So you have been chasing your tail and burning the midnight oil trying to implement the first 3 steps we discussed in this blog. Take a deep breath. Think of Channel Marketing as an extension of what you are already doing (or should be doing) with some modifications.
Use your existing sales slicks with a minor change. Allow a space to add your Channel Partner’s logo on the slick next to yours. This helps to communicate a united front to the prospects.
Most data center companies do local events. Now make sure you do local events with your partners in their local. This does not need to be big dollars. Two-hour events are bests. Here is a couple of easy ones:
- Host a lunch and learn with your partner.
- Group Golf Lesson at the driving range.
You can easily tie marketing dollars to the amount of business your partner brings you. Great motivator and leads to even more business.
Channel Partner Shows are a great way to attract new channel partners…If they’re done right. Just attending an event and setting up a 10×10 booth is NOT the way to do it. In fact doing only this will hinder your program. Why? Because all you will end up doing is signing up anyone who stops by your booth. You end up muddying the Channel waters. Remember you want producers not posers! Yes set up a booth but also get a suite to use as a meeting room. Have your team arrange meetings in the suite ahead of time with known producers. Anyone that stops by the booth that your team feels MAY be a Channel Partner Candidate send up to the suite. Use your time in the suite to not only talk about your company but to interview the candidate. Remember you don’t want to sign up everybody.
Set up a Channel Partner Advisory Board. There is a reason some Channel Partners make a very good living in this space. They know what they are doing! Learn from them. A great way to do this (especially for marketing initiatives) is to ask them. I know sounds simple right? You would be surprised how many companies out there dictate to their channel partners instead of asking for input. Think of yourself, which approach would you respond to better?
Well I never said it would be easy but it can be wildly profitable! Please come back next week as we continue the Channels Sales Series.