Must-have partner marketing skill sets:
Do your partner marketers have it?

Partner marketing is a key element of the channel ecosystem. Partner Marketing platform plays a critical role in helping channel partners sell successfully. This blog discusses some of the qualities and skills that Partner Marketer must have to be able to play their role successfully.

Communication skills

Partner marketers are the bridge between the company and the companies who are part of their strategic partner network. Partner marketers need to collaborate with many people both within their own company and outside of the organization. They have to reach out to channel partners consistently, understand the challenges related to marketing and selling the company's products/services and collaborate to find resolutions. Partner marketers have to communicate the brand's vision and voice clearly to the channel partners. Partner marketers are also responsible for growing the channel, which means connecting with potential channel partners and explaining the value proposition.

Analytical skills

Partner Marketers need to have sound analytical skills. They will be engaging in marketing campaigns on behalf of the channel partners and also helping channel partners to run their own marketing and sales campaigns. Channel partners need to be able to discern what's working, what's not and redirect the marketing efforts accordingly Also, Partner Marketers must be able to analyze and understand the market conditions, prospect profile, buyer's journey and come up with the right marketing strategies. They should also be able to analyze the key performance indicators (KPIs) that determine the success of partner marketing efforts. such as lead closure rates, opportunity won/lost, and take corrective measures where needed.

Business Acumen

Business acumen is the ability to understand business opportunities and make the right business decisions at the right time. It also involves the ability to offer timely solutions to business challenges, motivating and leading the team towards a common business goal. The entire channel alliance has a lot of moving parts and constituencies. We generally refer to this as the 'channel ecosystem.' Partner Marketers need to have the sophistication to identify challenges in the ecosystem and formulate solutions to mitigate business risks. Additionally, Partner Marketers are able to detect opportunities that serve the company's best interest. They should also be able to identify the right partners for the business and have the ability to recognize the strengths and weaknesses of individual channel partners in order to be able to offer them the right kind of support. Partner Marketers should also have the leadership skills required to make the channel partners feel like they are connected in the pursuit of a shared and mutually beneficial objective. Partner Marketers must be in tune with the latest developments in their industry and their impact on the organization's growth strategies.

Negotiation Skills

Partner Marketers need to have strong negotiation skills because they play a crucial role in maintaining and nurturing the company's relationship with its channel partners. Key scenarios where Partner Marketers have to apply their negotiation skills include-

Negotiating partnership contracts and key terms

Partner Marketers are often responsible for negotiating partnership contracts with the partners. There are various elements in the partnership contract such as pricing, mark-ups, commission, MDFs and partnership payouts that need to be negotiated effectively.

Motivating Performance

Partner marketers need to motivate partners to get things done and sell. Motivational skills play a key role in allowing a Partner Marketer to effectively help partners overcome marketing and sales challenges and focus on increased sales, customer support and improved client experience.

Resolving channel conflicts

When companies have multiple partners, sometimes, they may end up competing with one another. This creates an unhealthy channel environment. For example, two different channel partners approaching the same lead can result in a channel conflict that may escalate to the corporate level. Partner Marketers often have to negotiate with both the parties involved and arrive at an amicable solution appeasing both of them.

Project management

Partner Marketers also need to be adept at project management. Partner Marketers run countless marketing campaigns across different touchpoints for multiple channel partners.This means coordinating with multiple people across various functions: marketing, content,design, finance and the channel ecosystem. Project management skills are a must if these marketing campaigns are to be executed successfully.

Channel marketing strategy development

Partner marketers are responsible for developing channel marketing strategies that align with corporate marketing goals. Partner Marketers have to study the opportunities and challenges from the point of view of the channel ecosystem and then develop marketing strategies and best practices for promoting the company's products and services through channel partners. They should also be able to grow the channel ecosystem by identifying the right channel partners for their company.

End-to-End marketing campaign management

Partner marketers are responsible for developing marketing campaigns across various channels such as print, social, web and email. This means coordinating with designers, content writers, print vendors and marketing agencies, and ensuring the timely delivery of marketing assets to channel partners. They should also be able to effectively implement marketing campaigns on behalf of channel partners and monitor and analyze the performance of the campaigns based on the KPIs.

Brand management skills

Partner marketing platform are responsible for making sure that brand and messaging are consistent across the partner ecosystem. They should have the ability to work closely with the company's partners to determine the company's brand is represented correctly, keeping in mind that everyone speaks with "One Voice". This means "being there" to help with the campaign: start to finish.

Partner marketing is so much more than just running a few marketing campaigns or generating leads. The role of a partner marketer is one that connects the company to its channel partners and channel ecosystem and the channel ecosystem to the end-customer. The skill sets and qualities discussed here will help partner marketers perform their duties effectively.

About us

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