Five ways to help your channel partners sell more

It takes a lot to ensure your channel sales model is a success. Your work starts with recruiting the right partner and never really ends. However, there is an issue. Despite being committed to every channel partner’s success, most vendors complain of not getting the results they seek from a majority of their channel partners. So, what’s missing? Here are a few items that can should be on your checklist for partner success.
Five ways to help your channel partners sell more

Show your channel partners the big picture

Educate your channel partners on sales techniques for product lines. Your  partners need to be educated from a solution perspective because they need to know how your products solve a specific problem.

Recognize that marketing and sales can’t work in silos anymore

Because the buyer’s journey has changed so drastically in the last two decades, the sales and marketing functions are now intimately intertwined. Marketing covers the first part of the sales process, and then the sales team comes in to close the deal. This means that sales teams and marketing teams need complete transparency with the prospect through the whole buyer’s journey.

100% transparency is a must-have

Channel partners must have visibility into the vendor marketing and sales funnel, and vice-versa. If a prospect of goes to your website instead of your channel partner’s, both you and your channel partner should be able to see that activity. Your channel partner should be notified and kept in the loop so they know exactly what the prospect is up to.

Localized lead nurturing campaigns

Not every lead is ready to buy, but if you don’t want your channel partners to drop them, make sure you provide nurturing campaigns at the local level for your prospects that aren’t yet ready to buy. For your lead nurturing campaigns to have maximum impact, personalize them based on the branding standards of the local channel partner.

Don’t treat them differently than you treat direct sales team

The most important thing you can do to help ensure your partners’ success is to equip them with the same programs that have been most successful for your direct sales teams. Look inward first. Look at your top performers, your direct teams, people who have been extremely successful selling your product. Find out how they sold. Then take that process and make it available to your channel partners so they can use the exact same structure.

Most often vendors don’t get the results they seek from their channel partners because they tend to ignore “the last mile” and the key elements that are a part of this last mile. This includes developing appropriate sales and marketing strategies for their channel partners. The bottom line is, your success depends on your channel partner’s success with selling your products and services. If you want them to truly succeed, make them feel like a part of your business by sharing your vision and all the tools, strategies and processes that you use internally.

Here's what's missing in you channel enablement efforts

In this blogpost, we tell you how you can draw a roadmap to effectively guiding your partners to a sale.

Here's a link to our webinar conducted jointly with thought leader SiriusDecisions. The webinar, ‘Channel Sales Enablement: The Missing Link’ has Laz Gonzalez, Director, Channel Management Strategies-SiriusDecisions talking about what you need to do to fully enable your channel partners so they sell more for you.

We also have Sean Lardo, Channel Enablement Expert from Mindmatrix throwing light on the why most channel enablement efforts fail.

Hear it from the experts as to how you can make your channel sales model work for you.

View Recording Here!

Mindmatrix's channel marketing software now offers asset approval and expiration feature

Helps ensure sales and marketing networks have access to the most recent version of assets

Mindmatrix recently made ‘Asset Approval and Expiration’ a part of its sales and marketing automation platform with the goal of assuring the most accurate usage of every asset.

Asset Approval and Expiration
The asset approval feature allows the asset creator to ensure the asset cannot be used without their consent. When the asset approval option is turned on for an asset, salespeople or channel partners won’t be able to use that asset until they get an approval from the administrator. This prevents unauthorized or incorrect usage of assets.

The asset expiration module ensures time-bound assets are made unavailable beyond a set date by allowing the creator to specify an expiration date or a validity period for the asset. This feature ensures time-bound assets such as tradeshow or webinar invitations or discount coupons that are past their dates, are not accidentally shared. Also, when a new version of an asset is released, the creator can set an expiration date for the older version so it is no longer accessible.

Harbinder Khera, CEO, Mindmatrix says, “Companies often discover their salespeople and channel partners are using outdated or distorted versions of sales collateral. Also, in a bid to personalize or localize their sales communications, channel partners and salespeople end up creating multiple versions of the sales materials and start using it at individual levels. This poses a challenge for corporate marketing teams. They can never be 100% sure that all their sales networks have access to the most recent version of all the sales and marketing materials. Mindmatrix marketing automation software’s asset approval and expiration feature makes sure they don’t have to worry about salespeople and channel partners not using the latest and most accurate versions of sales and marketing assets“.

How to guide your salespeople to success

After marketing has captured and nurtured a lead, that prospect is transferred to the sales staff to convert into a sale. Are things falling off after this handoff? If so, this may be a training issue. Do your salespeople know what to say, when to say it and how to say it to a prospect while closing a sale? A prospect may be very near to the sale approaching the decision to buy, but if your salespeople don’t know how to handle things, you may ending up losing a sale.

A well-guided sales process can help your salespeople cope with their challenges.

Why do you need a well guided sales process?

Everybody needs a guide and your salespeople are no exception. Relying on your salespeople to have the product and market knowledge to sell your product/service is unrealistic. Without very specific guidance means they may unknowingly take all the wrong steps to resolve their challenges.

A sales guide acts as a roadmap for your salespeople

Don’t just flood them with assets…tell them how to use it

A lot of companies provide their salespeople with all the sales materials, call scripts, email templates, etc., and assume that their role ends there. In addition to this, the marketing team provides a bulk of leads that the salespeople are expected to pursue. Now, with information flooding in from all quarters, it becomes confusing for the salespeople to pursue the right leads in the right manner. First, they end up wasting their time on the wrong leads instead of the ones who are most ready to convert into a sale. Second, the challenge they face is not the absence of assets but the wisdom to use them effectively.

A playbook is the systematic organization of all marketing and sales assets that works as a GPS for your salespeople. Salespeople are provided with all the assets, but accessing the right one is a challenge. Multiple assets can be confusing. Playbooks help salespeople cope with this issue by mapping each asset to the buyer’s position in the sales cycle, taking away the challenge of what to say, when to say it and how to say it to a lead/prospect.

With a sales playbook, every sales person will have a standard way to approach a lead and resolve the challenges faced by him or her.

Learn more about how you can create a great sales playbook here.

“Click to view How To Create A Sales Playbook”