Better Partner Experiences Increase Dealer Productivity
by Bill Rose, on Dec, 2, 2019
Partners play a key role in shaping the customer experience. But partner experiences must go way beyond deal registration if your organization wants to see more successful customer experiences. One of Forrester’s predictions for 2020 is that Partner experience value will grow to match customer experience value.
Quite often, we treat our channels like second-class citizens because they don’t “work” for us. They’re not employees but business entities with their own objectives, priorities and sales processes. So, we create programs we think are worthwhile and distribute them to partners, hoping they’ll thrive on their own.
At the rate of change in your marketplace, this is unlikely to happen. Many of your partners are tight on resources and time and keep doing what’s gotten them where they are today. Change comes slowly under these circumstances.
However, your end customers are changing in many ways. If you’re having trouble keeping up with those changes at your much larger organizations, multiply that stress level for your partners.
If you want to truly impact the performance of your partner programs, it’s time to evolve the quality of their experience with your company. Improved experiences lead to increased motivation and productivity.
It’s imperative to transform partner experiences if you want:
- More depth in portfolio sell through
- Stronger product launches
- Higher customer lifetime value (CLV)
- Consistent topline growth
In the white paper, Six Best Practices to Empower Your Dealer and Distributor Networks, the third best practice focused on presenting a unified message and the potential of consistent messaging to increase revenues by 23% on average. In this post, you’ll find additional depth on how to help your dealer and distributor networks achieve this best practice with intelligent sales tools.
Depth in Analytics Identifies Opportunities and Gaps
One of the biggest challenges facing channel marketers is a lack of visibility into the customer-related activities of their partners. Once a deal is registered or a lead is routed it’s difficult to track lead disposition from that point forward.
To gain the advantages listed above, channel marketers must rethink their partner programs with an eye to gaining mindshare through better experiences that engage partners in proactively selling more of your products.
But to do this, you need insight. The insight that comes from analytics that identifies what’s going on, what’s working, and what’s not for the deals in each dealer’s or distributor’s pipeline.
Dealer Activity Analysis: With a mobile-first Sales Hub, channel marketers can assign leads and monitor both sales rep and buyer activity to gauge deal progress—as well as stalls.
Buyer Engagement Metrics: Every time a buyer engages with content that’s been shared with them by a dealer or distributor sales rep from your Sales Hub, they receive an alert about that activity enabling them to respond quickly, and on point.
Sales Content Usage: You can also monitor which content is being used most often and which is not being used at all. This gives you tremendous insight into where to apply resources to create new content that performs or to optimize sales content that’s not performing as well.
Custom Reporting: Pull reports by dealer, territory, or overall, to measure levels of activity within your channel pipeline. You can also pull reports based on content associated with specific products to help you monitor new product launches or market velocity. With a variety of filters to choose from, you’ll now have more visibility than ever before.
It’s an imperative to analyze activity to discern how productive it is. If you see a lot of activity but a stagnant pipeline, you’ll be able to identify the gaps and opportunities to improve flow and shorten sales cycles.
Unify Content to Unify Messaging
A Sales Hub with a single content repository for your indirect sales reps and external customer-facing content means that every dealer and distributor will be using the same messaging and content to engage customers. You’ll no longer be worried that a presentation deck or product brochure saved to a rep’s laptop three years ago is driving conversations in the wrong direction.
Whenever a content asset, promotion or training is updated, the content is loaded once and synced across all the dealer and distributor hubs that have access to it. It will be automatically tagged using the power of AI to ensure that it’s easily findable whether your dealers search for SKU #, product name, feature, and more. And, it’ll be displayed in the “what’s new” area of the Sales Hub to keep sales reps apprised of what’s changed and what’s new so they can spend more of their time focused on selling.
You can also choose to send push notifications via SMS text message or What’s Ap, as well as email notifications, improving the odds that your partners will see this information as soon as it becomes available.
Certification and Compliance Payoff
It’s one thing to provide your dealer and distributor network with a comprehensive content library. It’s quite another to have them decipher that content into a unified message that supports your brand.
Microlearning is a way to provide bite-sized video training that teaches dealer sales reps what they need to know just-in-time. Rather than comprehensive training that teaches everything at once—just in case—Microlearning teaches them what they need to know as they prepare for conversations about a specific product, feature or benefit so they can put that information to use in the moment it’s needed.
You can use modern just-in-time training to certify your dealers on your products, prepare for product launches, and stay in compliance if you’re working in a regulated industry. And, you’ll be able to pull reports that show how each dealers’ reps are making progress, so your territory managers know where to spend their time providing assistance and hands-on guidance.
Training your dealer and distributor networks on messaging is the fastest way to get everyone on the same page with a unified message that supports your brand—whether the selling is happening with direct or indirect reps. That just-in-time learning has retention rates that far outrank other training methods makes it easier for both of you to improve skills without interrupting selling.
A Unified Message Increases Win Rates
Research conducted by Carmen Simon of Memzy finds that people will forget 90% of the message that they hear. The challenge is to ensure that the 10% they remember is the 10% you want them to remember. The 10% that makes the biggest impact on buying. According to Carmen, “When everyone in the same room remembers the same message, customers can make faster decisions.” This is because the need to deconflict information is removed.
Using a Sales Hub to strengthen and unify your brand and product message consistency across your dealer and distributor networks will help your customers tie the message they hear to the source they hear it from (your dealers and distributors). This memory will help to sway buying decisions in favor of your products and help your dealer and distributor networks become more productive as a result.
For an added boost to dealer productivity, it’s important to gain the mindshare of your partners. Download the white paper below to make sure your channel enablement strategy is not an afterthought.