The Most Common Inefficiences in Sales Channels and How to Fix Them

Posted by Seth Jacobsen on Dec 28, 2016 3:40:00 PM

Everyone wants a well-optimized channel sales program, but you don’t get there without clearing away some of the common challenges that can lead to gridlock and a general lack of productivity.

It's not at all uncommon to be aware that your sales channel is under-performing, but knowing where to begin to address this issue is another challenge altogether.  This can be tricky, since in many cases, the underlying cause of inefficiencies can be separate from the underperforming areas.  In other words, it’s easy to mistake symptoms for the disease.  But without identifying and addressing the underlying “diseases,” the symptoms will never entirely go away.

So, based on our own experiences, we wanted to talk a bit about common issues we see in channel ecosystems leading to larger systemic issues preventing true efficiency. And one piece of advice if you find more than one of these apply to your organization: start by focusing on one area of improvement and work on that until you have gained a competitive advantage. 

Topics: Scale Your Channel, channel sales

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

Reviewing 2016 To Create A Better 2017 For You And Your Sales Partners

Posted by Seth Jacobsen on Dec 15, 2016 10:20:00 AM

The end-of-year is coming up, which makes this an excellent time to review the performance of your indirect sales channel.  One of the most critical aspects of managing a network of channel partners is continually monitoring key performance indicators for areas of improvement. 

At the end of the year, you also have the opportunity to evaluate what's working - and what's not - as you establish goals for the upcoming year. By taking a critical look at 2016’s performance, you can help ensure that 2017 looks even brighter for yourself and your partners.

Topics: Scale Your Channel, sales partners

Sales Channel Challenges - and Opportunities - Facing Today's CMOs

Posted by Seth Jacobsen on Dec 8, 2016 10:20:00 AM

Chief Marketing Officers have a lot on their plate these days.  Markets and technology are changing rapidly. Their job is to stay on top of both and find ways to keep their organizations on track  toward better ways of doing business.

Recently, SiriusDecisions conducted a survey of CMOs around the world, and got a lot of insights into what’s on their mind these days. We found it very interesting, in large part because many of the challenges facing CMOs today are magnified by the complexities of supporting a sales channel. They have a lot of opportunities to improve performance, and are continually looking for creative solutions to help support them.

Topics: Scale Your Channel, channel sales, channel marketing

Picking The Right Carrots: How to Effectively Incentivize Your Channel Partners

Posted by Seth Jacobsen on Oct 4, 2016 10:25:00 AM

When it comes to inspiring better performance among your sales partners, one of the most reliable options is the incentive program. Whether you're fighting to increase mindshare among sales reps pushing many competing brands, or simply looking to boost sales among dedicated franchisees or VARs, incentive programs have been shown to be highly effective.

But of course, there are a lot of possibilities for incentive programs out there, and not all of them are as effective as others. Some can even end up being money pits, if they cost more to implement than they bring in via increased sales.

Topics: Scale Your Channel, channel incentives

6 Key Questions to Ask to Improve Deal Registration and Lead Management

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

While it was previously a task left largely to sales partners, today's vendors that sell through an indirect channel should be taking a much more active role in lead generation and management. It's one of those "everybody wins" scenarios. You are more in charge of increasing sales, while your partners get the one thing they value most: more qualified leads!

Of course, major changes to lead management strategies can be a serious challenge to any company which had previously been relying on their partners, especially established firms who've been in business for awhile. Nevertheless, there is little doubt that changes in buying behavior are impacting the traditional roles of vendor and channel partner.

No matter how you currently manage leads, understanding your strategy for lead generation is the first big step towards optimizing your processes. These six questions will help you assess your current state, while illustrating new opportunities for improvement.

Topics: Scale Your Channel, lead management, deal registration

Key Strategies For Building A Solid Partner Marketing Campaign

Posted by Seth Jacobsen on Sep 15, 2016 4:40:00 PM

Between the rise of inbound marketing, and the rapid changes in buyer behavior in the past few years, online marketing is a whole new world. For the adventurous channel manager and marketing team, this can be an exciting prospect. New methods for acquiring leads are being discovered all the time, while also finding ways to reduce overall spends for improved marketing ROI.

This is vital for indirect sales organizations, because it opens up entirely new avenues for lead-gathering. It's no longer a good idea to leave sales and marketing solely up to partners. Vendors must now be active participants in the online marketing process, discovering and curating leads which are then passed on to the right sales partner in a timely manner.

Topics: Scale Your Channel, channel marketing

Effective Channel Partner Marketing Is Now A Team Effort

Posted by Seth Jacobsen on Aug 23, 2016 1:30:00 PM

Just because your organization relies on indirect sales channels to do the selling doesn't mean your partners have to do all the heavy-lifting. Given the ways that buyer behavior has changed, the role of your partners is less about demand generation and more about closing business. This means they will be relying more on your ability to help them market your products and services.

In today's wired and continuously-connected world, vendors who go out of their way to support channel partner marketing efforts are almost certain to be rewarded in multiple ways. Besides simply increasing sales - which is really the primary goal - you can easily separate yourself as a vendor that sales partners truly want to represent. Whether you're fighting for market share, or looking to extend into new verticals, that sort of distinction can easily be the deciding factor. 

Topics: Scale Your Channel, channel marketing

Collaborative Channel Partner Marketing

Posted by Seth Jacobsen on Aug 4, 2016 11:40:00 AM

If it seems like we talk a lot about inbound marketing on this blog, it's simply because it's that important. The days where vendors can sit back and let their channel partners handle all the heavy lifting are long gone. Or, at least, those who continue to use the old tactics are greatly disadvantaged in a new world of changing buyer behavior. 

Further, being able to effectively contribute to channel partner marketing is a great way to boost partner engagement. Just about anything you can do to help them boost sales will make them more enthusiastic about working with you. It's also a great recruitment argument when looking to differentiate yourself from other vendors in your field.

So let's look at a few more ways you can get involved in channel partner marketing and help ensure better sales across the board.

Topics: Scale Your Channel, Inbound Marketing, Channel Marketing Strategy

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

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