How can partners apply Inbound Sales and Inbound Marketing to grow in the channel? Can you share some of the best practices you have implemented at HubSpot?
This is going to sound silly, but the absolute best partners, are the best students first. If they’re going to partner with us, they need to understand what inbound marketing and selling is. They’re awesome students, they get certified, they take our sales training. It shows the partners’ commitment to how serious they are to working with us, and it enables to all speak the same language.
The best partners do three or four things on a really consistent basis. They create content on a regular basis. Literally the easiest way to create content is to answer the questions your prospects are asking. Every single time you write a blog post to answer those questions, it gives you another opportunity to get found. The second is that, when these partners are starting to generate more website traffic, and generate leads, the best partners actually contact those people. We’re getting all of this data, and messages etc, but we’re not calling them. Why aren’t you calling them? The good partners proactively engage. The best partners, they understand what a marketing funnel looks like.
You wrote an article recently called, “How We’ve Started Building HubSpot’s Second Channel Sales Program.” In the article you said something that really stuck with me, you said “add value to Partners first and worry about extracting value later.” Can you elaborate on that?
Well, I’ll tell you I didn’t come up with that myself — it’s directly from our CEO Brian Halligan. It was directly from his keynote speech at our INBOUND conference last year. He said one of the big trends of 2017 that he advised every CEO, every sales leader, every marketing leader in the world was that you have to add value first and worry about extracting it later. That is the new equation that we’re all dealing with and anything that is contrary to that is going to be left in the dust.
Where do you see the future of partner programs going? What are you most excited about for the upcoming decades of sales and marketing in the partner world?
The businesses that provide a disproportionate amount of value to their partners first, and really treat them as an extension of their own team, will win and have richer, more thriving networks. The future of partner programs is going to look much more like a B2C relationship than a B2B relationship. Partners are people, and I think that what we’re seeing, is that we are all living today in this on-demand economy. In our personal lives, the on-demand economy is right in our face. When it’s so easy to get whatever you want in your personal life, and then it’s so difficult to get what you want in your business life… there’s a disconnect.
To learn more about adding value to your partners, channel best practices, identifying good partners from the start and more tune in to episode 34 of The Allbound Podcast.
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Want to hear more? Subscribe on iTunes. Also available through Google Play. The Allbound Podcast explores the evolving fundamentals of partner-based selling in the SaaS and subscription economy. Featuring some of the industry’s brightest minds in channel sales and marketing, episodes of The Allbound Podcast delve into how and why indirect sales and marketing has long been, and continues to be, a proven medium for accelerating growth and success. And how traditional “channel” models are being transformed into efficient, connected ecosystems to supercharge sales and drive customer success while keeping costs low. Subscribe on iTunes