Businesses marketing to other businesses must overcome stresses and difficulties when growing their customer base. Using indirect sales channels puts businesses in a position favorable for acquiring new customers by containing costs, spending time efficiently, and managing resources for optimal performance. HubSpot, the forerunner of channeling indirect sales, has provided a unique insight into how to pursue and achieve this goal.
This article will cover how this method developed and what values appear at each of the steps in the process.
1. If you build it, they will come.
The first step that HubSpot recommends to channel sales in a B2B market emphasizes attracting new partners with an open invitation. The technique they used offered free webinars for potential partners to attend. Businesses will find that making open offers will help:
- By targeting specific partnerships within the industry or region to channel sales.
- By freeing resources and employees from researching and vetting partnerships.
- By decreasing the time spent waiting for responses from possible partners.
Businesses will find that there are many options available that fulfill the goals of this step. HubSpot optimized the attraction for new partnerships by providing a free product and service to businesses in the target industry. These presentations attracted these businesses to suggest their partnership voluntarily. HubSpot needed not to spend money, time, nor resources on finding candidates, and recruiting them.
2. Ask and you will receive.
When channeling these new, indirect sales, HubSpot asked what challenges their partners were facing. They found their resell partners unable to make direct sales to customers, so HubSpot worked with their partners first to solve this problem. By focusing on the problem at hand, HubSpot freed their partners' sales processes and reduced further headaches down the chain. Putting effort on the immediate problems of your partners’ first organizes all challenges into an understood outline of all possible solutions. This develops a plan which can apply to other partnerships and highlights what choices are available for their clients.
3. Unify and simplify.
As HubSpot grew, they saw a challenge to their efficiency in focusing sales into a common channel. To solve this challenge, HubSpot provided all of their development into a singular platform; their partners loved it because their clients loved it. Growing businesses see that they accumulate many functions with their services or offer numerous related products. Putting these into a singular platform makes a viable solution for simplifying the sale of services and products for partners to channel into more sales. It provides an option that partners can offer to clients without the additional expense of marketing another solution to another problem; instead, partners offer one solution for all applicable problems.
4. Partnership costs.
HubSpot chose to make partnership with them easy by offering cost-effective solutions which opened the doors to small and large interests. A partnership should reciprocate advantage; otherwise, a partner may lose out and decide to leave. Offering competitive benefits to partners encourages them to commit to the desired goals. It affirms their decision of becoming a partner and assures their adoption of the product or service sold by the business. This helps smaller businesses to scale efficiently without struggle with the reliance their larger partner provides.
5. Plan your growth.
Taking on new partners seems beneficial at first glance, but HubSpot was quick to understand that adding too many partners can create more burden than support. Doing the math and calculating the costs to revenues helps businesses to plan how partners are necessary to develop consistent channels for marketing products and services into converted sales.
6. Define your marketplace.
Finding a forum which provides dependable results in sales can make partners lose touch with the common goals. To make lead generation easier, HubSpot developed and offered a marketplace in which direct customers can shop through a list of partners for the service or product that they need. A marketplace allows businesses an option they can use to directing current customers and partners to the optimal solutions for their needs. It helps develop new leads and makes converting sales simpler.
7. Add incentives.
Rewarding partners for successfully meeting goals provides great reinforcement for further dependable results. Incentives push partners to meet their clients' expectations and builds strong relationships both ways: to businesses and to clients. Rewards encourage partners with a tenable outcome that strengthens the desire to continue business and make more sales.