Best Practices For Driving Partner Engagement
This article discusses a step-by-step framework that you can use to drive partner engagement.
Did you know that recruitment of new partners is only 30% of the job, whereas the other 70% entails keeping them productive and engaged with the vendor's brand? The channel-based B2B sales model presents a lot of challenges in terms of partner engagement and growing competition coupled with the new buyer's journey is making it even more difficult for vendors to enjoy sizable partner mindshare. Partners on the other hand are increasingly looking for sales and marketing help from companies to generate leads and build a brand in the local market. In this article, we examine the key areas where channel partners need vendor support and how vendors who have implemented a PRM software can offer it to them by creating a partner-friendly, conducive environment where sales and marketing tools are seamlessly integrated into their existing PRM environment.
This is the number one reason for poor partner engagement. While it may seem very obvious, it is surprising to observe that a lot of companies have poor commission structures, partner tier setup, or a half-baked partner program in general that lacks clarity, transparency and communication; and works to drive partners away.
Partners suffer due to a lack of data visibility. In order to be able to sell, partners need visibility of multiple elements such as-
The problem is, either this data is not available at all−meaning, the company doesn't really track some of this information, or, it is available, but in silos; spread across multiple platforms. Partners are too busy working in their business to work on it. They don't have the time or inclination to visit multiple platforms to access the data.
Another reason for poor partner engagement is vendors focusing on vendor-specific data. Partners are provided with vendor-specific marketing and sales materials. They get no help in building their local brand. Often, company-specific marketing and sales materials fail to resonate with the prospects at the local level and after a while, the partners just give up.
Investing in an integrated PRM software will help companies-
As a company, you have a lot of thought-leadership content, but are you sharing it the right way? Using integrated channel marketing tools, you can share and personalize all thought-leadership content to reflect your partners' brand. You provide your partners with the ability to select content and push it to their leads across various platforms including their websites and social accounts. At the same time, you get to review the effectiveness of your content across the board.
You get greater control over your marketing and sales narratives as you share marketing messages, created at the corporate level, with your partners,, but co-branded for your partners & personalized for the local audience
Your partners have everything they need on a single platform−your PRM. They don't have to log in and out of 3 or 4 different platforms to get access to lead data, marketing collateral, training materials, MDF and lead registration systems, etc. This naturally increases the adoption and engagement rates.
While companies may choose to invest in multiple sales and marketing tools, to achieve the best results it is recommended that they adopt a set of sales and marketing tools that integrate with the PRM software. Like we discussed before in this article, channel partners are too busy working in their business to work on it. They don't have the time to access multiple platforms. Switching between a PRM software, sales, and marketing automation platform and the CRM tool is just too much of a hassle. This kind of setup is most likely to result in plummeting partner mindshare. Hence the need for integrating the partner marketing and sales tools into the PRM environment.
Mindmatrix is a leading provider of PRM software, channel partner marketing software and sales ecosystems enablement solutions including partner portal software. Since its inception in 1998, Mindmatrix has been focused on helping companies sell more, faster. A pioneer of sales (direct & indirect) and marketing enablement technology, today Mindmatrix is the only company offering a fully unified platform (Bridge ™) that connects and enables sales (direct & indirect), marketing, alliances and partner ecosystems. Backed by Mindmatrix's innovation and expertise, Bridge expands sales ecosystem enablement beyond its traditional boundaries to cover not just Sales Ecosystem Enablement, but also Partner Marketing and Multi-vendor Solutions Management