Demand generation: it’s how you drum up interest in your products. Separate from lead generation, this strategy is intended to build awareness and demonstrate the need for your product to create a buzz around it.
Marketing automation is using technology that manages your marketing processes, including multifunctional campaigns and multiple channels, in an automated fashion. But how does it work? Is it difficult to use? Let's take a look at some of the basics.
To keep business afloat, you need to make sure your dealers and distributor partners are satisfied with your services. One of the easiest ways to maintain this satisfaction is to enact Partner Relationship Management (PRM). According to Techopedia, PRM is defined as “a business process by which an organization incorporates policies, procedures and methodologies to deliver, manage and maintain its relationships with external business partners.”
If you’ve lost a channel partner, you know partner churn is like the mean, older sibling of customer churn. Whether they left on their own, or you had to part ways over poor performance, partner churn has a whole host of unique challenges. There’s coordinating the return of unsold product, POS systems, and marketing collateral, as well as tasking IT with removing their information and accounts from your partner portal and PRM platform. And, as the channel manager, you’re faced with the questions of that partner’s customers. Why are they no longer carrying your product? Where can they get it now? Or worse, you could lose those customers altogether.
Marketing in an indirect sales channel is no easy feat. The channel manager has little visibility to their end users, and they have to rely in part on their channel partners to effectively market their products in order to make sales. How do you as the channel manager supply your partners with what they need to succeed? Below, we’ve gathered some ways you can enhance your partner marketing program for smoother selling throughout the entire channel.
PRM or Partner Relationship Management is any combination of strategies, methodologies, software, or web applications that businesses using a distribution channel can use to communicate with their channel partners. Although they look and sound similar, PRM and CRM are not interchangeable terms, and relying only on CRM strategies and technology solutions often fall short of what channel managers (and channel partners) need to successfully get their products and services to end users.
As we’ve mentioned, marketing within a channel of Value Added Resellers (VARS) can pose some challenges because of the sheer dynamic of the multi-step sales process. Often times, the VARs are selling multiple lines of products, so getting yours to stick out among your competition with both the VAR salespeople and the end-user can be quite the feat. However, many successful channel networks today are implementing marketing and sales strategies that are tremendously successful toward growing their revenue. And it all starts with the launch of a channel marketing campaign that addresses the needs of those involved.
As a manufacturer that sells exclusively or primarily through a channel network, it can often be challenging trying to drive new sales when you aren’t managing the sales people who are actually face-to-face with your customers on a daily basis. Because of this common disconnect between the manufacturer and the end user, it might seem challenging to implement strategies you can track, measure, and test for sales growth. In order to combat this issue, manufacturers must be equipping their channel with the right tools and processes to drive more sales. But what does the channel need, exactly?