Congratulations! You have a strong partner channel in place. But now that the ink is dry on the agreements, how do you ensure your partners will be successful? How do you stay top of mind with them? As one of the direct links to your target prospects, partners are a crucial part of your team. Helping them to be effective is an important piece of the marketing strategy.
Your partners have their own marketing departments, but they are most likely focused on corporate campaigns and programs and don’t have many leftover cycles. You need to develop a marketing strategy for them and put all of the pieces in place for success.
Start with the sales team
Make sure you actively market to the partner sales teams to ensure they have all of the information they need to confidently sell your products. Equally important – make sure they are motivated to do so. Your best bet is to get your arsenal of collateral and assets directly into their hands and reach out regularly with updates. Here are a few ways to hold their interest and get them up to speed quickly on your products:
- Create a portal for easy access to your best white papers, data sheets, ebooks and other content and co-brand them so your partners have a ready stock of quality assets they can send to prospects
- Create a monthly e-newsletter that gives them quick, informative snapshots about new product enhancements and recent customer wins
- Hold in-person training sessions, if possible, or regular webinars to give quick product updates or share the latest demo
- Offer incentives such as gift cards or other small monthly prizes; present awards and larger prizes for quarterly or end-of-year top performers
Get in front of their prospects
Now that you have the sales team’s attention, you need to make it easy for them to sell your products by warming up their prospects. Develop strong marketing campaigns that will help get them in the door. The easier you make it for them, the more likely they are to focus on your products.
- Develop multi-channel marketing campaigns designed to develop new leads and nurture existing prospects; this should include “personal” emails from the reps so they can follow up directly, as well as social media content they can post on Twitter and LinkedIn
- Map out detailed program plans and include a timeline of when you will push out the various campaigns with recommendations on when sales should follow up
- Be sure to share results to see what is working and determine which programs should continue or what adjustments need to be made
Ultimately, the goal is to help your channel close more deals quickly. Giving the channel all of the marketing support they need will help make it a productive relationship for everyone. For more information on how you can develop marketing campaigns that support your channel partners, send us an email at email@example.com.