Five Critical Factors To Consider When Choosing KPIs

Posted by Kellie Auman on Sep 26, 2017 9:45:00 AM

Channel managers often have questions about setting Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for their sales channel ecosystem.  It's clear that an indirect-sales ecosystem requires different KPIs than a single-channel direct-sales organization and quite often many KPIs will remain the same.  For example, sales targets are still sales targets.  However, channel sales KPIs should also relate to the ecosystem itself, and be more future-focused as well.  Your KPIs should provide an overview of how your overall partner ecosystem is doing and also provide a sort of road map towards future channel growth. Here, we discuss five critical factors to think about when choosing KPIs.

Topics: Build Your Channel, Increase Channel Sales, kpi, Measuring what matters

Four Easy Ways To Generate More Leads

Posted by Kellie Auman on Aug 24, 2017 12:40:00 PM

As mentioned 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.  The 2016 & 2017 HubSpot State of Inbound report 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.

This raises some questions: How can you find and leverage the sources that your buyers trust as they make their way through the buying journey?  And for those selling through sales channels, how can you help your channel partners better utilize those sources?

Topics: lead management, Inbound Marketing, Partner Collaboration, Increase Channel Sales, lead generation

Three Ways To Keep Your Channel Partners Happy

Posted by Kellie Auman on Aug 1, 2017 11:20:00 AM

When managing an indirect sales ecosystem, it’s vital to remember that you are  competing with other vendors for sales partners.  This is true both in terms of recruiting partners in the first place, as well as maintaining mindshare when a partner may be working with multiple vendors.  

The more attractive you can make your channel, the easier it will be to both recruit partners and keep them enthusiastic about the partnership. We’ve worked with plenty of vendors and partners, so we’ve seen a lot of commonalities between various vendor\partner relationships.  Here are three ways to ensure the happiness of your sales channel partners in an extended ecosystem.

Topics: Build Your Channel, Sales Productivity, channel partner engagement, Increase Channel Sales

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

Adopting a Mobile-First Perspective

Posted by Kellie Auman on May 25, 2017 1:15:00 PM

Are you encouraging your sales partners to adopt mobile-friendly websites, apps, and systems?  Are you also embracing a mobile-first perspective?  If not, it’s high time you did so!

The Rise Of Mobile Usage

Usage of mobile devices – including smartphones and tablets – to browse the Internet has been growing since the first iPhone. 2016 was the year that mobile browsing overtook desktop browsing in terms of hits.  It was also the year that the Earth saw more smartphones than people. 

With each year, more and more buyers across all demographics embrace mobile online usage.  In fact, they’re coming to expect it.  Failure to provide mobile-friendly sites to buyers is literally risking 50% or more of possible sales.

Topics: Partner Collaboration, Increase Channel Sales, partner enablement, channel revenue growth, mobile technology

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

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