The world of sales is packed with jargon. Our reliance on technology and the pace at which technology changes has made this more apparent than ever. However, if you are selling your products through a sales channel, one of these terms you absolutely cannot lose sight of is mindshare. If your company’s mindshare with your channel partners begins slipping, so, too, will sales.
What Is Mindshare?
To put it simply, mindshare refers to the amount of public awareness your company has. It’s considered the main goal of advertising, in fact. Even with such a basic definition, you can probably appreciate why mindshare is so vital. If the public doesn’t know you’re there, they definitely won’t be giving you their money any time soon.
When it comes to sales, then, mindshare refers to your ability to grab the public’s attention and focus it on the products or services you have to offer.
Mindshare and Your Sales Partners
What many companies learn too late is that mindshare is critical for their sales partners too. Usually, your partners sell another company’s products as well as well. Sometimes, those companies may even be your competitors. In either case, it would behoove you to ensure that your partners think of your products first for any new sales opportunity.
If another company is outpacing you for their mindshare, your partner may do the bare minimum to keep their contract with you while doing far more business with the competition.
The question, then, becomes how do you increase your mindshare with respect to your sales partners?
Deliver Qualified Leads
Lead distribution is typically the number one request for partners in a sales channel. Not only are you helping to build your partners sales pipeline, but a lead that comes from you should dictate that the customer is only offered your products, not your competitors. This can help you deliver targeted sales support and encourage feedback from your partners throughout the sales process. The need to do this more effectively has become more critical as companies have become more focused on inbound marketing strategies.
SEE ALSO: The CSO's Guide to Increasing Partner Sales
Talk to Your Partners First
You may want to simply ask them: “What’s working, and what’s not?” The fact that you are taking their feedback into consideration will be a small - but very important - step in the right direction. Are you providing the tools and resources they need to be successful? Do you have the systems in place that make it easy to do business with you? Do they understand the value behind your products and have help throughout the sales process? You may think you have the proper solutions in place but your partners might feel otherwise. Only by taking the time to ask them will you help reach a common understanding.
Collaborative efforts with your sales partners can serve a number of ends. Collaborating can ensure both companies get a look at how the other operates—something that could be very helpful when it comes to training your partners.
Collaborative efforts, by their very nature, will also help increase your mindshare. It helps reinforce your partnership and aligns your efforts toward a common goal: making more sales.
Get to Know Them
Sales channels can be complex and geographically diverse so it may not be realistic to establish a personal relationship with all your partners. However, part of your ongoing channel management practices you should establish a process for evaluating the profitability - both current and future - of your partner relationships and focus on getting to know what drives each.
Make it a priority to visit them on a regular basis and talk to them about how you can continue to make them successful. Letting them know you are focused on helping them grow their business is the most certain way to gain mindshare.
Mindshare is essential to keeping your sales up, especially as it relates to dealing with the partners you rely on. The above tips should help you do a good job of dominating this important facet of your business.