Research shows that close to 70% of the buying decision is made before ever engaging with a supplier. With this in mind, successfully managing your sales channel can be extremely complex. There are three notable trends to consider to stay ahead of the competition and achieve success with every market opportunity.
#1. B2B buyer behavior is changing the game.
#2. Mobile-ready technology is a must.
#3. Better data is helping guide us to make smarter decisions.
Let's jump straight into part two of highlights from our recent webinar covering best practices and sales tactics for channel sales leaders.
Part II – Four Profitable Heresies - Michael A. Brown from BtoBEngage presented content during the webinar in four key areas:
1. Identification & development of sales opportunities. Your goal is to cultivate and drive practical opportunties for your organization. In doing this, you need to have uniform lead scoring and criteria and a definitive release point from marketing to sales, while still maintaining enough flexibility that sales can get involved at any appropriate point.
For anyone responsible with supporting channel partners, you know that anything you can do to help your partners drive more sales while keeping your company top of mind will bring great benefits. Managing partners is the most difficult aspect of running a business focused on indirect sales, and successfully managing your partners will expand your sales numbers in ways that could never be accomplished on your own.
Realizing this is the easy part. Getting there is a challenge, in more ways than one.
Listed below are five ways to increase partners sales.
Partner Relationship Management (PRM) software is a powerful and flexible technology solution available for managing a growing vendor\partner ecosystem. When implemented well, PRM can be a great do-it-yourself solution that streamlines most aspects of partner management while giving you a wealth of new data sources and analysis tools to gain more insight into your ecosystem.
By adding managed services to your PRM package, you can offload much of the “busywork” of maintaining a partner network, freeing you to focus on your core competencies and your actual day-to-day relationships with your partners. You can also partner with experienced indirect-sale industry experts who can consult with you on business plans and growth strategies to improve every aspect of your ecosystem.
While managed services may not be required for a PRM implementation, they can be highly useful and worthwhile – particularly as an ecosystem grows and a Partner Manager needs to find ways to make the most of their time. Listed below are six managed services that take the value of your PRM to the next level.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the world’s largest and most popular source for cloud services and web hosting. They’re available to businesses large and small, and are trusted as hosts by some of the largest and most popular websites online. But just because companies like Netflix and Airbnb use AWS for hosting, does that mean they’re right for your business as well?
At LogicBay, the answer was absolutely! We have found AWS to be an excellent solution for a wide variety of cloud- and distributed-computing needs. Their ability to provide us with the highest levels of security, increased responsiveness and uptime, have allowed us to meet the global needs of our growing customer base. But we're not alone in this assessment.
While the market for Partner Relationship Management (PRM) software is relatively new, it’s an area that’s attracting plenty of attention for its ability to impact change. There are already several PRM choices which are considered mature, robust, and are being widely deployed. And as indirect sales channels continue to become more important, it seems inevitable that more names will be added to that list in the days to come.
Of course, it’s not enough for a software solution to merely be well known. It still needs to fit your particular organizational goals as well. In many cases, the best solution includes a combination of technology and services. This is where selecting the right PRM provider can become tricky. A successful PRM implementation requires understanding your needs along with the capabilities of the software you’re considering, to ensure the two are in alignment.
So today, we wanted to present a general step-by-step guide for the process of selecting a PRM provider.
It’s a buyer’s market out there in more ways than one. Due to the proliferation of business startups in recent years, and the vast reach of the Internet, virtually every company is facing more competition than ever before. That’s not just true for B2B or B2C enterprises, but also for indirect-sales organizations seeking to sign up new sales partners.
In the same way that smart marketing today involves aligning sales and marketing efforts to precisely target buyers, a vendor looking to grow their channel ecosystem should also be focused on smart outreach to potential partners. It can’t be a “one size fits all” effort. Because local sales outlets almost always have a wide variety of potential partnerships on the table, they’ll be going with the vendor(s) who can best meet their own business needs.
Of course, having an ideal partner profile is key. From there, the better you can communicate your value proposition to each potential partner, the easier it becomes to create a compelling pitch to bring them onboard.
Whether it’s showing the value of PRM to your own executive team, or using it as a selling point when recruiting new sales partners, being able to show some hard numbers pointing to the effectiveness of PRM can be a big help. This starts by looking at the areas where PRM reduces inefficiencies and other barriers to revenue, then by applying those key points to your own financials.
We have identified seven key areas where PRM can impact an organization's ability to increase revenue, reduce costs, and drive a positive ROI.
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.
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.