Enabling Your Partner Sales Reps Through Training & Certification

Posted by Seth Jacobsen on Feb 23, 2017 3:50:00 PM

Today, one of the most critical aspects of B2B sales is simply being able to keep up with changing buyer behavior.  Between the pace that new technologies are altering sales processes to changing buyer demographics, the entire nature of the sales cycle is evolving. That affects salespeople as well as buyers.

One of the best ways to keep your partner sales reps prepared for these changes is through the delivery of training and certification programs.  The challenge is setting up the right training materials in such a way that they’re appealing to those that need to take it.  Rewards and incentives can only go so far.  If partner sales staff (or your own) see your training modules as a waste of time, or as interfering with their own productivity, they’ll likely skip it entirely.

The balance lies in creating a program that combines the right tools to make your partners more effective, while encouraging their ongoing participation.

Topics: Optimize Your Channel, Channel Partner Training, sales training, partner enablement

Implementing Loyalty Programs to Enhance Your Indirect Sales Program

Posted by Seth Jacobsen on Jan 17, 2017 10:20:00 AM

Loyalty programs aren’t just for B2C markets any more!  They’re also an excellent way to incentivize partners in your indirect sales channel, building loyalty and engagement among their sales staff and helping to collaborate on opportunities to accelerate sales.

Remember, keeping mindshare among your partners is critical for inspiring them to promote your products & services ahead of other vendors they may also be representing.  And in an environment where increasing numbers of businesses are looking towards the indirect sales program, that means it’s becoming increasingly important to find ways to differentiate yourself.  A loyalty program can do a lot to keep your existing partners happy, while acting as a nice recruiting tool for bringing new partners on board.

Topics: Optimize Your Channel, sales partner incentives, partner loyalty

Supporting A Growing Sales Channel Throughout Its Lifecycle

Posted by Seth Jacobsen on Dec 20, 2016 10:40:00 AM

One of the philosophies we feel strongly about here at LogicBay is the need to support companies through the various phases of sales channel development.  While it’s common to talk about a “sales lifecycle,” it’s far less common to see similar discussions of businesses and their sales partnerships. 

However, this belief that sales channels should be treated as growing ‘organisms,’ so to speak, is at the heart of our Partner Relationship Management technology and services. It’s not a platform specifically designed for small, medium, or global organizations.  Rather, LogicBay PRM is designed to grow alongside your organization, with scalability to support your efforts at each stage of channel growth.  

Specifically, based on our interactions with hundreds of companies since 2003, we have identified four key ‘phases’ of growth:  Three which represent the normal, sustained, healthy growth of an ecosystem, as well as a fourth which indicates sub-optimal performance.  Our goal is to help support best practices across all these phases, while assisting those that are looking to turn things around.

Here’s how it breaks down.

Topics: Scale Your Channel, Optimize Your Channel, Build Your Channel

Using Pop-Up Ads? It's Time To Find New Methods.

Posted by Seth Jacobsen on Sep 7, 2016 8:30:00 AM

For basically twenty years, pop-up ads have been considered one of the biggest problems with online browsing - at least for the users. On the advertisers' side, they were seen as one of the safest and most reliable forms of online advertising. This has resulted in an escalating technology race, with user-side applications continually looking for ways to block pop-ups, and pop-up creators looking for ways to bypass those blocks.

Well, if you or any of your sales partners are heavily invested in pop-ups on your websites, the debate may have finally been settled - and not in your favor.

Google recently announced that it will soon start cracking down on websites utilizing certain forms of pop-up ads. While this is not yet a blanket attack on all pop-ups, it seems very likely Google will continue down this path. The pop-up ad may finally be doomed.

(And good riddance, as far as we're concerned.)

So, let's take a look at what's changing and how it may affect the online advertising you and your partners engage in.

Topics: Optimize Your Channel, channel marketing

Shifting Buying Behavior: Has Your Indirect Sales Channel Adapted?

Posted by John Panaccione on Sep 1, 2016 1:50:00 PM

I just received my third unsolicited email of the day and it's 1:00 in the afternoon. This only includes the ones that made it through my spam filter. I’m not kidding just because it would be dramatic in the context of this article.  It happens pretty much every day.

1st one - Subject: Quik Chat.  Offering "..free software that helps small to medium sized businesses eliminate headaches & paperwork involved in administrative tasks".  

2nd one - Subject: Legal for LogicBay.  Offering: "...(several companies I never heard of) have relied on us to supplement their existing law firm – while saving 60% on legal bills..."

3rd one - Subject: Can We Help Build Mobile Products or UX/UI Design  Offering: (States they started up in 2013 and have all kinds of famous companies as clients). "Could you be so kind and let me know interest. If so, can I have your convenient time and contact number to set up a call & discuss further in detail."

Topics: Optimize Your Channel, indirect sales, changes in buying behavior

Examining The Phases Of Sales Channel Development

Posted by Seth Jacobsen on Aug 3, 2016 12:30:00 PM

In our years working with vendors to create effective channel partnerships, we've identified several key phases which just about any vendor will pass through at one point or another. Three of these are good, the other indicates areas of concern.

If you're looking for best practices at various stages of your own channel development, this is a good place to start.

Topics: Scale Your Channel, Optimize Your Channel, Build Your Channel

Evaluating Sales Support in the Indirect Channel

Posted by John Panaccione on Jul 21, 2016 10:30:00 AM

My colleague Ed Marsh (@edbmarsh) wrote a great piece last week commenting on a recent HBS article.  He made the point about how marketing automation is key to supporting a sales force in general.  I'd like to add to that sage advice.

The team of McKinsey consultants who wrote the HBR article stated:

"We found that devoting 50%–60% of sales employees to support functions is optimal. Many companies with low sales ROI devote less than 30% of their sales staff to support functions. But having too high a share of sales support has a negative impact on sales ROI, as it simply increases the cost base without adding additional support to the front line. Most of the companies with 60%–80% of sales support are in the bottom 75% of sales ROI."

The findings were based on research the authors conducted with 40 companies with direct sales forces - not a huge sample, but large enough to draw some valuable conclusions for sure.

Topics: Optimize Your Channel, indirect sales, prm technology, sales support

Partner Surveys: Increase Engagement While Improving Support

Posted by Seth Jacobsen on Jul 19, 2016 11:30:00 AM

When was the last time you've really, seriously asked your channel partners how you're doing as a company, and what you can do to help them grow their business? 

If the answer is "not recently", it might be a good idea to reach out to your partners. Afterall, individual partners have plenty of choice in which brands they represent, and it's not a decision that's going to be solely motivated by margin. Vendors who look to cater to their partners' needs, simplify sales, and show real interest in growing everyone's business are going to be the ones highly sought after by partners.

Topics: Optimize Your Channel, partner surveys

Cutting Costs and Accelerating Sales for Improved Channel ROI

Posted by Seth Jacobsen on Jun 24, 2016 3:00:00 PM

There are plenty of ways a good Partner Relationship Management (PRM) software system can improve a company's channel relations while making them more attractive to sales partners. However, today, we wanted to focus specifically on the bottom line.

It's impossible to be online for more than a few minutes without seeing a new software platform come to market with it's own solution to a B2B sales/marketing/operational challenge. In fact, we've written about how crowded the marketing technology landscape has become.

So...what makes PRM different?

Topics: Optimize Your Channel, ROI of PRM

Optimizing the Sales Channel With A Local Focus

Posted by Seth Jacobsen on Jun 14, 2016 10:20:00 AM

 

So CMOs, how's your local ground game?

Increasingly, local-based marketing is becoming a major concern for nationwide brands. Buying behavior has changed dramatically to the point that consumers are making the majority of their buying decision before ever reaching out to a local supplier. This has taken away the ability for local providers to leverage product information - knowledge! - and has shifted the need for vendors to re-consider how to impact marketing at the local level. Even back in 2012, two-thirds of national brands were investing in local marketing, and that number has undoubtedly grown in more recent years. It's a move that's dictated almost entirely by consumer trends:

Topics: Optimize Your Channel, channel sales, channel marketing

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