Leveraging the benefits of personalization in partner marketing with a partner marketing software
Personalization is the process by which a software tool automatically edits a template to better suit the sender or recipient.
Despite investing in a partner marketing software, vendors often wonder why their channel relationships are not yielding the expected results. Channel parnter's performance is not up to the mark even with you deploying powerful partner marketing software. Here's why-Your channel partners are just not using your marketing materials!
Channel partners do not use collateral that doesn't work for their region /area/target persona, etc. What do your channel partners typically do with the assets you provide them? The answer is, "probably not what they should, unless you've enabled them with specific and precise guidance." Every marketing asset that you have plays a specific role within the sales funnel. Outside of that specific function, it has minimal value to a prospect. For example, a brochure that is primarily informational regarding the general value of a product line is wasted on a lead who already knows her precise needs and has narrowed the decision down to a brand choice. Using that informational asset this late in the sales funnel would be off-putting to the lead, because they aren't getting the data they are looking for.
It is important to remember that a partner is a separate entity, not a part of your organization. This fact can be easy to forget. Every partner has a distinct mission and priorities that are not always aligned with your own. Consequently, specific challenges arise that are unique to the channel model. For example,
Partners do not intuitively know or understand the vision and missions of the company. This creates a problem:channel partnerswho are poorly versed in the corporate partner's product narrative cannot be expected to communicate it effectively to their own prospects. The marketing messaging breaks down and prospects are lost because the message loses relevance.
Companies have to deal with the reality that they are not, in an exclusive relationship. With their partners. Theirs is not the only product or service line represented by an individual channel partner. As a result, if they don't succeed in making their products the most attractive to sell, they'll fall into the "back of the catalog."
Companies need to find a way to convince each channel that their product can be sold more easily, and with better revenue yields, than any other. If they fail to do this, they won't be given much attention.
Another area that challenges potential revenue streams is the complexity of marketing from the partner's perspective. Partners may find the generic, mass produced marketing collateral generated by corporate marketing departments to be ineffective in their regional or local segments. In the face of this type of collateral, they may limit their sales efforts for that company in favor of another that does a better job. Equally discouraging, they may try to create their own personalized material that compromises the branding. When this happens, the original corporate marketing messages goes off the rails.
Similarly, there is the problem of how confusing corporate marketing tasks become when multiple partners are engaged simultaneously. In this scenario, corporate marketing departments have to respond, train, and provide support to multiple, unrelated entities−each with its own needs, structures, demands and markets.
Finally, measurement can be weak. Analytics to measure partner engagement and performance are often limited or non-existent.
A poorly developed plan for enabling new partners can yield disappointing results. However, partner enablement that can be used to fully recognize the potential of the partner. Partner enablement is an entire platform of tools that, when combined and used synergistically, dramatically increases channel partner effectiveness as a sales model. Enablement begins when channel recruiting methods are used to ensure that only the most appropriate, promising channels partners are brought in as partners. The partner enablement process proceeds through a tightly defined and measured training process, using a full range of tools that make it easier for your partners to sell. The process ends with the tools that allow you to measure every channel's effectiveness and track specific sales and marketing activity initiated on behalf of your product or service.
Companies need to understand that partners, on their own, do not have the expertise, knowledge or experience to understand what messaging and sales approach work best in which situations. They do not have the history to determine this on their own. You are the only resource that can provide this information and if you fail, so does your channel partner. In short, without guidance, assets will be misused and leads lost. As a result, your partner assumes your line isn't sellable, and will decide to promote another vendor's line instead. In turn, you assume the partner isn't qualified, and go out looking for another partner, and the cycle begins anew.
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