At the start of this series on what to do with your channels long tail partners, we first discussed what your channel’s long tail is, and how to define it. In the second part of this series, we talked about the importance of partner profiling in determining where you should focus your long tail engagement efforts. In the third part, we discussed channel partner engagement tactics.
Now, in this fourth part, we will discuss best practices to activate your channel’s long tail partners to sell your products and services. As we have done in previous posts, let’s take a look at the definition of “To Activate.”
make (something) active or operative.
Synonyms: switch on, turn on, start (up), set going, trigger, set in motion, initiate, actuate, energize.
So how do you switch on your newly engaged channel partners? Programs and promotions and more programs and promotions. Let’s take a look at the top 3 programs you can utilize to energize your channel.
a) It takes the pressure off of your partner. They don’t need to ask for a PO from their client. They are merely recommending the best solution and because of their special relationship with you, the vendor, they are able to set up a fully working solution for their customers. And depending on the solution, conversion rates can run from 25% for SaaS solutions to as high at 65% for some leading hardware solutions.
b) The mere process of setting up a solution at a partners client, creates a high level of engagement between your staff and your channel’s long tail partners.
Technology solutions are constantly changing. Companies are looking for efficiencies, security, and best in class solutions. What worked a few years ago, can be replaced by a better solution today. Trade-In and Trade-Up solutions allow clients to feel better about upgrading because they feel that they are going to get some of their investment back. Partners benefit as they are able to offer a better solution to their clients while, at the same time, showing that they care about their client’s bottom line.
And with that, we have saved the best for last. Deal registration provides a true win-win for both the vendor and the partner for a number of reasons:
1 . Sales Cycle. By protecting a partner’s position on a deal, and giving you visibility into that deal, you are in a much better position to help that partner close the deal and provide the assistance they need.
2. Profits & Margins. Partners love the additional margins they make on registered deals.
3. Insight. You know what your channel’s long tail partners are doing, where their focus is and how it will impact your forecasts.
The fact is that programs and promotions work. They activate your channel’s long tail and drive sales. And as long as you are using the proper tools to make sure your channel is automated, you will be able to get real-time insights into how your programs are performing and make adjustments on the fly, to ensure you are getting the best results for both you and your channel partners.
This is the fourth article in a series of articles on Long Tail Channel Partners. If you enjoyed it, you might enjoy the first article, The 80/20 Rule – What To Do About The “Long Tail” Channel Partners. The follow up, part two: Engaging Long Tail Channel Partners – The Importance of Partner Profiling or part three: Managing Long Tail Channel Partner Engagement.
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