Five Ways To Increase Partner Sales

Posted by Kellie Auman on Apr 11, 2017 5:15:00 PM

For anyone responsible with supporting channel partners, you know that anything you can do to help your partners drive more sales while keeping your company top of mind will bring great benefits.  Managing partners is the most difficult aspect of running a business focused on indirect sales, and successfully managing your partners will expand your sales numbers in ways that could never be accomplished on your own.

Realizing this is the easy part. Getting there is a challenge, in more ways than one.

Listed below are five ways to increase partners sales.

Topics: Scale Your Channel, Increase Channel Sales, partner sales goals, partner sales, increase partner sales

Generate Leads By Building Trust

Posted by Seth Jacobsen on Nov 1, 2016 11:15:00 AM

As we've discussed in the past, buyer behavior has changed drastically in the last decade or so, and it's forcing channel sales programs to evolve in order to keep up.  This was brought to light yet again in the 2016 Hubspot State of Inbound report that listed sales people as the least relied-upon source of information for making business purchasing decisions. This was true across both geographies and job titles.

In fact, the only source of information that rivaled sales staff for lack of trust and preference among B2B buyers were crowdsourced review sites!  And that's undoubtedly because most buyers know it's incredibly easy to buy favorable reviews on most crowdsourced sites.  Some have become downright infamous for being propaganda mills.

A key tenet of inbound marketing: stop selling and start helping. But that leaves the problem:  How can you find and leverage the sources that your buyers do trust as they make their way through their self-guided buying journey?  And for those selling through sales channels, how can you help your channel partners better utilize those sources?

Topics: Inbound Marketing, Increase Channel Sales, lead generation

What is Smarketing? Bridging the Sales and Marketing Gap

Posted by Seth Jacobsen on Oct 13, 2016 1:35:00 PM

For years, one of the biggest pain points in the sales process for both companies and their buyers has been the fundamental disconnect that too many organizations have between their sales and marketing departments.  Both are usually treated as separate entities, with separate budgets, and often with mis-aligned - or worse, competing - goals.  Combined with a general lack of communication, it creates a situation leaving both sides equally dissatisfied.

The internal conflicts that result are hard to resolve.  Sales staff often feel that the leads being sent to them by marketing weren't well qualified (often due to conflicting messaging), or that marketing was taking a “quantity over quality” approach to lead-generation.  This, of course, can often be counterproductive, making it difficult for sales to prioritize the best leads, or spending too much time chasing poorly-qualified leads.

In an indirect sale channel, these problems are amplified.  Mismatches between the marketing initiatives of the vendor, and the ground-level sales activities by partners, can create even more miscues.

That's why it's vital for a flexible, inbound-focused indirect sales organization to begin practicing smarketing.  This term, first coined by HubSpot, refers to the smart alignment of sales and marketing to ensure the best possible experience for customers, and the highest possible conversion rates from leads to sales.

Topics: Sales Productivity, Increase Channel Sales, channel sales, channel marketing

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 data...no 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

Capitalizing on Business Intelligence in the Indirect Channel

Posted by John Panaccione on Apr 15, 2015 7:30:00 AM

Business intelligence technology has come a long way and definitely made a lot of progress in the past five years or so. Just about any industry you can think of has a number of platforms available for it that are designed to leverage business intelligence for better results. However, the indirect channel provides an especially attractive opportunity where this software is concerned.

Topics: Increase Channel Sales

Wrapping up 2014: Best Practices for Ramping Up New Channel Partners

Posted by Seth Jacobsen on Dec 31, 2014 11:11:00 AM

We have written previous blog articles related to the importance of planning when building a successful channel partner program. Most of this work takes place as you determine what your ideal partner looks like and evaluate opportunities for new channel partners. Once those partners officially come on board, owever, you have a whole new set of challenges: How do you get them up to speed quickly on your products and processes to start making sales and earning revenue now?

Topics: prm, Scale Your Channel, partner relationship management, best practices, PRM Best Practice, lead management, Partner Collaboration, PRM in the cloud, channel management, emerging growth companies, emerging growth sales, Increase Channel Sales, Performance, marketing

Pareto Principle: How to Manage a Growing Roster of Channel Partners

Posted by Seth Jacobsen on Dec 18, 2014 2:50:00 PM

A growing network of channel partners – dealers, VARs, and resellers – can be a very good thing for companies looking to increase revenue, but to those tasked with managing channel relationships, adding channel partners also means adding to the challenge of maintaining and maximizing their engagement with the enterprise. Getting the attention of your channel partners - and maintaining it - is one key challenge. Another challenge is bucking the Pareto principle where 80% of your revenue comes from only 20% of your partners. This scenario leaves most channel managers wondering how to change this dynamic and get most out of their entire channel.

Topics: prm, Scale Your Channel, PRM Best Practice, Partner Collaboration, channel management, channel manager, emerging growth companies, Channel Partner Certification, Increase Channel Sales, Performance, marketing, communication, dealer training

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