If you are an industrial manufacturer that sells through dealers, distributors or indirect reps, you likely end each week (or day) with unanswered questions.
→ Are our channel partners using the right sales collateral to sell our products?
→ Are our dealers and distributors using our sales content the right way?
→ Do our partners have access to the most updated content? Do they know how to find it?
→ Which sales content is generating the most leads—and winning the most deals?
It’s the age-old channel selling conundrum. You rely on outside partners—indirect sellers, dealers, and distributors—to deliver your brand’s messages in your absence. You’re rarely in the room which leaves you in the dark on content and partner effectiveness.
But this dynamic is changing thanks to simple sales platforms that are designed for channel marketing and sales. Today’s platforms help manufacturers enable their channel partners more effectively, distributing relevant content to the right partner, and knowing what’s working and what’s not.
Here are the top four ways that industrial manufacturers are driving channel sales success with a modern sales platform:
1. Engaging Channel Partners
Selling through channel partners is all about engagement. The more that manufacturers engage their dealers, distributors, and partner reps, the more the seller can have meaningful conversations with prospects.
Channel sales platforms make it easy for industrial manufacturers to distribute the right content to each channel partner. And they provide easy ways for channel partners to consume that content, whether it’s a brochure, sell sheet, sales presentation, or product-demo video.
These platforms help manufacturers deliver impactful coaching, transfer brand knowledge, and consistently align marketing programs and messaging. When you engage with your channel partners, they engage with your content—and use it to drive more sales.
Win, win, right?
2. Activating Go-to-Market Programs
One of the greatest challenges of selling through indirect reps is that you’re not the only partner. Dealers, distributors, and partner reps, by definition, carry other products manufactured by other companies. They have wide product portfolios. And often, a wide array of headaches.
At any given moment, a channel partner might be focused on one territory, one class of prospects, or one line of products. Persuading them to focus on just one manufacturer and one line of products has always been a challenge. And when a channel partner’s priorities and goals don’t align with those of a manufacturer, the manufacturer usually loses.
Channel enablement platforms increase program uptake with just-in-time learning modules, go-to-market programs, product rollout resources, and other resources that help dealers, distributors, and manufacturer’s reps quickly gain confidence selling a manufacturer’s products during a special marketing push or new product line launch.
3. Improving Channel Partner Performance
According to research conducted by Forrester, organizations that provide sales enablement platforms to channel partners help them become 2.3X more effective at achieving their sales goals. How can this be quantified? Because channel sales platforms allow organizations to measure performance.
Channel enablement platforms give manufacturers insights based on data. A manufacturer’s territory manager can then use these insights to prioritize efforts to the dealers and distributors that need them. Measurable data tells manufacturers which products dealers focus on. And it helps them put programs in place that capitalize on the interests of the end-users in each region.
4. Giving Channel Partners what they Need
Most channel partners want manufacturers to give them the tools to do their job and to then get out of the way. If that doesn’t happen, partners struggle to sell. One of the major complaints that channel partners have is that manufacturers supply content that is either out of date, hard to find, difficult to use in front of a buyer, unavailable offline, hard to understand...or all of the above.
A simple channel sales platform should be designed to boost channel performance, helping industrial manufacturers overcome this challenge by making content easy to find and use.
The best platforms offer channel partners what they say they want, namely:
- Content that is available offline (Wi-Fi networks at industrial sites are notoriously unreliable).
- Content that is available on any device: desktop, laptop, tablet, phone.
- Content that is grouped by territory, product line, language, etc., making it easy to search for and find.
- Alerts, notifications, and other telematics that help channel partners monitor equipment, orders, service calls, and more.
Digital sales rooms offer an interface channel partners can use to collaborate and engage with prospects.
Let’s Modernize Your Channel Sales Strategy
Yes, channel partners are self-starters. But industrial manufacturers must supply the fuel. If you want to drive more sales, start with engaging your dealers, distributors, and indirect reps. Engage with them via a digital platform that helps you distribute content, activate programs, and improve performance. Your channel partners will thank you for it.
Ready to get started? We’re here to help. Let’s chat about your channel sales strategy and make it more effective to help you drive revenue.