It’s never been more important to examine and improve partner relationships. The simple fact is, today’s partners have more suppliers and product lines to choose from than ever before. According to the global B2B experts at SiriusDecisions, resellers are typically balancing six to seven vendor relationships at once and the partner experience, or PX as they call it, has become a primary decision driver. Without proper programs and tools, partners look elsewhere and engagement, customer satisfaction, and sales plummet.
As a leader in Channel Marketing and Management (CMM), Zift Solutions works with thousands of channel organizations around the globe. We’ve found that, while most channel-based businesses claim that providing a rewarding partner experience tops their list of priorities, the reality is very different. Few actually know where to start or how to follow through on creating and sustaining a partner experience that is both positive and profitable for both sides of the channel.
A ‘Secret Recipe’ for Success?
Organizations seeking a ‘secret recipe’ for channel success must examine the tools, support, and overall experience they provide to their partners. You can start by measuring your own capacity to provide partners with a holistic and rewarding channel program and experience using Sirius Decisions’ Partner Experience Maturity Model (PXMM).
As a best practice, the PXMM calls for providing programs and fully-automated tools tailored specifically to partner needs. Equipping yourself and your partners with a Channel Marketing and Management (CMM) platform is undoubtedly the fastest way to meet that requirement and foster a rewarding partner experience. With so many tools hitting the market, it can be tough to know just what to look for in a CMM.
Zift recently collaborated with Oracle on an eBook detailing the 5 Key Ingredients to a Positive and Profitable Partner Experience that should be baked into your CMM. Here’s a taste:
Key Ingredient #1: Lead Distribution Management
Without high quality leads, partners will fail to engage and perform. And without a straightforward process for delivering leads to partners, even high quality leads will get lost in the shuffle. Look for a CMM platform that automates delivery of high-quality leads, increases visibility across the sales lifecycle, and minimizes work for partners by delivering leads directly into the workflows or systems they already use.
Key Ingredient #2: Syndicated Content & Social Media
Serving up web content and social media takes time, talent, and resources that many partners just don’t have on hand. Social media syndication cuts the time and costs of partners’ social media efforts and can extend the reach and impact of your social posts by more than 50 percent. Look for a CMM platform that allows partners to personalize syndicated content, pairs socially-relevant content with assets like white papers and videos to enhance partner credibility, and delivers in-depth analytics to measure social media efforts and impacts.
Key Ingredient #3: Centralized Marketing Database & Integration
Provide partners with a CMM platform that offers a centralized marketing database and seamless integration with the systems they already use, ideally through Embedded Access Applications (EAAs). Instead of forcing partners to log in and out of multiple systems or visit your portal, they get direct, immediate access to an array of CMM tools and functionality within the systems they already use; significantly boosting results while enhancing the overall partner experience.
Key Ingredient #4: Shared Analytics
Shared analytics are a must-have within any CMM platform as suppliers and partners need direct access to real-time data and info to accurately measure what’s working and what’s not, and to make adjustments to improve outcomes and ROI. Seek out CMM platforms that offer built-in or tightly integrated analytics so you can push real-time notifications to partners within the systems and tools they’re already using to save time, enhance visibility, and empower engagement-without requiring any behavior or process change from partners.
Key Ingredient #5: An Open Platform
An open platform lets you plug in new capabilities as technologies evolve, which is essential in today’s increasingly crowded and rapidly changing marketing technology landscape. CMM platforms that are open and flexible ensure that your CMM system will work with your partners’ preferred tools and systems today and well into the future. Look for systems with a published API and the ability to scale easily to enable turnkey execution of additional capabilities, further extending ROI.
Serve Up Success
Together, Oracle and Zift have packed a lot more insight into this new ebook you won’t want to miss, including the “Top 5 Reasons Partners Don’t Engage with Suppliers” and specific actions you can take to drive partner engagement. Find out how you can serve up success by downloading the 5 Key Ingredients of a Positive & Profitable Partner Experience now.