Article | February 16, 2022
Channel partners are a bridge between businesses and their customers. They are crucial for increasing sales, achieving revenue targets and tapping new opportunities in new markets and verticals. Because of this, businesses want to strengthen their relationships with their channel partners, such as distributors, resellers, or technology partners.
"Distribution is the single most viable alternative to complement and supplement a direct sales organization." – Phillip L Peck, Former Director of Sales for EagleBurgmann
Do you rely on channel partners to reach your customers? Read on to find out how you can enrich your channel partner relationships.
Channel Partner Enablement
Channel partnerships need enablement through engagement. The right content, proper tools, and accurate information about your products, customers, and territories drive this engagement. Continually improving and retaining a good relationship with channel partners is imperative to bring in sales and revenue, increase market share and improve your bottom line.
Here are the three tricks that can help you boost your channel partner engagement:
Don’t Let Partners Fend for Themselves
Identify what your channel partners are looking for to increase their productivity. Product training resources and marketing collateral that are full of crucial information add value to your channel enablement plans. Crisp and to the point, product information allows partners to grasp and adapt to any change. Constant support and enablement encourage partners to do more.
A sophisticated partner relationship management (PRM) software can help you organize resources, track progress on leads, and understand the partners’ performance. Channeltivity, a partner relationship management software provider, helped Outmatch, a hiring experience stack provider, grow their partner base by over 300% without hiring new staff. This is a great example of PRM software’s success in managing partnerships.
Create a Strong Channel Partner Program
Your channel partner program shows how committed and involved you are with both the channel partnership and your end customer. Partners who work with other businesses might analyze you through every interaction they have with you. Ensuring that you treat all your partners — enterprise-level, small or mid-sized channel partners — the same way can help create healthy partnerships.
Keep Communication Channels Open
Find the right and most effective way to communicate with your channel partners so you remain on the same page. To increase engagement, remain approachable and listen to your partners with an open mind. Address concerns or suggestions rationally and ensure that your communication is clear and goal-oriented. Microsoft Teams, Facebook groups, and Slack can add a personalized touch as compared to sending out email blasts. Consider using a PRM tool that offers messaging features so you can collaborate, communicate, and document your interactions with your partners.
Transparency in communication will increase partner productivity, profitability, mutual trust, loyalty, and partnership longevity.
Offering rewards for exceptional performance, aligning your partnership strategy with your partners’ needs, and maintaining clarity in communication can bring you the output you expect from channel partnerships.
Article | January 24, 2022
Marketers strive to expand their marketing efforts to new channels to connect with their target audience through multi-channel marketing effectively. Channels such as email, websites, social media, display ads, and retail storefronts become touchpoints to connect with customers about their product or service. So, let us delve into multi-channel marketing (MCM) and understand how it helps you elevate your customer experience.
Multi-Channel Marketing: A Multiverse of Possibilities
When a customer browses a product on an e-commerce website, his social media ad recommendations reflect that. He may also receive a coupon in his email so he can complete his purchase. This is the essence of multi-channel marketing.
According to Stellardigital, 72% of consumers prefer to engage with brands and enterprises through multi-channel marketing. With this in mind, businesses use marketing automation for its ability to streamline the complex criteria of MCM campaigns and boost their accuracy. MCM campaigns are sophisticated and detail-oriented in both, one-to-one interactions and broad demographic targeting.
• Casting a Wider Net: Extensive Reach
Marketers can reach a wider demographic through multiple channels. The target audience has a choice to interact with your brand through a medium they prefer and find comfortable. This factor can contribute to conversions.
• Creating Multiple Touch Points: Improved Engagement
Multiple touchpoints can enrich your marketing funnel and help you collect more data. This data will help you better understand your customers. It can also give you insights into what kinds of promotions work best for your audience.
• Unified Marketing Approach: Brand Consistency
Continually marketing on different channels ensures that you maintain brand consistency to attract customers. It could be a great way to help improve the reputation of your brand on the market so that your customers continue to buy from you.
Hiccups in Implementing MCM
Implementing MCM may not be a smooth-sailing ride. Here are some of the issues you might face while carrying out MCM campaigns:
• Lack of Control
You cannot funnel your audience to a specific medium you prefer. For example, a telephonic conversation may generate more conversions than a website. However, many customers prefer to order online. So, your chances of getting conversions dwindle.
• Tedious to co-ordinate
Many channels work in tandem in MCM. It is overwhelming to manage cross-promotions and integrated marketing together. Co-ordination might be the biggest struggle on the pathway to MCM success.
• Expensive and Time-Consuming
MCM campaign management is draining and time-consuming. You might have to hire dedicated staff that can devote time to the campaigns. In addition, MCM can be an expensive endeavor if your goals are not clear.
Ensuring MCM Success
Despite the challenges, you can execute MCM successfully by following these steps:
• Get Acquainted With Your Audience
Find out which channels your target audience spends most of their time on. This information will increase the efficiency of your MCM campaign.
• Break the Channel Silo
Ensure that in cross-promotional initiatives, different media and channels complement each other.
• Test Your MCM Campaign
Engage control groups to test the efficiency of your MCM campaign to avoid any mishaps and unexpected pitfalls.
• Establish Multiple Touch Points
Utilize touchpoints like social media, email newsletters, mail-in items and surveys to provide additional information on your product or service to your target audience.
Wrapping It Up
The biggest advantage of multi-channel marketing is that it reaches out to a broad demographic. It can amplify your marketing campaign’s reach and frequency and deliver your messaging effectively. An example of a successful multi-channel marketing strategy would be Apple. Apple’s physical stores are customer touchpoints that help Apple offer an immersive brand experience without pushing customers to make a purchase.
Article | February 10, 2021
Channel Partners: Scale Your B2B Sales
B2B organizations form alliances with like-minded, goal-oriented channel partners such as resellers, distributors, service providers, vendors, agents, or retailers to increase their market share and scale their growth. Channel partners help organizations venture into new markets, passionately co-sell their products, market their offerings to customers, and achieve revenue through sales. As a result, you can focus on efficiently utilizing your existing resources to innovate and offer exceptional customer service instead of hiring new employees.
In a candid conversation with Media 7 about the growth of the partner market.
“We're working with some huge brands at the moment, we're giving companies a faster way to start Partner Marketing. Find the partners you want to work with, or the publishers or creators or affiliates, to promote your business.”
Sam O’Brien, CFO at Affise
How Do Channel Partnerships Drive Revenue?
More than 90% of company executives and channel leaders expect to increase revenue directly through their partner ecosystem. (Source: 2021 Annual Channel/Partner Marketing Benchmark Survey conducted by Demand Gen Report and Channel Marketer Report)
In a channel partnership, the ground rules for revenue generation are laid beforehand. Channel partners optimize their performance to match each other’s expectations. The revenue in channel partnerships is governed by the type of partnership. Some of the most popular channel partnerships are channel value-added resellers (VARs), service delivery partners, technology alliance partners, cloud service providers, and high-velocity partners.
Channel partnerships drive revenue by:
Increasing a brand’s market presence through the channel partner’s credibility
Leveraging an already established customer base to improve brand recognition
Enabling the sales channel using defined processes that accelerate lead conversion
Offering a bigger network of connections in the target industry domain
A revenue performance management strategy uses partner engagement data from marketing assets that help close deals. It helps you understand how every part of your partner network is performing and which areas need extra attention. You can do this effectively through partner relationship management (PRM). Read on to find out the finer details of PRM.
Partner Relationship Management: How to Net on Channel Partnerships?
Partnership relationship management is a combination of processes, software tools, and strategies that help businesses optimize their channel partnerships. Channel partner management software usually includes a partner portal, a customer database, and tools that allow businesses and partners to manage leads and opportunities. A PRM system also gives insights into the sales and revenue metrics to understand how well a partnership is faring. You can track inventory, product pricing, operational efficiency, and discounts through a PRM system.
According to Gartner, PRM has expanded considerably in the past decade. In tandem, the importance of closely managing channel partner performance and partnership processes has increased. A good PRM solution for managing partner relationships takes care of the following parts of a channel partnership:
• Partner Recruitment: Score and recruit partners based on an ideal partner profile to kick-start a successful partner program.
• Partner Onboarding: Onboard ideal partners to your partner program to increase revenue and enter new markets confidently.
• Joint Business Planning: Plan business strategies with partners to optimize partner sales processes.
• Partner Training & Certification: Train and certify partners with on-demand product training and onboarding programs.
• Partner Enablement: Provide partners with resources like playbooks that are industry-specific, covering sales cycle stages, and product details.
• Lead Distribution & Management: Monitor, organize, and score leads based on their categories and assign them to channel partners.
• Deal Registration & Management: Get insights into the channel’s sales after partners register their deals.
• Marketing Development Funds (MDF) Management: Manage and process MDF applications from partners, tracking payments, and marketing campaign approvals.
• Partnership Contracts Management: Manage special provisions, signing, documents, and archiving of partner contracts. With the help of automation, reduce labor costs, limit liabilities, and increase efficiency.
• Partner Solutions Marketplace: Connect channel partners with prospective customers through a unified solutions marketplace.
• Partner Performance Management: Optimize partner program by analyzing dashboards and reports that show the status of leads, and opportunities.
• Communication & Collaboration: Communicate with partners at every stage of the sales cycle. Monitor opportunities and collaborate in real-time with partners about new deals.
A great example of how channel partner management software can streamline partner management would be Halodata. As a leading distributor of information security products and solutions across Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore, Halodata managed a network of 80 resellers that sold 10 different products. The company invested countless hours into training, deal management, and coordination, which was challenging and affected its performance. Streamlining processes was crucial. It found a solution in Kiflo, a channel partner management software which helped define deal registration, set a clear business plan, and organized resources effectively. Halodata’s indirect sales went up by 33% in a year with Kiflo’s help.
B2B Businesses Are Creating a Sales Machine with PRM Software
B2B executives are giving priority to consolidating multiple systems into one to provide simplified support to their channel partners. The partner relationship management market size is set to reach $1994.76 million by 2026 (Market Research Future).
The changes in digitization, the expansion of businesses in new territories, and the need to create external partnerships to strengthen sales channels are driving the market’s growth. Getting buy-in for PRM is no longer a hassle for B2B executives because they use partner management software for:
Achieving productive marketing
Providing partners with robust marketing material, implementing an MDF program, and periodically updating co-branded marketing materials that can be accessed through PRM software brings in more revenue.
Addressing partner oversight
PRM software provides analytics and reports that can give you insights into your partners’ performance. These insights can help you make critical changes to your channel strategy to achieve optimum results and avoid oversight.
Real-time partner feedback
Your channel partners can provide actionable insights that can help you adjust your approach to addressing customer pain points.
Read more about effective channel partner management.
Based on the unique requirements of a business, channel partnerships take shape. They can be effectively managed using PRM solutions and enhance revenue growth strategies across different touchpoints.
What features should you look for in PRM software?
Some features that you should look for in a PRM software are partner profiles, partner portals, partner performance management, data integration, partner marketplace, and partner contract management.
How does PRM help increase ROI?
Partner relationship management helps increase ROI by providing businesses with a comprehensive view of how well their channel partners are doing, how they can empower their partners to do more, and what steps need to be taken to strengthen the partnership.
How can you create a successful partner relationship management strategy?
You can create a successful PRM strategy by using insights from PRM software to make decisions, streamlining lead management, onboarding, and training partners, and preventing partner churn through transparent communication.
Article | May 20, 2022
Today’s SaaS companies build their brands, expand their customer base, smartly utilize their resources, and scale their revenue through channel partnerships.
More than 40% of the $5 trillion global IT market is in North America. It accounts for more than 10% of the United States national economy and 11.8 million jobs. These numbers are possible because of successful channel partnerships within the SaaS ecosystem, which is made up of software publishers, computer systems design firms, computer programming service suppliers, and facilities management companies.
Carahsoft, a government IT solutions provider, resells DocuSign’s e-signature services to the public sector. Consequently, 800+ local, state, federal, and tribal agencies use DocuSign. A SaaS channel partnership similar to this benefit both partners and helps them generate revenue.
“We’re seeing more and more early-to mid-stage SaaS companies look to partnerships as a means to achieve their growth goals,” said Tyler Calder, Vice President of Marketing at PartnerStack, a partner management platform. “For many SaaS companies, getting started with an ambassador, affiliate, or referral program is the first step in developing a partner ecosystem strategy.”
Which Type of SaaS Channel Partners Bring in the Revenue?
System Integrators- This kind is ideal for complex products that need integration into an existing IT ecosystem.
Distributors- They provide an established distribution channel for their vendor’s product
Value-added resellers- They contribute to customer acquisition in new markets.
Managed service providers (MSP)- They monitor and maintain the IT infrastructure.
IT consultants- They provide independent IT advice, project management, and administrative services
SaaS companies generated 21% of the total revenue through channel partnerships, says SaaS Capital, in a 2018 survey.
Your Muse List for SaaS Channel Partnership
Commitment- Are your C-level executives ready to commit to a channel partnership? Also, consider human resources and budgeting to dedicate to the partnership.
Product readiness- Does your product appeal to your prospective channel partner? Ensure that your partner can get support and training to sell your product independently.
Focused sales & marketing teams- Do your sales and marketing teams have enough enablement material to help the channel partner sell your product effectively? You may want to consider preparing case studies, videos, scripts, and ICP documents in advance.
Streamlined operations- Try consultation or an expert opinion to figure out what kind of support you can provide to your partners through your sales, marketing, and success teams.
Though most partnerships start as an experiment for growth SaaS companies are steadfast today. They are redefining the way businesses operate and scale while acting as the backbone of revenue generation.