Three Common Complaints From Sales Partners

Posted by Kellie Auman on Jul 25, 2017 12:35:00 PM

Properly managing a growing indirect-sales ecosystem requires a lot of care and attention, particularly when it comes to problems your channel sales partners may experience during the partnership.  Anything you can do as a channel manager to make their lives easier will pay off in the long run.  Not only will they have more time to devote to selling your products, they’ll have a positive experience during the process. That can really make a difference, particularly in situations where your partners aren’t exclusive and you are, in effect, competing against other brands they’re selling.  

Here, we address three common complaints that sales partners have about their vendors and included ideas and processes to overcome those issues.

Topics: Partner Collaboration, Channel Conflict, Channel Sales Productivity, sales partners

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

Five Takeaways From The 2017 State of Inbound Report

Posted by Kellie Auman on Jul 5, 2017 10:00:51 AM

Recently, we read HubSpot's State of Inbound Report.  Here we have summarized what we feel are the top five takeaways that you should know about!

1.  Inbound is mainstream.

Just a few years ago, inbound marketing was still seen with skepticism.  Now, it’s the norm.  70%+ of respondents around the world said that inbound marketing was now their primary focus, and that they were most concerned with growing\converting leads via Search Engine Optimization.

2.  Paid marketing is increasingly derided.

When asked for the most overrated marketing tactic, the “winner” -by far- was paid offline marketing such as print and broadcast, with 32% of the vote.  A further 11% thought paid online marketing, like social media ads and PPC, was overrated.  By contrast, tactics like blogging and SEO were in the 5-6% range.

Topics: PRM Best Practices, Inbound Marketing, Channel Sales Productivity

What Does It Really Mean to Be “Easy to Do Business With?”

Posted by Paul Tobin on Dec 2, 2015 3:30:00 PM


You hear it everywhere these days. Companies proclaiming that they want to be “easy to do business" with their channel partners. Who can blame them? There’s not much future for a company that’s difficult to do business with. Yet, most companies are. Especially when supporting their indirect sales channel.

Topics: prm, PRM Best Practices, channel partner collaboration, Partner Portal, channel management software, PRM Best Practice, Lead Registration, lead management, Channel Software, channel management, Channel Partner Onboarding, Channel Conflict, Channel Marketing Strategy, New Product Introductions, Channel Sales Productivity, channel manager, channel partners, channel partner engagement, indirect sales, Channel Partner Certification, Increase Channel Sales

Dealer Portal vs. Partner Relationship Management (PRM) System

Posted by Seth Jacobsen on Aug 24, 2015 7:30:00 AM

It's not uncommon to think a dealer portal is how you should interface with your distribution channel.  After all, it will give your dealers, distributors and franchises a single landing page for most, if not all, of their interaction with you.  But life isn't that simple.  A typical dealer portal simply provides a landing site that's nothing more than a thin veneer of usability.  Underneath that veneer is a rabbit’s warren of 3rd party and home grown tools, comprising layers of diverse information architectures, unstructured navigation, and worse. 

Topics: channel partner collaboration, partner relationship management, Partner Portal, Sales Productivity, channel management software, PRM Best Practice, Partner Collaboration, Channel Sales Productivity, channel partner engagement

How To Delight Your Channel Partners

Posted by Seth Jacobsen on Jan 27, 2015 11:35:00 AM

Are you satisfied with the results of your channel partners? It is easy to focus on this question and stop there when evaluating the success of your partners. However, this relationship goes both ways. It may also be good to ask: Are your channel partners satisfied with you? How can you “delight” your channel partners? By setting your partners up to succeed, you are setting yourself to succeed with them. Given this logic, providing your channel partners with the best resources and “delighting” them should be a top priority. Here’s how you can start.

Topics: Channel Conflict, Channel Sales Productivity

5 Reasons To Invest In PRM Software

Posted by Seth Jacobsen on Jan 18, 2015 5:36:00 PM

Like most companies, your’s probably has too many software systems to keep track of. Just about every business operating in the digital age has countless digital assets it relies on to stay competitive. While you’re right, therefore, to be skeptical about adding yet another to your company’s long list, keep in mind that not all forms of software are the same and some can make all the difference where your results are concerned.

SEE MORE: How much does PRM software cost?

This is especially true for any company selling their products through an indirect sales channel. Partner Relationship Management (PRM) software gives you the ability to consolidate multiple systems and provide a more simplified means of supporting your channel partners. Here’s are some of the top reasons to consider investing in this technology.

Topics: Build Your Channel, Channel Sales Productivity

Building a Partner Relationship Management Culture

Posted by Seth Jacobsen on Dec 9, 2014 1:39:00 PM

You are the VP of Sales and Channel Support for a rapidly growing high tech company.  It has become clear that you need to re-evaluate your channel sales strategy and begin to consider what technology options are available to help you better support your sales partners.  In many ways this is a cultural shift. You have consulted your existing channel partners to evaluate their needs, and based on past experiences, you know that some of the keys to a successful channel partner strategy involve the following components:

  • Recruit and retain the right channel partners
  • Onboard and educate new channel partners quickly and efficiently
  • Provide ongoing support through training and certification, marketing collateral, marketing strategies, etc.
  • Monitor their progress and deliver the right incentives to promote future success
  • Deploy a system that allows for bi-directional lead management and pipeline visibility
  • Provide a forum for customer feedback and allowing your partners to share best practices

 

Now that you have identified your most pressing needs and developed the plans and documents - on your side and at the partner level - the hard part remains to find a technology solution that can help.

Topics: prm, Build Your Channel, partner relationship management, Partner Portal, Partner Collaboration, PRM in the cloud, channel management, Understanding PRM, Channel Marketing Strategy, Channel Sales Productivity, channel partner management, channel support

Is This the End of the DIY Portal?

Posted by Paul Tobin on Apr 24, 2014 3:56:00 PM

Why more and more companies are turning to cloud-based dealer portals to engage, manage and develop their distribution channel.

Not so long ago companies built their own portals.  Dealer portals.  Company portals.  All kinds of portals.  Microsoft and IBM made a killing with products like SharePoint™ and WebSphere™. 

In fact, up until the end of the last century, companies didn’t have much of a choice regarding how they managed their partner relationships (dealers, distributors & franchises). Partner relationship management was something you did in-house and the way one company did it would bear little resemblance to the way another company did it.

Topics: partner relationship management, Partner Portal, channel management software, Channel Software, Partner Collaboration, PRM in the cloud, channel management, Channel Sales Productivity, channel partners, Increase Channel Sales

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