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Just like hiring a new salesperson doesn’t guarantee revenue, a growing channel partner program doesn’t automatically mean higher profitability. The channel manager must audit and optimize all elements of the program, including the partner pipeline of potential customers.
Follow the steps below to successfully track, understand, and grow your partners’ pipelines to achieve greater revenue.
A PRM Helps You Balance Lead Management and Sales Prospecting
Balancing lead management with effective sales prospecting can be a challenge for a channel program of any size, and keeping your pipeline filled with qualified prospects is only half of the challenge. Adding a partner layer to the equation creates more complexity, as you’re tasked with keeping your partners’ pipelines full as well.
Allbound includes several features that help keep both of these pipelines humming while enabling effective stewardship of prospects from beginning to end. The benefits of working with a PRM include:
- Create co-branded content with ease.
- Loop in your existing marketing automation.
- Keep tabs on your leads without losing focus on your prospecting efforts.
- Make content distribution and prospecting simpler and more effective.
PRM enables the precise measurement of your channel program. Set benchmarks and compare your performance against other industry leaders to generate powerful motivators.
You and your partners can track leads and deals using our intuitive interface. You’ll get a comprehensive view of your sales process, gain valuable insights from our deep reporting system, and find it easy to keep tabs on all of your current pipeline prospects. Whether you and your partners need a broad view or you need to dig into the details, Allbound has you covered.
Invest in Upper-Funnel Lead Generation for Partners
Help partners build their pipelines with exciting promotional materials to co-brand and launch joint-marketing initiatives. Examples include:
- Case studies
- Joint how-to videos
- Co-hosting webinars
- Banner ads
- Industry data and co-authored studies
- Guest posts
- Email campaigns
- Press releases and generated articles
- Co-hosted happy hours
- Partner pages with great design and thoughtful messaging
To further boost the visibility of such resources, endow partners with marketing development funds they can put towards online or offline promotion.
Empower Your Partners to Share Their Pipeline
Your partners are responsible for selling your products. But they can’t succeed if you don’t first empower them with the tools and content they need to do their jobs. Before PRM software, this process could be painfully time-consuming and often ineffective. Allbound has automated much of the heavy lifting, allowing you to put your focus where it can do the most good.
Allbound automates the creation and deployment of effective playbooks so you can grant partners access to the deal-specific sales enablement material they need without the delay and labor of manual requests.
Channel partners can design personalized prospect pages. These private landing pages allow channel reps to communicate with individual prospects and track the prospect’s engagement with supplied content.
Failing to empower your partners to extend their pipelines can result in inaccurate commissions and revenues. Who has time for that? It’s up to you to provide your partners with the tools to successfully market your products. That’s why it’s essential to enhance your partner practices and pipeline with your PRM tools.
Nurture Leads at All Stages of the Sales Cycle
While your customer relationship management (CRM) software may provide some visibility into the lead management process, your PRM tools should integrate with your CRM to provide a holistic view of the entire pipeline. Our PRM integrates all of your tools in one location. You can cross-pollinate your CRM with our PRM to create powerful synergies that simplify sales prospecting.
Partner relationship management tools implement lead nurturing efforts at all sales cycle stages and provide appropriate information to all managers and teams to track progress.
Your partners are given access to invaluable guidance, coaching, gamification, incentives, and training at each stage, all within the Allbound application.
Leverage Data From Your PRM to Better Understand Your Partner Pipeline
Knowledge is power, so make sure that you make the most of the data at your fingertips. Use your PRM to assess essential partner program KPIs, including your lead generation, conversion rate, and content engagement for individual types of partners. By studying how the various metrics relate to one another, you can find what factors may lead to partner pipeline drop-offs.
For instance, let us say that the number of deal registrations from financial services companies is on par with those of other industries, but few move beyond the sales demo. This may mean that the guidance you provide to partners in your playbooks may not apply to this particular audience.
On the other hand, if you struggle to have leads enter your partners’ pipelines, this could reflect the substandard quality of partners, lack of training, or underwhelming incentives.
By understanding your partner pipeline strengths and weaknesses, you can strategically focus your energy and pivot tactics as needed.
Optimize Your Sales Cycle for Overall Pipeline Improvement
A company buying a product or service naturally takes a long time considering these factors: budgets, multiple stakeholders to consult, and unrelated business goals with which you compete. Not only can the slower timeline lead to buyer enthusiasm waning, but it can discourage partners from continuing to sell on your behalf.
- Create sales playbooks that inform partners about the ideal time in which to follow-up
- Set your PRM to notify partners when to follow up
- Identify the decision-makers within organizations so partners can speak to them sooner rather than later
- Work with Direct and Partner sales representatives to pinpoint the most common questions and concerns, and then craft materials that address these points
- Make your pricing transparent so partners won’t waste significant time on leads that may not be willing to spend for your services
- Equip partners with relevant customer testimonials to convey your products’ credibility
- Use a PRM with prospect pages that centralize all file-sharing to prevent assets from being buried under a mountain of emails.
- Invest in brand awareness tactics, as customers are more likely to jump on board with a company they have familiarity with (and potentially perceive as an authority).
Other Tips for Growing and Managing Your Partner Pipeline
- Talk with your partners about the perceived quality of the leads in their individual pipelines. This can lead to fruitful tactical conversations and help you more accurately predict revenue.
- Define both your ideal customer and ideal partner. The former will help partners understand which types of prospects they should not pursue; the latter prevents your brand from misrepresenting the wrong representatives. In turn, your pipelines’ contents will have leads worth your time rather than a clutter of “dead-ends.”
- Find a PRM tool that visualizes partner pipelines at the individual, group, and program levels. You will need to share this information with partners and leadership alike, and having ready-to-go representations of each will ultimately save you time.
Invest in your Partner Pipeline With Allbound
It’s never too late to invest in your channel sales program. With Allbound, you’ll have access to the tools you need to develop a successful channel program and empower your partners to win. For a demo of the Allbound software package, give us a call, or click here.