When resourced correctly, your channel partners can help you build brand potency. What is brand potency?It’s a strong concept that I took away from a recent marketing event where a presenter described it as a brand attribute that goes beyond awareness or even advocacy. Potency is power, and it implies moving to action.
Throughout my career I’ve learned that success isn’t dictated by the answers you have, but by the answers you’re willing to seek out. If you aren’t the kind of person who actively seeks answers in support of progress, you probably aren’t part of the “our people are our best asset” claims I’ve literally heard every company I’ve worked with during my marketing tenure cite as a core brand attribute. To be a valuable contributor of an organization requires being a knowledge seeker, an engaged learner, and an informed decision-maker.
Your best partners, just like your best employees, are those individuals who are actively engaged with your brand in order to best serve their customers and prospects. While your content marketing programs now shoulder responsibility for the largest portion of your buyers’ journeys, it’s not atypical for companies in B2B markets to still rely on their channel partners for the largest portion of their annual revenue. And, while Amazon NOW has made it easy for us to get consumer goods delivered within hours of purchase, most B2B transactions still end with a handshake and an agreement between your partners and their prospects.
As the literal face of your brand to a large number of your end-users, it’s critical for you to make sure those ‘boots on the ground’ partner sales reps are equipped with the information they need to be successful. Your channel sales partners are the product solution experts who seek out information and the answers needed to guide their customers on how to best apply your products and services to yield maximum benefit.
You have a fair expectation that your partners will be proactive and take the necessary steps to be informed and knowledgeable about your products. They have a fair expectation you will give them an easy way to access information and get answers to questions – whenever and wherever they are interacting with their target purchasers.
When those mutual expectations are met, your partners become a potent way to amplify your brand and increase your pipeline activity.