Getting channel partner sales and marketing right can be a challenge.
With the growth of MarTech and business automation solutions, enabling partners and growing revenue can be both easier and complex. However, I’d like to share 3 channel partner enablement trends I think SaaS companies will face this year.
- Channel Conflict
If channel conflict isn’t an issue in your organization, you aren’t selling enough. Channel conflict can be found in many forms. Some are mild, others are actually positive, while some conflicts can undermine the partner’s objectives. High-risk conflicts are typically found when your company is selling the same services or products that you enable your partners to sell. This can lead to a deterioration of the partnership and channel economics. However, solutions which enable partners to register deals are growing in popularity to protect deals for channel partners. The implementation and training on these tools will be a strong trend SaaS companies will see in 2017.
- Stronger Joint Marketing Efforts
MarTech has brought the ability for companies to track their marketing efforts with much more insight than the past. For the channel partner team this means partners can join marketing efforts with absolute transparency using systems to track efforts from end to end. The result of joint marketing efforts is conversion of more sales and access to more leads between partners than ever before. We will see the trend of companies coming together to close more deals in 2017.
- Enhanced Partner Collaboration
At the core of every great channel partner program is strong collaboration which builds trust. In 2017 channel partner managers will see tools which drive transparency and collaboration to help partners close more deals. I recently saw an example of this where we can use webinar polls to gather better business intelligence to help sales follow-up with prospects who attended. The sharing of information between partners creates a clear uptick in sales.
Channel partner sales and marketing is all about working with strategic partners to grow each other’s revenue. While there are many moving parts and I expect to see several trends, I find it hard to argue that these aren’t going to be the top 3 problems channel partner managers solve as the result of today’s technology.
Ben brings more than 20 years of experience in business development and marketing in the SaaS and financial services space. Over the last several years he has built strong partner marketing eco-systems that drive revenue growth and brand equity. Ben is also adjunct faculty where he teaches business and marketing classes on occasion. He resides in Idaho where he enjoys golf and world class fly-fishing.