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3 Steps to Start Driving Channel Sales

Did you know that indirect channels make up nearly 70% of all technology sales, climbing by an impressive 17% over the past decade? But just as pressure to sell has been placed on the shoulders of your channel partners, those companies often don’t have the right marketing tools, talent and time to successfully promote your products.

Research has shown that the average channel partner is managing between 5 and 13 different supplier relationships at any given time. There simply isn’t enough time and money to represent all of those with the vigor needed to be successful.

Step 1. Building an Effective Marketing Campaign

You already have the campaigns and content, it just needs to be re-purposed for your channel partners’ use. What percentage of the channel marketing should come from you, the supplier? You should be supplying about 90% of the content needed for successful channel marketing campaigns. You already have much of this marketing infrastructure in place: your website content, product descriptions, webinars, whitepapers, newsletters, marketing campaigns, and special promotions and offers.

Simply re-brand and re-purpose this content for your channel partners to use in their own campaigns and promotions. Be sure to collaborate with your channel partners continually, helping them to utilize the content, develop and deliver the campaigns, collect and measure the metrics, and other important channel marketing endeavors.

Step 2. Get the Buy-In of Your Channel Partners

Since a marketer’s job is never done, you now have to “market” your marketing materials to your channel partners. In other words, you have to get your partners to buy into your marketing strategies and campaigns. If you’ve done a good job collaborating with your partners to develop and re-purpose content, this step will be much easier.

Be sure your channel marketing is tailored to your partners, so that it represents their value proposition within the industry. Does your content strategy line up with their marketing strategies? How easy is it for them to take your content and put it towards their own purposes? Create as little friction in this process as possible. Ideally, you’ll deliver content to them that’s already tailored to their needs and is ready for them to distribute as-is.

Step 3. Deliver Continual Success Via Optimization

Use key metrics to refine your marketing messages until they’re perfectly targeted to your channel partners’ audiences. As mentioned before, your channel partners may lack the resources necessary to accurately monitor the marketing metrics. Without these metrics, it’s impossible to prove an ROI on your channel marketing efforts.

These metrics also help you track trends within the marketplace that indicate it’s time to adjust or refocus your channel marketing messages. Set up a means for collecting, analyzing, tracking and reporting on relevant metrics. This includes setting up a strategy to tweak marketing messages as necessary to remain relevant and stay ahead of industry trends. Your channel partners will thank you and reward you with continued relationships and improved sales and revenue.

Originally posted on Channel Chatter

Submitted by Kiersten Hoffman, Director of Content Marketing at Zift Solutions.

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