in your own company. There are numerous ways that PRM can improve vendor\partner efficiency, below we listed a select few.

1.  Data tracking and analytics. PRM has all the data-crunching power of a customer relationship management (CRM)system, but rather than only tracking customers, it can track customers and partners.  This gives you the ability to see exactly what is happening with your partners’ leads and sales in granular detail, along with the ability to share those insights with the partners themselves.

Topics: Optimize Your Channel, Sales Productivity, Channel Marketing Strategy, channel marketing

Five Tips For Finding The Right KPIs

Posted by Kellie Auman on Jun 1, 2017 12:45:00 PM

Keeping track of the success of your vendor ecosystem can be difficult, particularly as it grows.  A channel manager may be tasked with keeping track of dozens, even hundreds of sales partners.  Even with data-crunching partner management software on your side having a quick overview of how things are running can be very valuable.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are one of the best ways of doing this.  KPIs are hand-picked metrics which are selected specifically because they’re considered a good indicator of overall performance.  An obvious KPI in most cases would be monthly sales numbers. KPIs are often individualistic to a company, however, simply depending on their own short- and long-term goals.  Here are some tips for finding the right KPIs for your ecosystem.

Topics: Sales Productivity, Channel Marketing Strategy, data visualization, kpi, channel marketing

Four Tips For Producing Promotional Videos On A Small Budget

Posted by Kellie Auman on May 30, 2017 12:15:00 PM

In recent blogs we discussed how the use of visual marking materials is expanding, even in the B2B sphere. Multiple surveys have indicated that C-level execs are as likely as anyone to be watching promotional videos on YouTube as a way of garnering information.  Creating content via a YouTube channel in your particular market niche can greatly benefit your operations, as well as those of your vendor partners.  Most companies are taking strides to produce more video content while keeping costs down.  In this blog we provide four tips for producing effective and marketable promotional videos on a small budget.

Topics: Sales Productivity, Channel Marketing Strategy, Increase Channel Sales, video marketing

Making the Best of Post-Sale Interactions

Posted by Kellie Auman on May 18, 2017 1:15:00 PM

The end of the buyer’s journey is just the beginning of a new journey.  A common theme we see in our work with various indirect sales ecosystems is a tendency to treat the buyer’s journey as though it’s over as soon as a conversion happens.  This is particularly true for partner sales departments who are solely focused on conversion numbers, causing them to sometimes drop new customers to immediately go looking for fresh leads.

However, this can be highly disorienting for new customers, particularly those who have grown accustomed to working with a particular salesperson.  In addition, taking this attitude can often reduce opportunities to generate more sales following the initial conversion.  We strongly encourage our partners and those we work with to keep their sales teams involved in customer interactions, for several reasons:

Topics: Channel Partner Training, Channel Marketing Strategy, buyers journey

Keeping Up With Video Marketing Trends

Posted by Kellie Auman on Apr 4, 2017 9:40:00 AM

Current trends in online content marketing all point in one direction: VISUAL.  Among visual content, video has become an increasingly popular form of outreach for businesses targeting consumers at any level, even executives.  In fact, top level executives have become some of the biggest consumers of video marketing materials.

As a vendor, you’re in a great position to produce video content.  In many cases your sales partners will lack the budget, time, or talent to create effective videos themselves, so creating video marketing applications that your partners can leverage will help drive sales and increase your overall value to them.

Topics: Channel Marketing Strategy, content marketing, content creation, video marketing

Out With The Old: Moving Beyond Outdated Channel Marketing

Posted by Seth Jacobsen on Oct 20, 2016 11:10:00 AM

As channel marketing evolves at an increasingly rapid pace, one underlying truth remains:  The sales organizations that remain agile and stay on top of shifts in marketing are going to reap the most rewards.  Those who are unable to adapt, and continue using 20th Century methods, are going to find themselves falling further behind.  This is every bit as true for SMB as it is for global enterprises.

There has never been a more dynamic time in the history of marketing, with more opportunities for companies to adapt and stand out from the competition.

One of the key factors, therefore, is just being able to recognize when older methods are no longer working as they should.  In the next few blogs, we're going to look at some of these changes, and what steps your organization can take to adapt in time and embrace the future.

Topics: Inbound Marketing, Channel Marketing Strategy, channel marketing

Collaborative Channel Partner Marketing

Posted by Seth Jacobsen on Aug 4, 2016 11:40:00 AM

If it seems like we talk a lot about inbound marketing on this blog, it's simply because it's that important. The days where vendors can sit back and let their channel partners handle all the heavy lifting are long gone. Or, at least, those who continue to use the old tactics are greatly disadvantaged in a new world of changing buyer behavior. 

Further, being able to effectively contribute to channel partner marketing is a great way to boost partner engagement. Just about anything you can do to help them boost sales will make them more enthusiastic about working with you. It's also a great recruitment argument when looking to differentiate yourself from other vendors in your field.

So let's look at a few more ways you can get involved in channel partner marketing and help ensure better sales across the board.

Topics: Scale Your Channel, Inbound Marketing, Channel Marketing Strategy

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