At Allbound we’re more than just a software company. We’re a team of passionate individuals working together to change the way sales and marketing is accomplished in the channel. Our sales and marketing leader is #AllStar Jen Spencer, Allbound’s community-loving, straight-talking, standard bearer of authenticity whose passion for transparency and true partnership is flat-out contagious.
It seems everyone working here at Allbound — especially those on the leadership team — have extensive experience working for companies with channel partners. How does your past experience help guide you in your role as director of sales and marketing at Allbound?
So, before I came to work for Allbound, I used to work for a company where I was responsible for overseeing all of the marketing that we did — mostly for direct. We had all of these sales reps who were trying to sell a product. Now interestingly enough, 80% of our revenue for the company came from our channel partners.
Whoa. That’s a lot huge chunk of your annual revenue. What did marketing collaboration look like between your team and your partners?
They (our partners) would come bringing us flash drives and would say please, put on this flash drive whatever you possibly can so I can take it back to my team so I can be more informed so I can sell better.
That just doesn’t seem to be an effective use of anyone’s time.
Yes, well we were trying so hard to scrape together different tools and utilities to be successful but none of them really ended up working, and we would have been so much more effective if we would have had a product like Allbound.
In your opinion, what makes a good partnership?
When we think about the best partnerships, they have a sort of symbiotic relationship. There’s something that I’m putting into it and I’m going to get from it, and that the partner’s going to put into it and get from it as well.
You’ve written before about the importance of knowledge transfer, both from supplier to reseller, and from reseller to supplier. Why is this so important?
Your partners, they are the people who are your feet on the street, who are working with your customers every day. They have that great institutional knowledge that they’re getting, and that needs to be shared up to the supplier. Ultimately, that’s just going to make for a better experience for that common customer — and that’s really what it’s all about.
Let’s actually talk about customers for a minute. What role does the customer play in today’s sales process?
Today’s customer has higher expectations than ever for what that sales rep is going to know and what that sales rep’s going to be able to do help them along the way. Far too often we’re finding that sales reps aren’t prepared to meet the needs of those customers.
Can you give me an example of something that today’s customer expects?
Sure. How can you make sure that a customer – or a potential customer – has access to the right piece of information, at the right stage of their journey, at the right time, and even available on the right device? It’s a really tall order.
It sure is — or at least, it can be, if you don’t have the right information and the right tools. I guess have an innovative tool is critical in meeting those elevated customer expectations, right?
Exactly. At Allbound we’re here trying to revolutionize a very laggard industry and really help our customers be more successful.
What else excites you about what a partner sales rep can do within the Allbound platform?
One of the things that we try to do within our software platform is provide the opportunity for a sales rep to not only be better informed through training and engagement opportunities, but also to be able to share relevant content with their potential customers very simply and and very effectively.
So many people are talking about content marketing, and you’ve referenced a number of ways Allbound works to provide partners with access to content. Why is good content so important to Allbound?
We want to be seen as thought leaders in our space, and that’s the same goal we have for our customers — and that’s the same goal we have for our customers’ partners who are the people who are interacting with those end users on a day to day basis.
What’s your end goal here with Allbound?
Well, we’re really trying to start a movement in revolutionizing the way that sales and marketing is accomplished through partners and through the channel.
I like that — “start a movement.” That phrase is full of passion.
We really believe in this. We really believe in what we’re doing. We’re very passionate about it. I don’t think you’ll find another group of people who are more passionate about channel sales and marketing than the AllStars that work here at Allbound.