Instant Insights Help Dealers Drive Partner Performance
by Bill Rose, on Nov, 4, 2019
A high-performing partner program requires formality, intention and proactive support. In other words, you need a structured way to manage and support your dealer and distributor network. CSO Insights research finds that less than a third of organizations reported excelling at channel program management.
Technology and communication are two areas that contribute to the overall performance of partner programs. Sharing information and transferring knowledge contribute greatly to the ability of your partners to attain revenue goals.
In the white paper, Six Best Practices to Empower Your Dealer and Distributor Networks, the first best practice discussed is the ability to share information instantly. In this post, you’ll find additional depth on how to achieve this best practice with intelligent sales tools.
In addition to instant access to content and the ability to share it during face-to-face meetings, even when offline, the intelligent selling tools in a sales hub use insights to boost your dealer and distributor sales performance.
Combine Communications and Technology for the Win
The same CSO Research found organizations that make sure their partners have the insights they need to be successful see 19% more of their partners making goal. Additionally, those that used technology successfully with partners scored 24% higher in partners making goal than those that did not.
Sales enablement technology that provides tools used to enhance and speed different forms of communications contribute in the following ways:
Just-in-Time Learning Your Partners Can Use in the Moment
You provide training and coaching to your direct sales team, so why would you shortchange your indirect selling team by expecting them to train themselves? Yet, Forrester research finds that only 48% of organizations provide the same level of tools and training to their dealer and distributor networks as they provide to their direct sales teams.
It’s time to close the gap.
Microlearning enables channel marketers to provide short, easy to ingest, learning modules to their dealers and distributors that can be accessed on demand. This means that in a matter of minutes, your dealers’ sales reps can get up to speed on a new product or functionality at just the time they need to use that information in a conversation with a customer. Research has also found that training in short bursts with information that’s used immediately results in higher retention.
If you’ve been wondering why your dealers stick to selling the tried and true products in your portfolio, rather than selling products new to market, it’s because they tend to sell what they know. Microlearning can help you expand the depth of knowledge they need to broaden their sales approach. As they do so, their relationships with customers become stronger resulting in higher customer lifetime value—and more partners reaching quota.
In-Person Assessments Help Drive Customer Intent
For many manufacturers, dealer reps are meeting face-to-face with customers on the job site, factory floor, farm or in other remote locations. Your portfolio contains an array of products, parts, and solutions that may be a fit, based on both current needs and forward-looking plans.
An assessment tool that allows the rep to identify the product that will best meet the customer’s needs and requirements in that moment will help the rep win both trust and the business. Reps without these tools who must return to the office to find the information, then drive back to the site later to answer their customers’ questions will lose momentum with the sale.
Not only does this increase the cost of sale for the dealer, but it can frustrate the customer and cause their certainty in buying the product to waiver. Even worse, a competitor’s rep could show up with the information needed in hand and win the deal while your dealer’s rep is searching for answers.
Effective mobile sales enablement tools are not just about having the product specs and brochure at hand but can help you show the impact the product could bring to help customers be successful in reaching their goals. The ability to instantly send a PDF of the assessment to the customer puts that data in their hands instantly to help them build confidence in their choice.
Interactive Content Validates Assumptions
Let’s say your dealer’s rep has taken a customer through an assessment and matched their requirements to a specific machine. Now the customer has questions about the machine – what his visibility will be from the cab, or how a certain new feature their old machine doesn’t have will work.
With virtual product tours, the rep can show the customer visually the answers to their questions. He will be able to see himself sitting in the cab of the machine and gain a visual understanding of how the feature he asked about works, where it’s located, and other details that might be difficult to process if the rep were just describing it with words.
The sales rep can also instantly send a link to the virtual product tour so the customer can look at all the features and attributes on their own. Having the information discussed in hand will reinforce the conversation held with the rep and help them decide to move forward with the purchase.
Sharing Insights Instantly Creates Collaborative Buying
The ability to share insights helps level the field for the buyer by helping to build understanding during the sales conversation. Understanding leads to collaboration, which ultimately leads to higher win rates.
This is because when buyer and seller understand each other more clearly and the exchange is transparent, trust increases. Just-in-time learning, in-person assessments, and interactive content are three tools that enable your dealer and distributor networks to sell more, more often.