Seven Steps To A Successful Sales And Marketing Strategy In 2018

Posted by Kellie Auman on Dec 12, 2017 11:10:00 AM

This year, in our blog posts, we have taken a look at the past and the future of marketing as it relates to indirect-sales focused organizations.  The short version is outbound 'push' marketing is diminishing, while inbound and visually-based outreach is on the rise.  As we discussed in those blogs, there are simply too many demographic trends and shifts in buyer behavior to ignore, and companies surveyed about their future sales and marketing choices are fairly united in seeing this shift taking place.

In this post, we're going to get a bit more practical.  If you're responsible for managing sales partners or developing marketing initiatives for your indirect-sales program, we have compiled seven key steps to follow in order to improve partner engagement and sales effectiveness in the channel. Let's get started!

Topics: Optimize Your Channel, Inbound Marketing, channel stack

Four Best Practices for Reducing Friction in the Sales Channel

Posted by Kellie Auman on Oct 24, 2017 10:55:00 AM

In physics, we learned that friction occurs when two moving surfaces rub against each other, generating resistance that slow or stops their progress. This is a good metaphor for what happens in the sales channel. Channel friction occurs when difficulties for doing business between a manufacturer and its sales partners get in the way of profitable partnerships, or lead them to dissolve entirely.

What we've learned in physics can easily carry over into the sales world. A certain amount of indirect sales channel friction is bound to occur, but it can be minimized and managed with the right strategies. The following four best practices are built into all well-engineered, smoothly-functioning, profitable sales channels.

Topics: Optimize Your Channel, Partner Collaboration, Channel Conflict, PRM solutions

What Is Channel Conflict & How Can I Avoid It?

Posted by Kellie Auman on Jun 15, 2017 11:10:00 AM

Channel conflict can occur when multiple partners are selling the same product in a market for different pricing. Inevitably, this will create a situation in which your channel partners have to compete against one another and/or your internal sales team. This conflict is not just price-based, but includes friction that can arise from a lack of dealer training, poor communication from company to dealer or merely inefficiently delivering information and applications from too many old legacy sites and systems.  No fear, we plan to help you avoid channel conflict and increase your channel sales. First, it's important to understand how channel conflict impacts your customers, your channel partners and your company.

Topics: Optimize Your Channel, Partner Collaboration, Channel Conflict, PRM solutions, partner program

Managing Data to Support Your Channel Partners

Posted by Kellie Auman on Jun 8, 2017 12:15:00 PM

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

How PRM Can Optimize Partner Sales Processes

Posted by Kellie Auman on Jun 6, 2017 1:15:00 PM

Partner Relationship Management (PRM) software is the most powerful tool currently available for vendors to oversee, document and improve the performance of their sales partners.  In the past, running an indirect sales ecosystem often meant simply trusting partners to get their sales accomplished, without too much ability for direct oversight.  Today, however, PRM allows partners to be managed almost as closely as a department in your own company. There are numerous ways that PRM can improve vendor\partner efficiency, below we listed a select few.

1.  Data tracking and analytics. PRM has all the data-crunching power of a customer relationship management (CRM)system, but rather than only tracking customers, it can track customers and partners.  This gives you the ability to see exactly what is happening with your partners’ leads and sales in granular detail, along with the ability to share those insights with the partners themselves.

Topics: Optimize Your Channel, Sales Productivity, Channel Marketing Strategy, channel marketing

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

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