I’m not sure who needs to hear this but in case you missed the memo, your Channel Partners have become more important than ever before. With travel at an all-time low and customers craving some form of interaction even if it’s outside, under a heat lamp, 6 feet apart, and wearing a mask, your Partners are finally and actually an extension of your sales team. Literally.
The pandemic has accelerated digitalization and forced rapid change to the future of work, creating a tsunami of new opportunities for Partners. As a result, Vendors must step up and prioritize your indirect sales channel in unique ways and focus on building stronger relationships with your Partner community. Partners who are reading, feel free to share this with your Vendors. Go ahead…we’ll wait.
Here are a few things you can start doing TODAY to drive more demand with prospects and customers.
- Put Partners In The Driver Seat
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, “Channel Partners won’t do ANYTHING that doesn’t directly benefit their business!” When your Partners are happy, you and your customers are happy too. And what keeps your Partners smiling? The answer is flexibility, simplicity, support and incentives.
With the increase in demand generation conversation, education, and technology Channel Partners are more savvy than ever at generating demand and leads. They’re capable and comfortable working with online platforms, and they understand the value of social selling which has completely changed the way they approach prospecting. They’re also more interested in promoting their own brand and services, with a strong focus around selling business outcomes rather than products. All they need is the right support and freedom to drive demand in ways that make the most sense for them. So it’s time to loosen the reins and rethink the way you support them!
- Offer Free Education
It’s up to Vendors to teach Partners how to strategically reallocate live event and travel budgets, and drive demand in new ways using tactics like social selling and digital marketing that reach today’s decision makers. Through-channel demand generation as we know it has changed. Partners need education on how to sell business outcomes first, to prove that they understand customer pain points and can demonstrate how Partners will help Customers achieve business goals without in-person interactions.
It’s also important for Channel Partners to understand the value of personalized content like video that aligns with prospects’ goals depending on where they are in the sales cycle. Help Partners by teaching them how to create authentic content like on-the-fly videos taken on a smartphone that can be easily recorded and shared. Or, embed personalized messages into video assets that will help build stronger relationships with their audience.
- Provide The Right Content
We saw your datasheet… 2005 called and it wants its Partner sales content back. The lingering challenge with through-channel demand generation is that many of the tactics used haven’t evolved to keep up with the changing landscape and modern buyer’s journey. And unfortunately, Vendors still throw millions of dollars on content and platforms that Partners simply don’t use.
Instead, how about empowering Partners with customizable content they can access, personalize, and share quickly and conveniently when and how THEY want? By providing Partners with content like promo videos, pre-recorded webinars, and microcontent they can put their names on and promote themselves, will literally make them feel like legit salespeople. Like we said before – true extensions of your sales team!
Want to learn more about how Spark makes it easy to put customizable multimedia content that drives demand in the hands of your Channel Partners? We would love to chat!