Channel Marketing: it’s a crazy and confusing world out there, isn’t it? Teams are frustrated because leads are shared among all partner sales teams, the prospects lists are managed and monitored in what seems like thousands of different CRM and PRM platforms, and there appears to be no way to effectively nurture leads to move them along the buyers journey. All these issues combined cause nothing but inconsistencies and frustrations.
You’ve probably landed here because you’ve had it with all the confusion, and you want to find actionable inbound marketing solutions so you can start seeing some real results. To help start the journey to channel marketing success, let’s discuss some of the primary challenges channel marketers face and how you can work to solve them.
Challenge #1: Dated Systems and Processes
Solution: We know this may be a hard pill to swallow, but you need to ditch the old PRM. It simply doesn’t work for today’s businesses. Today’s cloud-based SaaS platforms have evolved to create pathways for you to manage, monitor, and provide robust insights to the manufacturer, the re-sellers, and even the final customer.
Challenge #2: Marketing Through a Network
Solution: Marketing to a group of sellers is a whole lot different than marketing to an end-user. You may want to create programs that help to generate awareness for your partner sales team of how you plan to identify more opportunities for them (more on how you do that in Challenge #3.) Work to get buy-in to your opportunities by catering the messaging specifically for that partner based on their unique business needs.
Challenge #3: Lack of Resources
Solution: Because channel partners are usually small businesses without time and expertise to dedicate to marketing campaigns or programs, marketing efforts tend to be pushed to the back burner or not implemented at all. The solution to this problem can be through the creation of marketing development funding (MDF) you can offer to partners that can be used to invest in the new marketing efforts you present them with. If you do not hold partners accountable to the ways they use MDFs, however, consider managing a Channel Program on behalf of your partners instead.
Challenge #4: Finding Ways to Scale
Solution: Driving more leads for one partner might be challenging, but it might seem downright impossible to do it for 100 or more. Especially when each partner is unique in how they sell your products. Keep in mind that you as the channel can’t create unique campaigns and content for each partner.
Provide things like webinar support capabilities, supplemental graphics, and videos that can be easily used and manipulated to meet the specific needs of that seller. This allows the partner to have the supportive elements they need as well as the freedom to use them in the best way to reach their customers.
To put it as simply as possible, you need to make things easy by providing the components of the marketing strategies for your sellers, then work with them individually to ensure they can make it unique to their specific customer base. It all starts with an overall strategy for the channel, but can be fine-tuned to cater to each partner. When all of these elements come together properly, it can create a dramatic increase in revenue for all parties involved.