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

Knowledge Sharing to Supercharge Your Indirect Sales Channel

Posted by Seth Jacobsen on Jun 3, 2016 8:30:00 AM

As the popular saying goes, knowledge is power. In today's digital age, are you doing everything you can to get vital knowledge into the hands of your indirect sales partners?

After all, even a decade ago, the knowledge-sharing landscape for sales channels was a much different proposition. Sales partners were largely left to their own devices, beyond getting some training and marketing materials to use and rebrand as needed. The majority of the burden was on local sales partners to ensure they could keep up their end of the bargain, with relatively few lines of communication between them and you. As such, these partners also served as the primary source of information to the local end customer, which allowed them much greater control over the buyer's decision making process.

Topics: Scale Your Channel, Sales Productivity, channel sales

What Does Football and Sales Management Have in Common?

Posted by John Panaccione on Jan 27, 2016 8:30:00 AM

As many can relate, I have watched a few football games in my lifetime, perhaps more than just a few. Today, I noticed a correlation in what I saw on the field and the challenges we face in the sales channel (bear with me here).

Topics: Optimize Your Channel, Sales Productivity, channel partner management

Don't Let Cold Leads Freeze Over – 3 Tips To Help Heat Things Up

Posted by Josh Harcus on Oct 9, 2015 8:30:00 AM

In the sales world, it's accepted that not all leads will end in a conversion. It happens. People get disinterested, lose your contact information, you name it, and suddenly their hot lead has turned oh so cold.

Topics: Sales Productivity

Partner Relationship Management Playbook [Infographic]

Posted by Seth Jacobsen on Sep 15, 2015 7:30:00 AM

For many best-in-class manufacturers, a sales channel “playbook” consists of a Partner Relationship Management (PRM) system that allows the “coaches” (CMOs & Channel Managers), and “players” (channel partners and dealers’ salespeople, service techs, parts experts and others) to perform at their very best. With the right blend of smart coaching, great players and a strong playbook, your channel team will be set up to make a title run of its own.

Topics: prm, channel partner collaboration, partner relationship management, Partner Portal, Channel Partner Training, Sales Productivity, channel management software, best practices, PRM Best Practice

Promoting Partner Collaboration via PRM

Posted by Seth Jacobsen on Sep 13, 2015 7:30:00 AM

Many challenges we face within our organizations can be traced back to one root cause: ineffective communication. This in turn leads to poor collaboration, which leads to fewer sales, lower profits, and even lower morale. For companies that provide goods and services through an indirect sales channel, these challenges are magnified. So, what’s the recipe for improving communication between channel partners and ensuring a unified, collaborative effort resulting in across-the-board increases? A technology platform that promotes feedback and improves the quality and frequency of communication is critical to helping you achieve the results you desire. 

Topics: channel partner collaboration, partner relationship management, Channel Partner Training, Sales Productivity, channel management software, PRM Best Practice, Partner Collaboration, channel management, Channel Conflict, channel partner engagement

Dealer Portal vs. Partner Relationship Management (PRM) System

Posted by Seth Jacobsen on Aug 24, 2015 7:30:00 AM

It's not uncommon to think a dealer portal is how you should interface with your distribution channel.  After all, it will give your dealers, distributors and franchises a single landing page for most, if not all, of their interaction with you.  But life isn't that simple.  A typical dealer portal simply provides a landing site that's nothing more than a thin veneer of usability.  Underneath that veneer is a rabbit’s warren of 3rd party and home grown tools, comprising layers of diverse information architectures, unstructured navigation, and worse. 

Topics: channel partner collaboration, partner relationship management, Partner Portal, Sales Productivity, channel management software, PRM Best Practice, Partner Collaboration, Channel Sales Productivity, channel partner engagement

How Do I Make My Business a Better Sales Partner?

Posted by Seth Jacobsen on Aug 6, 2015 6:00:00 AM

If you’ve recently begun adding new partnerships to your sales channel, it makes sense that you would be concerned about how your company will perform as a sales partner. There are a lot of tools and support mechanisms you can provide to help your partners succeed, but you will want to make an honest assessment on some key variables to see how well prepared you are to get your partners off on the right track––and keep them there.

Topics: Build Your Channel, Sales Productivity

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