An asset recommendation engine can add tremendous value to partner marketing efforts: Here's how
Salespeople spend a lot of time looking for the right assets to share with prospects when instead...
Some of the common challenges in the channel ecosystem include -
Our blog this week focuses on all these 5 key partner marketing and sales asset management challenges that can be effectively tackled with a powerful channel partner marketing software.
Sure, you have a rich repository of marketing and sales collateral, but is it updated? Do your channel partners have access to the most recent marketing and sales collateral? What about heavy-duty content pieces such as product or service catalogs? Are they easily accessible? Often, the corporate marketing department makes changes to the company's sales and marketing collateral, product catalogs, presentations, proposals and other materials, but the updated version doesn't make it through to its channel network. Either, the channel partners are too busy to check-in actively for collateral updates, or there's a slip up on the corporate marketing front. Companies that don't have a partner asset management system or a PRM portal with asset management capabilities, tend to email updated sales and marketing collateral to their partners. Such emails run the risk of being snowed under other messages in the partner's inbox or being ignored/forgotten by channel partners. Sometimes, the updates are posted in the partner portal or shared space on the cloud, but the partners are not alerted to the change or not trained on how and where to use the updated collateral. So, partners continue to use what they have. As a result, there may be different versions of the company marketing and sales pitches floating in the market. This dilutes the company brand and messaging, sends out mixed messages to the end consumer and is overall not good for the company's public image. Partner marketing software platforms can serve as centralized asset repositories that vendors can leverage to ensure their partner ecosystem has access to the most recent marketing and sales collateral.
Modern partner marketing software come with multiple brand and version control features such as asset expiry and approval, which ensure that outdated assets are archived and no longer accessible to the partner ecosystem. However, there's always a loophole. Even with such systems, there's a possibility that partners operate outside of it by downloading and saving the sales and marketing collateral on their computers or personal drives and then sharing it with customers via email or other avenues. While there's not much that can be done in such instances, partner training, education and awareness can certainly reduce such occurrences. Apart from investing in a good partner marketing software, vendors need to help partners understand the importance of actually using it and following process hygiene.
Another challenge that falls in this category is the inability of the partners to quickly find relevant marketing and sales collateral. Even if you have the best marketing and sales materials, it would be of no use if your partners can't find it when they need to. Your partners are too busy selling to spend time searching for and using the right asset! Intuitive and intelligent partner marketing platforms with asset recommendation functionality can ease this challenge by automatically suggesting the right asset for the partner to use based on the prospect's position in the buyer's journey.
Your partner ecosystem is there to sell. The main goal of your partners is to generate revenue by selling your products and services. However, if they are spending time working on creating relevant marketing and sales collateral to help them sell, then it means something is broken in your partner marketing process. Partners often feel the need to make minor changes to the vendor's marketing and sales collateral to add a personal touch and there's nothing wrong with that. In fact, it will help your partners to make an impact at the ground level, with your end customers. It also helps them build their local brand, which, in turn, solidifies your reach and presence in local markets. However, each change, no matter how seemingly minor, should be approved by your corporate marketing department. This process need not be manual.
Top-class partner marketing software allow you to create marketing and sales collateral templates that you can share with your partners. Your partners can then use these templates to generate marketing and sales collateral that's personalized for their market and reflect their local brand as well. The corporate marketing department can lock certain elements in the template, thus not allowing unauthorized edits, while the partner marketing software automatically performs the personalization for each partner. Example includes, not allowing partners to edit the text content or the vendor logo in a brochure or email, but automatically including the partner's logo and contact information in it.
However, if the reason your channel partners are creating their own assets is the effectiveness of the ones provided by your corporate marketing department, then, the template-based approach to sales and marketing collateral creation doesn't solve the issue. What your corporate marketing team considers the most appropriate and engaging piece of marketing or sales collateral may not be actually helping your channel partners sell. Being at the ground-level, in the local market, it is your channel partners who interact with your customers on a daily basis. Sometimes, what is created by the corporate marketing department may not resonate with the prospects on-ground. To resolve this challenge you need a partner marketing software with a strong feedback system-one that tells how your sales and marketing collateral performed. Smart partner marketing software provide asset feedback of various types. These include-
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