Buyers Want Multiple Lines Of Communication - Are Your Partners Keeping Up?

Posted by Kellie Auman on Dec 5, 2017 9:25:00 AM

It seems like every time people think they have inbound marketing figured out, the environment shifts and it’s time to rethink strategies again. In past years, the conversion path for web visitors was pretty straightforward. It looked something like this:

  • The lead goes to a website.
  • Whether directly, or by clicking around, they end up on a landing page with an offer.
  • They fill out the form for that offer, providing their email and other information.
  • A salesperson emails them back to continue the sales conversion process.

Simple and easy, right? The problem is, buyers increasingly want more options in how they communicate with the brands and sellers they’re working with.

Topics: Partner Collaboration, communication, Buyer Trends, customer service

Stay On-Course With A North Star Metric

Posted by Kellie Auman on Nov 28, 2017 10:00:00 AM

We love to keep an eye on blogs from the industry, and particularly those coming out of our partner companies. (It’s a great way to get new ideas!) We were super-excited when we saw this post from Sisense about North Star metrics. We love the concept and, if implemented well, could make it easier than ever to help keep both yourself and your partners on a track to success.

The problem with KPIs, of course, is that they can be difficult to communicate – particularly across a large ecosystem. A North Star metric could potentially get around this problem, if you can properly isolate it.

Topics: Partner Collaboration, kpi, Measuring what matters

Time Is Money: How Encouraging Digital Sales Closes More Deals

Posted by Kellie Auman on Nov 16, 2017 1:05:00 PM

In our last blog, we talked about some of the reasons that seemingly-promising leads turn into lost sales. There was one other item we wanted to talk about, but it seemed like it would be better discussed as a blog on its own: time.

Time is money, and many businesses are now looking to make purchasing decisions on an accelerated timetable. Each passing day increases the chances of something changing on the buyer’s side which sours them on the deal, such as the instances we talked about in our previous blog.

Topics: Sales Productivity, Partner Collaboration, digital marketing, Buyer Trends

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

Best Practices For Scaling An Indirect Sales Channel

Posted by Kellie Auman on Sep 28, 2017 11:45:00 AM

In direct sales, a company takes their services and/or products right to a client or customer. There is no middleman or third party playing a role.  With indirect sales, however, independent parties are brought in to help with marketing and distribution. That may sound less than ideal—after all, they’ll clearly cut into your profits—but a majority of the goods and services sold globally are through an indirect sales channel.

Most indirect sales models begin with a few sales partners, but eventually need to expand. This expansion doesn't happen overnight.  You don't wake up one day, decide you want to grow your indirect channel and have everything hammered out by the afternoon. You need to think strategically about what is already working and what gaps in the process need to be filled.

Topics: Scale Your Channel, Build Your Channel, Partner Collaboration, indirect sales

Four Tips For Creating A Successful Webinar

Posted by Kellie Auman on Aug 29, 2017 12:15:00 PM

We don’t need to tell you that content marketing is a must for promoting your brand, both in terms of increasing awareness among buyers as well as attracting new sales partners. However, one particular form of content marketing is often overlooked despite its many attractive features: WEBINARS.

A webinar can be an amazing opportunity to help establish your company as a thought leader. It builds a sense of community within your ecosystem and gives buyers (or potential buyers) a direct connection to you and your sales partners. Of course, there is a certain risk\reward factor where hosting webinars is concerned. A bad webinar could damage your reputation. However, done properly, they can be amazing as outreach tools. 

Topics: Partner Collaboration, Channel Marketing Strategy, webinar, Brand promotion

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

The Top Five Wrong & Right KPIs Used By VPs Of Channel Sales

Posted by Seth Jacobsen on Aug 15, 2017 9:25:00 AM

Even the most sophisticated, global, multi-billion-dollar annual sales channel organizations make these same basic mistakes over-and-over again.  Why do they keep choosing the wrong KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) to select, measure, and track their partner’s performance? They do this because they are choosing the “obvious” metrics that, with little thought, appear to be the right ones to focus on.  Unfortunately, these decisions are costing channel organizations millions of dollars in missed growth opportunities and profitability.  Let’s start with the top five worst KPIs to select for your channel organization:

1) Choose the Largest Partners to Recruit: Select the largest partners based on overall revenue.

  • Metric: Focus on the partners with the most salespeople and largest revenue.
  • Why Wrong: The largest partners are also the hardest to gain their attention and commitment and may be less profitable on average vs. smaller partners.

Topics: PRM Best Practices, Partner Collaboration, Channel Marketing Strategy, kpi

Five Key Factors That Are Reshaping Content Marketing

Posted by Kellie Auman on Aug 10, 2017 12:30:00 PM

Content marketing may still be the most effective way of conducting online outreach – but it’s not easy.  In many ways, content market and SEO are more difficult than traditional marketing because of how quickly the landscape changes.  Shifts in buyer behavior to changes in technology can completely rewrite the rulebook at a moment’s notice. Today, we wanted to discuss some of the key changes that are happening, along with how you and your sales partners can build better content marketing together.

Topics: PRM Best Practices, Partner Collaboration, Channel Marketing Strategy, content marketing, thought leadership

Five Ways To Improve Your B2B Customer Engagement

Posted by Kellie Auman on Jul 27, 2017 12:10:00 PM

With ever-changing business environments, recalibrating your marketing and outreach methods are often required  to ensure you and your partners capitalize on new market opportunities.  If it’s been awhile since you’ve evaluated your outreach methods, it’s definitely time to talk strategy with your partners. Technology is rapidly shifting how B2B brands engage with their customers, and your ecosystem needs to be able to shift with the times to keep up.

In this space, new trends are popping up everywhere; listed here are five methods that our clients and partners use to increase their B2B customer engagement.

Topics: Partner Collaboration, Channel Marketing Strategy, customer service, Brand promotion

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