Agile Marketing: Inbound Marketing Changes the Game!

Posted by John Panaccione on Apr 28, 2016 1:10:00 PM

There are two things I’ve learned being a practitioner of inbound marketing for the last five years. First, it makes a big difference whether your marketing message is focused on satisfying a transactional need, or whether you are tending to the latent needs of your end customer through education. Second, inbound marketing – unlike traditional outbound marketing – introduces the unique ability to employ what I call an “agile marketing” strategy.

This requires actively listening to the data you can draw from your leads, creating a message that differentiates you from your competition, and making sure your products and services match their needs. The more latent your customer’s needs, the more you can benefit from agile marketing.

Topics: Build Your Channel, Ease of Doing Business, PRM Best Practice, Channel Software, Partner Collaboration, channel management, Channel Marketing Strategy

The Industrial Marketing World Is About to Get Ugly - That's Good News

Posted by Ed Marsh on Jan 29, 2016 9:00:00 AM

What happens when trends are mutually reinforcing?

Three items this month all seemed to line up around the challenges and opportunity for industrial manufacturers.

Economic Environment

First, (and quickly) from the finance world.  John Mauldin recently featured Lacy Hunt in his Outside the Box article. (follow @JohnFMauldin) Industrial production has stalled and utilization is falling. That's aggravated by the fact that monetary policy has provided implicit insurance against risk in financial assets without corresponding insurance for investment in capital equipment and manufacturing. The misallocation of resources that's developed over the last several years likely can't be quickly or painlessly corrected - especially as the yield curve flattens and the dollar strengthens.


Topics: Channel Software, emerging growth sales, Increase Channel Sales, digital marketing, international expansion, global distribution

The BIG Risks of Delegating Small Digital Marketing Tasks

Posted by Ed Marsh on Dec 18, 2015 11:10:00 AM

Imagine you got a call one day.  An invitation to address a plenary session of a trade associations largest annual gathering.  "You are so well respected in this industry, and have so many years of unique and valuable expertise, we would love for you to join us to share your insights."

Pretty exciting right?  You've earned it.  And the first thing you'll do when you hang up the phone is call one of the junior folks in your office and hand it to them.  Tell them to pick the topic, plan the key points and drop it into PowerPoint.  Right?  After all the key thing here is the presentation technology.  That's what will make or break this potentially significant speech and put your company on the national map.

What?  You'd want to pick the topic yourself?  First you'd research who would be in the audience?  Then you'd want to think about it for several days and make some notes?  Later you'd select a topic that you knew would resonate with attendees?  Oh, and then you'd call a couple folks to confirm your ideas before you start to work on an outline over several days or weeks? And only then draft your remarks?  Later edit them to capture the points that you know from your audience research will make your presentation really impactful or attendees?  And only then had it off to someone to prepare the PowerPoint.

Topics: Channel Software, emerging growth sales, Increase Channel Sales, digital marketing, international expansion, global distribution

Cloud Computing, Due Diligence, Global Sales and More

Posted by Ed Marsh on Dec 4, 2015 3:30:00 PM

Everyone loves the cloud.  What's not to love.  No more server banks in the office; no more decisions on software upgrades (does it really offer enough to justify?) and annual maintenance contracts; access to centralized matter where or when you are; and no more fretting about how long you and your team will be shutdown when you apply the "simple update."

Cloud computing and SaaS have simplified many business IT considerations.  And for companies with global sales and virtual/remote teams the opportunity to collaborate across time zones and teams is incredible.

But there are risks lurking at the intersection of SaaS/cloud computing and global sales of which companies should be cognizant.

Topics: Channel Software, emerging growth sales, Increase Channel Sales, international expansion, global distribution

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

Managing Data to Support Your Channel Partners

Posted by Seth Jacobsen on Sep 4, 2015 7:30:00 AM

Any manufacturer that has built a successful sales channel knows that maintaining their competitive advantage in the marketplace rests on their 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

Partner Relationship Management Isn't a Technology – It’s a Strategy

Posted by John Panaccione on Aug 13, 2015 7:30:00 AM

I often get asked “what is Partner Relationship Management (PRM)?”  Good question!  It’s a loaded term.  To many, PRM is a technology class focused on indirect sales channels.  A sort of first cousin to CRM, which is focused more on direct sales channels.   Based on our experience in working with leading brands over the past decade, I submit to you that PRM is actually a business strategy for managing an indirect sales channel first, a technology second.  To use the horse and cart analogy, the horse is the strategy.  The cart is the technology that’s specifically designed to support that strategy.

Topics: Build Your Channel, Ease of Doing Business, PRM Best Practice, Channel Software, Partner Collaboration, channel management, Channel Marketing Strategy

The Intermediate Guide to Partner Relationship Management Software

Posted by Seth Jacobsen on Apr 13, 2015 7:30:00 AM

If you’re reading this there is a good chance you already know what Partner Relationship Management software is. You may be evaluating the benefits of a PRM solution for your company or perhaps you’ve already started using it yourself to some degree. However, that may not mean you have a firm grasp on PRM software. Fortunately, the following explanation should prove to be both quick and effective.

Topics: Channel Software

Relationship Management Software: It's Not as Difficult as You Think

Posted by Seth Jacobsen on Mar 23, 2015 7:30:00 AM

In the digital age, software has become an increasingly important method for leveraging your current assets toward better results. However, you may still be a bit hesitant about investing in software you don’t already have some familiarity with. Partner relationship management software isn’t new, per se, but it’s new enough that many people have never used it before, which may have them nervous about doing so again.

Topics: Channel Software

Channel Management Best Practices You Need to Know for 2015

Posted by Seth Jacobsen on Feb 2, 2015 5:45:00 PM

If your company is utilizing multiple channels to maximize profits, you may think you’re ahead of the game. However, in today’s marketplace, chances are that your competitors are doing the exact same - often using the same channel partners. What you need to do is establish channel management best practices that will allow you to make the most out of each partner you’re working with. 2015 could be your company’s biggest year if you implement the following channel management best practices.

Topics: Optimize Your Channel, Build Your Channel, Channel Partner Training, channel management software, Channel Software, channel management

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