3 Questions B2B Sales and Marketing Leaders Should Be Asking Themselves Today

Posted by John Panaccione on May 6, 2016 1:30:00 PM

There’s a lot of buzz going around about how changes in buying habits are forcing changes in selling habits. It’s a pretty basic concept and it goes like this: as consumers, whenever we make a major purchase, most of us start by Googling it.  We learn about what options are out there – we do our own research.  We narrow the field of choices for where to buy – the local store if we want it right now, Amazon, or a favorite retailer online. 

So when we get asked to solve a problem at work, we do the same thing.  Why not?  For millennials, there is no “change” in behavior – that’s the way it’s always been for them.  Us older folks have a bunch of “I remember when…” stories.  “I remember when you had to go to a store to rent a movie.”  “I remember it was cool to have a calling card so I could use any pay phone to call anyone.”  If you’re over 30, it’s a change in buying behavior.  If not, that’s the way it’s always been.  You don’t have as many “I remember when” stories.  Sorry. 

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

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

9 Industry Trends Impacting Partner Relationship Management | Part III

Posted by Seth Jacobsen on Oct 2, 2015 10:00:00 AM

Today we offer the conclusion to our three-part blog series discussing industry trends that need to be taken into consideration for supporting your indirect sales channel. We see Partner Relationship Management (PRM) as a way of thinking with technology as a critical component to enabling a successful channel program. Part of that philosophy is understanding the dynamics of you partner ecosystem and how the evolution of your business is supported by systems and processes that can grow with you over time.

Topics: Build Your Channel, Ease of Doing Business, PRM in the cloud, channel management, Understanding PRM, Channel Marketing Strategy

9 Industry Trends Impacting Partner Relationship Management | Part II

Posted by Seth Jacobsen on Sep 11, 2015 7:30:00 AM

Last week we posted the first in a 3-part blog series that highlighted some of the dominant trends currently impacting Partner Relationship Management (PRM).

Today we continue that discussion by focusing on three more areas that are top of mind for any company looking to support a network of indirect channel partners.

Topics: Build Your Channel, Ease of Doing Business, PRM in the cloud, channel management, Understanding PRM, Channel Marketing Strategy

9 Industry Trends Impacting Partner Relationship Management | Part I

Posted by Seth Jacobsen on Sep 10, 2015 7:30:00 AM

Managing channel partners in today’s highly fluid environment is an “accelerating” challenge. The internet has expanded the need for better, more frequently updated information and has heightened the competitive challenges that all businesses face throughout the entire value chain of the company—including suppliers, dealers and customers. Technology is compressing these distinct entities into a single ecosystem or business community that must be managed together to optimize a company’s performance.

Topics: Build Your Channel, Ease of Doing Business, PRM in the cloud, channel management, Understanding PRM, Channel Marketing Strategy

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

Gaining a Competitive Advantage with Channel Partner Insight

Posted by Seth Jacobsen on Nov 25, 2014 11:40:00 AM

You are the head of sales for an emerging growth company but your company’s sales remain stagnant. You are not able to efficiently move your products through your channel partners to the end customers, capitalize on new market opportunities or build successful relationships with your partners. This is not a recipe for success. In an effort to move forward you will need to evaluate your channel strategy to optimize your channel’s performance. We've come up with a list of places to start:

 

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

FAQ When Considering a Partner Relationship Management (PRM) Solution

Posted by Seth Jacobsen on Nov 13, 2014 1:45:00 PM

If your organization sells product or services through an indirect channel, you know that supporting your channel partners (dealers, distributors, VARs and franchisees) is an ongoing challenge.  You've likely concluded that effective communication, high levels of engagement, and providing the information your partners need are mission critical to your success and theirs. You probably recognize the need for proper planning and a technology platform to bring it all together, but how do you determine where to start?

We've compiled a series of questions you can ask yourself if you are considering Partner Relationship Management (PRM) solutions and technology to support and enable your channel partner community.

 

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

The 3 Things You MUST DO to Optimize Your Distribution Channel

Posted by Paul Tobin on Oct 1, 2014 3:04:00 PM

Building and maintaining a high performing distribution channel is worth its weight in gold. But like gold, it’s a rare commodity! Many distribution channels are grossly underperforming and frustratingly inadequate. But through years of working with some of the most successful distribution channels in the world, including Caterpillar, Daimler, 3M and others, I’ve learned that as a channel manager you must do 3 over-arching things: 1) Engage, 2) Manage, and 3) Develop your distribution partners. This applies to all varieties of channel partners including dealers, distributors and franchisees.

As the graphic on this page shows, those 3 overarching principles are at the top of the channel performance food chain. They will guide and add focus to your program of channel optimization and lead you to the promised land of increased sales, higher margins, lower warranty costs and improved customer satisfaction. [Please feel free to leverage this graphic to your slide decks or strategy papers.]

Underneath lies a labyrinth of tasks and activities, each of which must be executed with excellence.

 

Topics: Build Your Channel, Ease of Doing Business, PRM in the cloud, channel management, Understanding PRM, Channel Marketing Strategy

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