What is the responsibility of a channel marketer? The simple answer is that they are responsible for the success of partners in selling their company’s products. With many companies, the competitive positioning and clear rationale behind why someone should choose the products over other options has already been handled by product marketers. Therefore, channel marketers don’t need to concern themselves with positioning and unique selling points, but simply with the success of partners using current resources.
Communication and Resources are Key
Channel marketers and executives should focus on building both programs and tools that help partners communicate the product line’s benefits to customers. That is where the money is. Because partners have so many different options when it comes to who they work with, those that help them sell more typically win their loyalty.
A good partner portal or partner relationship management (PRM) system allows channel marketers to provide a library of tools that partners can utilize. Co-branded datasheets, email templates, prepackaged promotions, co-branded sales presentations and competitive pitches are some simple resources that channel marketers and executives can provide in order to help partners sell. The ability to request assistance for seminars, webinars or event recruitment is an additional resource that enables partner success. Beyond online, portal-driven communication and requests, a hot line to a deal desk allows partners to get assistance with closing deals—as part of a deal registration system—making partner lives much easier.
If your company does not have a library of tools designed to help partners sell, build one. If you have one, then taking partners through your resource library during on-site visits and showing them how they can use it will help them to better sell your products. With this approach, you not only communicate your products strengths, you make it easy for your partner to do so as well. This will lead to more sales and instill partner loyalty as a result.
Simplifying successful of channel marketing down to a single blog post doesn’t do the complexity of the issue justice. However, scalable communication and the creation of accessible resources are key in creating partner loyalty—and therefore—partner and channel marketing success.
What have you seen work? How important is partner loyalty in your industry?