by Dec 2, 2013How To

Channel marketing: making it easy for partners to sell

Getting your product to market is essential, which is why many vendors choose a channel marketing strategy to enhance their sales. Given that the channel is ultimately selling on your behalf, why is it that resellers are often so neglected?

To maximise the performance of partners, channel communications need to be clear, consistent and coordinated. Vendor organisations need to make it easier for partners to sell and provide them as much collateral as possible to promote your products. Albeit obvious, most of the tech vendors we work with aren’t supplying the basics. Here are our thoughts on what should be offered to the channel to maximise a vendor’s return.

Co-branded literature

Providing your partners with marketing literature is an easy win. The original, or at least editable files with space for co-branding are a must. Ideally, providing this to the channel ensures consistency when used side-by-side with your brand.

Template communications
Provide your channel partners with template communications. This can include letter text, emails, telemarketing scripts and advertising creative.

Features and benefits
B2B technology products / services are complex by nature. Understanding the key features and benefits can be communicated as part of the training process, but for a coherent message to market it makes sense for the vendor to provide data sheets and feature lists outlining the key business and functional benefits for the end-user.
Present information in easy-to-read tables and use bullet points for quick reference.

Provide sales presentations that include sample screenshots of the product. You could even produce short videos – walk-throughs, testimonials and case studies from your direct sales wins.

User guides

Again, part of the sales training process, and another opportunity to provide co-branded communications material. There really is no need to re-invent and the more information you can provide (as a vendor) the more likely the information is to reach the market in the way you want it to.

Research

Third party research from analysts or trade journalists can provide a valuable source of insight and knowledge to channel partners and end-users. As a vendor you might also commission your own research and / or prepare white papers which can be distributed via your own and partner channels. Opinions have a key role to play for various decision-makers in an organisation and at various stages of the buying process.

Event support

Trade shows, webinars and other live marketing formats are popular for B2B Technology Marketing. As a vendor you can support channel partners participating in such events with content (literature, videos etc), promotional support; you could also provide key personnel to speak about the product.

Case studies

Real life examples of the product, with testimonials are the most powerful piece of content marketing you can prepare and distribute. Demonstrations of the features and benefits outlined in product fact sheets can be bought to life in case studies. Sector specific examples are also good as potential end-users will aspire to evidence of success by their competitors. Vendors should make case studies a priority and share them regularly with channel partners. They work for us.

How else would you make it easier for the channel to sell your products?

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