Now more than ever, big-name IT Vendors are prioritizing their indirect sales channels in hopes of better aligning with prospects and customers. As businesses place more emphasis on indirect and partner marketing opportunities, they will be forced to think critically about existing enablement strategies and double down on new ways of driving demand.
Here are 3 ways to improve your channel marketing and sales success:
1. Prioritize Endorsing Over Co-Branding
Once upon a time, Channel Partners were typically VARs or small solution providers that relied heavily on co-branding Vendor sales assets in order to leverage brand recognition. Partners didn’t have access to their own marketing automation or the education necessary to effectively drive demand by themselves. Fast forward to 2021 and not only do more of today’s Partners understand the value of using social media and digital platforms to engage prospects online, they’re also keenly focused on promoting their own value proposition and how their solutions drive key business outcomes. And, as you may have guessed, co-branding just isn’t as beneficial as it once was.
But, what if, instead, Channel Partners endorsed Vendor content in a truly genuine way? Testimonial marketing or “endorsing” has become increasingly popular in recent years with most decision-makers researching technology solutions online before ever contacting a sales rep. Imagine the possibilities if your Partners had the opportunity to sanction and promote assets you provide, using strategies that work best for them. Nobody likes to be sold to. By enabling Partners to personalize sales and marketing content like videos, webinars, podcasts and ebooks, they can advocate for your mutual solutions while aligning business outcomes with prospects’ goals.
2. Steer MDF in the Right Direction
Are you getting the most out of your marketing development funds (MDF)? If your answer is no, you’re not alone. When it comes to using MDF that will result in a strong ROI, you must reconsider how funds are allocated and how you view success. It’s not uncommon for MDF to be siloed for top performers or rigid marketing campaigns that don’t fit all Channel Partner personas. But would you rather have 7% of Partners providing specific marketing qualified lead data or 80% of Partners effectively driving demand? According to SiriusDecisions, 62% of top performers have some form of ongoing Partner enablement in place for multiple Partner personas. In the long run, investing more in education and support around modern demand gen, social selling, and the use of personalized sales content will yield a greater return.
3. Rethink Demand Generation and Marketing Platforms
Data privacy regulations like CAN-SPAM, GDPR, and CCPA have completely changed the way Channel Partners and Vendors are able to drive joint-demand, especially when it comes to email. Partners work with anywhere from 5 to 25 Vendors at once, and they’re often asked to load their lists of contacts to various third-party through-channel marketing automation platforms (TCMAs). Obviously having to log into 25 different platforms is time-consuming, but can also conflict with internal data sharing policies if Partners don’t own a license for the tool being used. Instead, help Partners remain compliant by eliminating list loading requirements and providing flexibility with how they customize and share your marketing content. Replacing outdated sales techniques like email blasts and cold calling with strategies like personalized video and tailored outreach is a way better use of your time.
Interested in learning more about how channel demand generation has changed and what types of content you need to develop to engage prospects and customers the RIGHT WAY? We’ve got you covered!