Given the subscription economy trend in manufacturing, and the dependence manufacturers have on partners to drive revenue, there is an increased pressure to focus on relationship selling. Most manufacturers depend on channel partners for 20% to 100% of their sales volume. And the emphasis on relationships extends beyond the sale and into partner journey. You must engage throughout the journey.
Below are 6 best practices to drive channel partner engagement.
- Better leverage product registrations. Manufacturers and channel partners want to capture information about their customer to better develop the customer relationship. This information can also allow manufacturers to deliver or receive incentives. It's important that you work with your channel partners to collect this data. To collect this information, and deliver additional value, you should consider automating a product registration campaign.
- Automate welcome campaigns to your channel partners. The objective of a partner welcome campaign is to drive channel engagement through nurturing and onboarding. The campaign should leverage educational content, product launches, and other manufacturer driven marketing initiatives. Incorporate satisfaction surveys into your campaign to better understand the effectiveness of your channel partner program. The campaign journey and content delivery should be determined by the engagement of each contact.
- Introduce an advocacy program. Advocacy programs, like those supported by Influitive, allow you to identify existing channel advocates, enhance relationships, obtain feedback on products and services, and identify future opportunities. Consider incorporating an advocacy program into your partner marketing strategy. You could even have a program specifically for end users, and one specifically for channel partners
- Deliver content based on partner behavior. Manufacturers understand that the best way to engage with their partners is by providing useful content. Content can include blogs, technical documentation, photographs, instructional videos, and customer testimonials. It's necessary for a company to understand their brand message, and develop and share content that aligns with that message. But even a content library brimming with innovation is useless if the content is not delivered to the right person, at the right time in their journey. Allow the Digital Body Language of the partner to dictate which content they receive, and when. Dell perfected their customer experience using this best practice and increased click through rates 3X.
- Use analytics as a barometer for existing engagement, and as a tool for uncovering new engagement opportunities. In order to enhance revenue and profit, Manufacturers must uncover new opportunities through contact acquisition and targeted promotions. Identify trends in content effectiveness, partner success, and geographic opportunity. Include engagement data into your persona development. Use this analytic output to guide your decision making. This information can also be used when deciding how to convert unknown visitors, where to invest with channel partners, and what products provide the greatest opportunity for revenue.
- Enable your channel. Become easier to do business with externally. Provide sales tools that allow your partners to deliver timely and relevant communications. Develop scoring models that focus partner efforts where they're needed most. Create 2-way transparency so partners can identify revenue opportunities and respond to the needs of the user, and so you can better understand the return on your partner investments.
By implementing these engagement best practices into your channel partner strategies you can feel confident that your partners will engage throughout the journey and your funnel will remain full.