Pereion Solutions Blog

Four Themes from the MassTLC Channel Marketing ROI Seminar

Posted by Greg Jackman

Wed, Aug 6, 2014 @ 11:08 AM

Last week, MassTLC held the Sales & Marketing Seminar: Channel Marketing ROI to share some of channel marketing’s best practices. With the panel of sales and marketing executives from reputable companies, four themes emerged:  

 

  1. Partner Recruitment: Segment the Partner Community & Know Your Target. Do you understand the DNA of the partners you are recruiting? Have you differentiated your business from a channel perspective?
  2. Content Marketing: Establishing Thought Leadership. "Marketing in a box" doesn't work.  Do you have high value content they utilize?
  3. Marketing Planning & Execution: Build Individualized Plans with Your Partners. Work with your committed partners on their marketing plans in a flexible and collaborative way.
  4. Management System: It’s Possible to Build a Repeatable Process with Consistent Outcomes. What key performance indicators should you focus on as you develop your management plan?

 

I had the opportunity to moderate the Mass TLC panel discussion. To read our guest post on the MassTLC blog that covers the entire event, including more information on these four areas, please visit the Mass TLC Blog.

 

Who is MassTLC?
Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council is a technology association and network of tech industry leaders focused on accelerating innovation through active communities and events to support workforce development. With a membership of over 550 companies, MassTLC provides industry-leading content and a visible platform for companies and individuals looking to influence and grow their technology businesses.

If you would like to talk about this event, these channel marketing themes, or your specific channel marketing challenges, please contact us directly at slperry@pereion.com.

We offer a Channel Readiness Assessment to help companies identify the gap areas they need to work on to improve their channel sales performance.  Click below to learn more about Channel Readiness Assessments.  

Channel Readiness Assessment eBook

 

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Topics: Pereion Solutions, Channel Management, Channel Consulting Services, Channel Marketing, Channel Sales, Channel Readiness, Partner Enablement, Partner Advocacy Marketing, Partner Sales Enablement, Partner Recruitment

Improve Your Channel Marketing ROI: Mass TLC Seminar

Posted by Greg Jackman

Mon, Jul 14, 2014 @ 10:07 AM

One of the most effective, and yet biggest challenges, in marketing your products and/or services to your customers can be developing a strong partner channel. For many businesses, channel marketing is an inexact science that doesn’t always provide sufficient ROI. The challenge of creating effective channel marketing programs is creating effective tools and resources for your channel partners, and understanding the impact of those efforts.

On July 30, 2014, the Mass Technology Council (MassTLC) will host a sales & marketing seminar on how to address these issues, deliver results, and improve your overall channel marketing ROI.

During this seminar, the channel leaders will discuss:

  • Best practices and strategies to your channel marketing investment
  • Effective tools, technologies, and co-marketing programs to reach your channel goals
  • Partner recruitment, training and education
  • Partner engagement through quality collateral, mobile, and social media
  • Customer analytics to keep track of your channel’s progress and effectiveness

There are a number of trends in the marketplace that create new opportunities and challenges from a channel marketing perspective. There are a proliferation of new marketing automation tools and with that, an increase in “channel marketing platforms”. As companies work through an evolution in their own digital marketing strategies; they are trying to find new ways to leverage cloud, mobile, social, and analytic solutions in their channel marketing programs. This all creates new opportunities to find innovative ways to market to and through your channel partners. 

The event speakers for this seminar include:

  • Scott Barlow, Vice President of Global Sales & Marketing, Reflexion Networks, Inc.
  • Deanna Estes, Director of Marketing, Gordon Flesch
  • Jeanne Hopkins, SVP and CMO, Continuum IT Managed Services
  • Steven Perry, President, Pereion Solutions
  • Cynthia Stephens, VP of Marketing, ByAllAccounts, a Morningstar company

Event Details:

When: July 30, 2014, 5:30PM-7:30PM
Where: Iron Mountain, 745 Atlantic Ave., Boston, MA
Contact: Christine Nolan, christine@masstlc.org

To register, please visit the Sales & Marketing Seminar: Channel Marketing ROI site. Please join for this interactive discussion.

MassTLC is a technology association and network of tech industry leaders focused on accelerating innovation through active communities and events to support workforce development. With a membership of over 550 companies, MassTLC provides industry-leading content and a visible platform for companies and individuals looking to influence and grow their technology businesses.

Pereion Solutions provides channel development services to technology companies. To discuss this event or your specific channel marketing challenges, please contact us directly at slperry@pereion.com.

You can also download our Pereion Channel Development Overview to learn about all our channel service capabilities:

Pereion Channel  Development  Overview

 

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Topics: Pereion Solutions, Channel Management, Channel Consulting Services, Channel Marketing, Channel Sales, Channel Readiness

Channel Readiness & Partner Value Drive Channel Partner Program Design

Posted by Greg Jackman

Mon, May 19, 2014 @ 08:05 AM

Determining the improvements you need to make to your channel partner program to drive revenue growth isn’t easy. There are two key drivers that will help you plan a new or refreshed partner program design: Channel Readiness and Partner Value.

Channel Readiness Icon resized 600Any channel program needs to deliver real partner value, and you need to understand how it differs from what your competitors offer. This is the basis for designing any partner program. Channel readiness is the other key driver. It’s about assessing the key elements of your partner program, and ensuring it provides your partners with what they need to be successful.

A structured framework to channel readiness can be a good tool to use for designing a channel partner program, following are some channel readiness questions to guide you through the thought process:

 

  1. Business Goals & Channel Objectives: Do you have clearly defined goals and objectives for your partner program, such as revenue volumes, number of new customers, number of trained partners, and product volumes?
  2. Partner Role & Profile: Have you clearly defined your partners’ role in the sales cycle? What defines your ideal partner and do they have the proper skill sets for your sales process?
  3. Capacity Planning: Do you have a clear view of the number of channel partners, technical specialists, and sales partners to achieve your objectives?
  4. Partner Value: Can you clearly articulate the value prop of your channel program? Have you tested it?
  5. Partner Recruitment: Do you have a marketing plan to market your channel programs to your ideal partner prospects?
  6. Economic Model: Have you validated the economic model for your partners and channel sales reps?
  7. Product Access & Skills: Do you have product access and affordable training and certifications programs in place?
  8. Marketing Support: Does your channel marketing plan support the latest digital marketing approaches? Do you offer a channel marketing concierge service?
  9. Sales Support: Does your program provide access to technical sales resources to accelerate sales cycle times?
  10. Program Structure & Tools: Do you provide easy access for the channel sellers including support through mobile devices?
  11. Management System: Do you provide dashboards and reporting tools so your partners are able to easily manage the various elements of your relationship?

Download the following eBook on Channel Readiness Assessment to give you some additional ideas and considerations on each of these topics and help guide your efforts in designing a partner program:

channel readiness assessment ebook

Do you have a clear view on the differentiated partner value your channel program needs to deliver?  Are all the elements of your partner program in place, so your channel is ready to deliver?  Has your channel program evolves over time, it is important to step back and ask these questions. 

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Topics: Pereion Solutions, Channel Management, Channel Consulting Services, Channel Marketing, Channel Sales, Channel Readiness, Pereion, Partner Recruitment

Do You Audit The User Experience of Your Channel Partner Program?

Posted by Steven Perry

Tue, Mar 25, 2014 @ 13:03 PM

I am not talking about a financial audit. I am talking about a true partner experience audit.  There are many steps or tasks you need your partners to be able to easily perform. Most of these activities are probably enabled through a partner portal or your website. One of the key goals of any channel partner program is to make it easy for your channel partners to complete the tasks they need to get done. When is the last time you went to your own partner portal, systematically walked through, and tried to do some of the key tasks you need partners to perform? These critical tasks include:

  • Find sales enablement collateral
  • Find specific technical documents
  • Register for and take a class
  • Find material for a customer proposal
  • Request special pricing or find pricing
  • Identify contacts to answer specific questions
  • Identify and customize available marketing collateral
  • File a co-marketing claim
  • Place an order
  • View incentive payment information

You should manage the partner experience of your website or partner portal, just like you manage the customer experience of your company website. It's not uncommon for vendors to focus on how much material they can put out on a partner portal versus how easy it is to use. The process of auditing the partner experience or usability can be very simple and help to improve the quality of your channel partner program.

Try creating a dummy partner account and have someone that is unfamiliar with your partner program and resources sign in and try to accomplish some standard tasks. This should not be limited to interacting with a partner portal; it should be task based and include non-portal based activities where appropriate.

This is a very simple concept, but if you haven't tried it, you may be surprised how hard it is for your partners to navigate your channel program. So give it a try. I would be interested in hearing what you learn! 

 

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Topics: Channel Marketing, Channel Readiness, Partner Enablement

Looking for an Innovative Partner Portal Solution?

Posted by Greg Jackman

Mon, Mar 3, 2014 @ 07:03 AM

Recently, Pereion partnered with a company called Brainshark. If you’re not familiar with them, Brainshark provides you with the ability to create a valuable partner portal to convert your training and sales enablement materials into video presentations, all available on-demand. You’re able to produce and deliver compelling content for your clients and partners by uploading different formats and adding your own narration, giving you a dynamic presentation that partners will be able to share for training purposes.

Brainshark’s main application use cases are:

  1. Channel Partner Sales Enablement
  2. Sales Training
  3. Marketing Presentations
Brainshark Partner Portal

The dynamic, mobile-friendly, cloud-based, voice-enriched business presentations on a partner training portal, like Brainshark, increases retention, simplifies complex partner programs and products offerings, and improves the productivity of your sales, marketing and training programs. One of more significant elements of a parting training portal is that your clients are able to access these presentations anytime, anywhere, with any web-enabled device. You’re able to share critical, up-to-date content via email, newsletter, social media, an existing partner portal, and even embed it directly onto your website. The primary benefits of the partner training portal include:

  • Improved channel partner sales enablement and partner communications
  • Faster and cost efficient partner training and onboarding
  • Mobile optimized and cloud based, readying channel sellers with information on-the-go
  • Share content extending your reach and improving your lead generation and ROI
  • Ability to track viewer behavior, improving communication effectiveness

One of the more valuable features of Brainshark is the ability to track viewers of your content in real-time. This also includes the option of adding surveys, polls or quiz questions after your presentation is completed. With all these viewing details, you’re able to accomplish four important things:

  1. Engage your partners in a conversation
  2. Evaluate which content is resonating with your partners
  3. Align your content with your partners’ needs
  4. Measure the effectiveness of your channel marketing strategies for better decision making and prioritization

With a partner training portal, like Brainshark, you improve your overall channel partner communications and sales enablement.

We welcome you to check out our Pereion Solutions Presentation on myBrainshark, the entry level of Brainshark. This presentation gives you an overview of how our channel consulting and marketing services increases your channel sales through partners. Although posted on myBrainshark, it demonstrates Brainshark’s presentation capability and ability to deliver engaging content that grows your channel. 

If you’d like to discuss your partner sales channel enablement needs with us, please email Steve Perry at slperry@pereion.com. Or to learn more about Brainshark's capabilities, visit their Partner Sales Enablement page or Channel Sales Enablement page.

Please also share this blog using the social media icons above. You can subscribe to the Pereion blog below to receive additional tips on improving your channel marketing plans.

Topics: Pereion Solutions, Channel Management, Channel Marketing, Channel Sales, Partner Enablement, Partner Sales Enablement, Pereion

One Simple Idea to Upgrade Your Channel Marketing and Grow Revenue

Posted by Greg Jackman

Wed, Feb 12, 2014 @ 08:02 AM

We are all very familiar with the idea of hotels providing their guests a concierge service to help plan and improve the quality of their stay. Hotel guests are often not familiar with the city they are staying in, or the hotel just may want to improve the overall guest experience to build customer loyalty; a hotel concierge desk can provide that value. This simple concept applies perfectly to channel marketing. So why not provide your channel partners with a marketing concierge service to help them develop their marketing plans?

Many IT technology solution providers or channel partners are not experts in marketing. Their core skills are usually in specific technology solutions. If you can “upgrade” their marketing experience with your products, you and your partner can generate more leads. In addition, you will create a new level of partner loyalty to sell your products or services. 

Most channel marketing plans have similar types of marketing support that the vendor is providing their partners, such as:

  • Co-marketing funding
  • Joint collateral
  • Email campaign templates
  • Sales enablement material

The idea of a Channel Marketing Concierge Service is to provide a premium service level to your partners to enhance their marketing plans. The first step is to serve as a marketing advisor and help partners to create good marketing plans that include easily customizable and relevant marketing materials. Then, coaching partners through the development of digital marketing plans, including blogging, social media, and digital advertising. Partner programs often provide many of the base elements, but make it difficult due to poor quality interfaces or tools especially when it comes to managing marketing funding or leads. Implementing a Channel Marketing Concierge Service can provide you with some simple and clear benefits:

  • Increased lead generation
  • Increased partner loyalty

Pereion Solutions can help you understand the costs and where the real value is for your partners, by taking a prescriptive approach to evaluate how these services will truly increase lead generation for you and your partners.

If you’d like to discuss your channel marketing requirements with us or to learn more about how you might implement a Channel Marketing Concierge Service, please click below:

Channel Marketing Concierge Service Offering page button2 resized 600

If you have any questions, please send an email to Steve Perry at slperry@pereion.com.

Please also share this blog using the social media icons above. You can also subscribe to the Pereion blog below to receive additional tips on improving your channel marketing plans.

Topics: Channel Management, Channel Consulting Services, Channel Marketing, Channel Sales, Pereion

Channel Readiness Assessment eBook to Increase Channel Sales

Posted by Greg Jackman

Tue, Jan 21, 2014 @ 09:01 AM

What is a Channel Readiness Assessment?

A Channel Readiness Assessment is a methodical approach to evaluate if your partner sales channel is truly ready and enabled to deliver the goals and objectives that you have established. 

When should you use this approach?

You can use this process anytime to evaluate your partner sales channel. However, I would recommend that you use this approach in any one of the following scenarios:

  • Bringing a new product or offering to market

  • Expanding geographically into a new country or region

  • Launching a new or revised channel program

  • The existing partner sales channel is underperforming

What is in the eBook?

The Channel Readiness Assessment eBook is a structured guide that walks you through the key elements of your channel program to identify where you may have “readiness” gaps that are inhibiting, or could inhibit, your channel’s sales performance. The eBook provides you with the tools to ask questions and think through that end-to-end process in each of the areas below.

1. Business Goals & Channel Objectives
2. Partner Role & Profile
3. Capacity Planning
4. Partner Value
5. Partner Recruitment
6. Economic Model
7. Product Access & Skills
8. Marketing Support
9. Sales Support
10. Program Structure & Tools
11. Management System
12. Channel Readiness Assessment Checklist

To download the Channel Readiness Assessment eBook, please click on this eBook icon:

channel readiness assessment ebook

Hopefully you find this eBook useful and use it to assess and analyze your partner sales channel. We would love to get your feedback, so if you’d like to discuss your own channel readiness challenges, or some partner sales channel best practices, please let us know. We welcome the opportunity to speak with you.

If you have any questions, please send an email to Steve Perry at slperry@pereion.com.

Please also share this blog using the social media icons above. You can also subscribe to the Pereion blog below to receive additional tips on improving your channel program performance.

 

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Topics: Pereion Solutions, Channel Management, Channel Consulting Services, Channel Marketing, Channel Sales, Channel Readiness, Inbound Marketing, Pereion

Grow Channel Sales Through Better Partner Account Planning

Posted by Greg Jackman

Tue, Jan 7, 2014 @ 07:01 AM

Does your New Year's resolution include doing a better job of account planning with your channel partners? If not, it should. Partner Account Planning is a great way to improve channel performance, but is often taken for granted. With the beginning of a new year, there's no better time to improve your partner relationships than with a refreshed joint account plan to improve sales performance. So let's discuss how you can improve your channel partner account planning efforts.

 

Why are Partner Account Plans so important?

First off, it is unlikely that your partners will achieve the goals that you need to establish, without a clear and common view of what those goals should be. It is amazing how often companies fail to put at least a simple partner plan in place, to ensure that everyone is chasing the same objectives. Beyond common objectives, the likelihood that revenue goals will be met go up subastantially if both parties commit to a common plan and approach. In addition, the act of building these plans creates a foundation of trust with your partners. This mutual trust is achieved through your joint accountability, knowledge, and collaboration. Listen to your partner's challenges and share your expertise in an open dialog. By collaborating and working within your partner's framework, they will view you and your organization as a reliable ally. You will be able to maximize their potential with custom made business plans and joint action plans. Everyone will be on the same page, setting up the perfect environment to bring success to both parties.  


What are the key elements to your Partner Account Plans?

There are some very basic elements that need to be built into any form of joint Partner Account Plan. Keeping this in mind, the following are the most basic elements that you should include in your partner plans:  

  • Goals
  • Marketing Plan
  • Joint Investment Plan
  • Action Plan

Depending on the size and nature of the relationship you can scale up or scale down requirements of the partner account planning process. If you click on the button below you will be able to download a simple partner account planning checklist, that goes a level deeper in outlining an account plan checklist. This will at least provide you the foundation to customize your own partner account planning template. 

 

Download the Partner Account Planning Checklist

 

What are the primary benefits to creating Partner Account Plans?

A strong partner planning strategy leads to success for both parties. Achieving a joint revenue plan is the most obvious benefit to both parties. That said, the benefits extend beyond that:

  • Setting realistic joint expectations
  • Outline all sales and marketing activities
  • Establish KPI's to track progress
  • Clearly define target market and lead offerings
  • Jumpstart new partners quickly
  • Build an action plan to resolve obstacles in advance

 

Need help building the structured partner account planning process?

We created the Partner Account Planning Checklist above for you to download. This checklist was designed to be a flexible guide, and provide you a resource to get started. We strongly encourage you to customize it for your needs and the needs of your partners. 

The key is not taking the Partner Account Planning process for granted this year. Get the year started on the right foot and kick off the development of the Account Planning process with your partners. If you're interested in discussing how to get started, please send a note to Steve Perry at slperry@pereion.com.

Please subscribe to the Pereion blog below for additional topics on improving channel performance.  

 

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Topics: Pereion Solutions, Channel Management, Channel Marketing, Channel Sales, Channel Readiness, Partner Enablement

Partner Advocacy Marketing: Make It A Two Way Street

Posted by Steven Perry

Mon, Oct 14, 2013 @ 09:10 AM

This past week I had the opportunity to attend a Mass TLC seminar where Advocacy Marketing was discussed. It was a good session and the focus of the seminar was on customer advocacy marketing. It is interesting to consider how to apply advocacy marketing principles to channel marketing and integrate Partner Advocacy marketing into a partner program. 

While advocacy marketing is not new, it is increasingly important and there are signicant opportunities to leverage social media, mobile, and other technologies to take advocacy marketing to a new level. Advocacy marketing can encompass a wide range of approaches from traditional customer references and case studies to finding innovative new ways to engage your customers and encourage or reward them for being digital champions.  

For me the interesting question is how to apply advocacy marketing to channel marketing. The most obvious scenario is leveraging your channel partners as advocates for your products and applying newer advocacy marketing techniques to your partners.  If you market and sell your products through channel partners then you also need to involve those partners in developing and fostering customer advocates. 

Can you extend the principles of advocacy marketing through your channel partners by enabling and rewarding them for creating customer advocates? 

In addition, one of the most valuable ways to reward your partners is to become advocates for your best partners. Again, there are some good techniques that have been around for along time to recognize partners; such as partner recognition awards or events.  But many of your partners may be challenged to create a broader social advocacy program. 

How do you leverage your own organization to create an online or social advocacy for your top channel partners?  

Think about how to apply these advocacy marketing practices to your channel marketing program.  I would encourage you to think about three simple principles to incorporate into your partner program:

  • Reward your partners for being advocates
  • Help and reward your partners to create customer advocates
  • Be an advocate for your top partners

This can be a differentiator for your channel program and a lever to improve your partner value proposition, especially if you can leverage social media tools to create a multiplier advocacy effect out through your partner channel. Advocacy marketing can also help you and your partners generate more leads.  

Thanks to Mass TLC, SiriusDecision, Acquia, Influitive, and Rapid7 for putting together the Customer Advocacy Marketing session this past week, it was a good session.  

If you are interested in discussing how to apply Advocacy Marketing to your channel marketing program, please contact Pereion Solutions by sending an email to Steve Perry at slperry@pereion.com.

 

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Topics: Channel Consulting Services, Channel Marketing, Partner Enablement, Partner Advocacy Marketing

IT Marketeers, you should complete Inbound Marketing Certification!

Posted by Steven Perry

Fri, Apr 26, 2013 @ 14:04 PM

I just completed the HubSpot Inbound Marketing Training and Certification, and I wanted to take this opportunity to encourage you to do the same. If you are a marketeer working for an IT Solution Provider, VAR, Managed Service Provider, ISV or SaaS provider then taking the time to go through the HubSpot Inbound Marketing Certification classes and test is well worth your time.  

Inbound Marketing Certification Regardless, if you or your firm have totally embraced Inbound Marketing as the means to drive lead volumes and conversions; the principles you pick up through the training can be broadly applied. If you have any of the following challenges, then you will get value out of taking the training: 

  • Optimizing your website experience to maximize visits
  • Leveraging blogging to generate leads 
  • Exploiting social media to expand your marketing reach
  • Creating great content your prospect and customers want
  • Utilizing landing pages to convert traffic to leads
  • Perfecting the lead conversion process
  • Optimizing email marketing to improve lead nurturing
  • Creating alignment with your sales team

The HubSpot Inbound Marketing Certification program was just updated and it will help you develop the skills to address these challenges.  In the IT marketplace today, sales teams are being engaged much later in the buying process as clients research potential solutions via the internet long before they talk to a salesperson.  If you aren't getting your company's message in front of your prospects and clients earlier, then you are destined to enter the buying cycle to late.  Inbound Marketing can help!

Plus, the classes and certification are free! 

If you want to learn more about Inbound Marketing before jumping into the Inbound Marketing Certification program, then click on the button below and request a copy of the Guide to Inbound Marketing.  If you are ready to make the jump, then just follow this link to the HubSpot Academy and get started today!  

Feel free to contact me directly by sending an email to slperry@pereion.com, if you would like to discuss this blog post or would like help in getting started with Inbound Marketing.  

 Request Free  Guide to Inbound Marketing

 

 

 

Topics: Pereion Solutions, Channel Marketing, MSP Marketing, Inbound Marketing, Pereion, VAR Marketing

About this blog

This blog provides insight and tips on Customer Experience Analytics, especially in the usage of Acoustic Experience Analytics (Tealeaf) and Acoustic Analytics (CXA) to optimize web and mobile experience.

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