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.
B2B sales tactics are changing quickly, and the tools are changing just as fast to keep pace. While many sales teams have changed to using CRM software to support customer data, it isn’t enough to provide the sales teams with fast research tools. Current prospects and leads are often looking for quick quotes and product details. For many B2B companies, getting a fast and accurate quote is a big part of sealing the deal. If the interested business contact can’t get answers from your team, they will get them from a competitor. A CPQ engine can support your sales team as a tool for providing automated quotes.
Companies depend on reliable partnerships. The right Partnership Relationship Management (PRM) software can streamline collaboration with business partners, including contractors, vendors, sales teams, resellers, and distributors. Optimizing relationships is a great thing, but it can be hard to assign a dollar value. PRM software doesn't close new business or form the partnerships in the first place. It does, however, cost money. Upper management or shareholders might want to know what return they are getting on their investment in this solution.
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.”
Lead management and distribution channel influence are intertwined—yet there are camps on both sides who both say they are the fundamental driver of product movement, and that the other side simply accommodates the direction. Both are wrong. The synergy that occurs to cause growth in the distribution channel is directly influenced by lead generation and influenced by increased awareness and presence of distribution in new markets. It’s a chicken and egg situation to argue semantics about who comes first. What’s important to know is a good, practical understanding of how the two elements rely on each other and impact each other regularly.
If you have yet to create a buyer persona, please stop whatever you're doing and create one. The buyer persona is the cornerstone to helping your sales teams, both direct and indirect, drive growth. It allows you to not only have a good understanding of who you're targeting, but it shows you how to tailor your sales approach to address the pain points of the prospects.
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.
When you communicate with your channel partners, do you talk to them or do you talk at them? Think of the end of the day announcements in grade school, for example, where the principal would come over the intercom and read off a list someone else wrote of upcoming events and information. Chances are you probably remember standing at the door of the classroom chatting with your friends, or being scolded by a teacher to sit down and listen. There’s also a chance that you missed out on some important information (like that picture day is tomorrow!) because you weren’t paying attention.