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

Three Common Complaints From Sales Partners

Posted by Kellie Auman on Jul 25, 2017 12:35:00 PM

Properly managing a growing indirect-sales ecosystem requires a lot of care and attention, particularly when it comes to problems your channel sales partners may experience during the partnership.  Anything you can do as a channel manager to make their lives easier will pay off in the long run.  Not only will they have more time to devote to selling your products, they’ll have a positive experience during the process. That can really make a difference, particularly in situations where your partners aren’t exclusive and you are, in effect, competing against other brands they’re selling.  

Here, we address three common complaints that sales partners have about their vendors and included ideas and processes to overcome those issues.

Topics: Partner Collaboration, Channel Conflict, Channel Sales Productivity, sales partners

Lead Management: Maximizing Visibility and Velocity of Partner Opportunities

Posted by Kellie Auman on Jul 20, 2017 2:10:00 PM

We were proud to recently host a learning webinar, Lead Management: Maximizing Visibility and Velocity of Partner Opportunities, with Maria Chien of SiriusDecisions.  (You can access a recorded version below.)

Companies that sell through an indirect sales channel face many challenges when it comes to lead management.  Examples include:

  • Alignment between marketing and sales
  • Tracking the progression of leads in the channel
  • Alignment on the 'rules of engagement'
  • Effectively managing a deal registration and lead management program
  • Supporting data to make necessary improvements over time

Topics: lead management, Channel Software, Partner Collaboration, LogicBay Community, channel partners

Four Ways PRM Makes Channel Sales Easier

Posted by Kellie Auman on Jul 11, 2017 1:30:00 PM

Channel sales organizations can’t afford to be disconnected. With so many options available online, in practically every B2B field, both direct- and indirect-sale operations are competing on a relatively level playing field.  An indirect sales system needs to provide a seamless consistent buyer experience to build a strong customer base.  If not, buyers are likely to go with the option that provides the smoothest experience.

That is exactly what a Partner Relationship Management (PRM) solution like ours can help you achieve. PRM takes the principles behind Customer Relationship Management programs, but goes to the next level, allowing you to monitor, manage, and support your sales partners almost as closely as if they were in-house.  In turn, PRM can also make you more attractive to sales partners as well by making their lives easier!

Topics: Partner Collaboration, Channel Partner Onboarding, Marketing Materials, PRM solutions, channel marketing

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

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