Inbound Channel Partner Marketing for B2B Companies

partner marketing software Scaleo

Channel partner marketing – what do you already know, what can you learn to improve your business? Times have changed, and today’s generation of buyers is wary of traditional advertising. Companies need to find new strategies to grow their business and attract new customers as marketing evolves. This is where the creation of a channel partner marketing program comes into play.

Apple and Google; GoPro and Red Bull: brands around the world are already making a splash with brand partnerships.

Read on to learn how inbound marketing can help you partner with brands and grow your channel partners.

What Does a Channel Partner Marketing Program Entail?

A channel partner marketing program is a commercial technique involving two companies forming an alliance. Partners are encouraged to market the other company’s products, services, or innovations while staying autonomous.

A successful partner program provides the following advantages:

  1. Increased Revenue: Partner programs provide a win-win situation for all involved. Businesses that participate in partner programs see a significant increase in product or service sales.
  2. Build Trust: Having your brand sponsored by a well-known and trustworthy partner in your sector helps boost your brand’s visibility. Your alliance with them will naturally increase the credibility and trustworthiness of your goods in the eyes of your customers.
  3. Expanded Network: Each unique collaboration establishes its own relationship. When a brand joins forces with another firm, they join forces with that company’s users and partners, expanding its network as a result.
  4. Rapid Testing: Channel partner programs allow you to try out new consumer demographics, promotions, products, and marketing campaigns in a low-risk setting.

So, how might inbound marketing assist you in creating a channel partner program and attracting excellent participants? This article will teach you the following:

  • Key mindsets required for inbound marketers to create a successful partner program
  • Which actions should you take while developing your channel strategy?
  • How to employ inbound marketing methods to promote your program.
  • What to look for when calculating the ROI of your partner program.

Let’s get this party started.

Tips for a Successful Channel Partner Marketing Program

Put yourself in your channel partners’ shoes.

Your channel partner aims to provide clients with a comprehensive solution to their difficulties. This entails having product or service information easily available so that they may do their duties efficiently.

What educational assistance would you provide to your representatives in order for them to successfully advertise your product?

Be easy to do business with

Ask yourself:

  1. Is your partner’s marketing program easy to follow?
  2. Is it easy to gain access to pricing, information, and technical support?

Meet with your partner reps and ask them how they intend to engage with your organization to acquire answers to these questions. Make certain that your content is easily accessible, actionable, and available on demand.

Get to know your own sales process.

Before you can educate others on how to advertise your product, you must first learn how to sell it.

Define the key stages of your buyer’s journey, the average length of a closed sale, and your clients’ buying triggers before beginning your partner program.

Understand your value proposition

Partners want to work with companies whose services provide long-term financial benefits.

How will your product or service assist other firms in meeting their objectives, lowering their cost per sale, and increasing revenue?

So.. how to outline your channel strategy?

Choose the Type of Channel Partner to Work with

There are a few things to think about when selecting networking partners.

To begin with, why are you developing a channel partner marketing program? What are your objectives? It is critical to have well-defined goals when selecting a spouse.

Take into account the following factors:

  • Their market: Consider whether their customer base might benefit from your product or service before selecting a partner. Is their target audience a good fit in terms of demographics and size? Is your product able to deliver extra features and solutions that your partner is unable to supply at this time?
  • Strategic alignment: The business plan of your partner must be compatible with yours. There should be a natural moment in their sales process when they can promote your product or service.
  • Marketing experience: What marketing experience and skills does your partner have? Depending on their level of experience, you may need to invest time and resources in training them before you collaborate.
  • Synergic product lines: Do their product lines work well with yours? Will you allow your partner to offer other products, or will you only sell yours?

Define Which Products You Want to Sell

To create the ideal partner program, you must first pick which product or service you will advertise. Here are 3 questions to ask yourself before choosing the best product:

  • Which product complements the present services of the potential partner and produces more revenue for them? Examine what is going on in your market. 
  • What kind of product is already popular in your industry? When developing a relationship with a potential partner, make sure to emphasize all of the advantages of the product you’re offering.
  • Which product will help your partner’s customer base the most? 
  • Which goods do you advertise that are most relevant to your partner’s present audience? 
  • How can you meet the needs of their current consumers while also gaining new business for their company?
  • What level of skill is required for each product? 

To ensure that your partners quickly become acquainted with your product, it may be best to sell products that are simple to understand. If promoting a product necessitates extensive training and comprehension, it may be best to let it go.

Choose an Operating Model for Your Program

There are numerous operational models from which to choose depending on your channel partner program goals. Here are the four primary types of thinking:

  • VAR (Value-Added Reseller): A business that buys a product, adds value by adding new features to the original product, and then sells the new offering to its customer base.
  • ISV (Independent Software Vendor): A company that creates and sells software solutions. Salesforce AppExchange and HubSpot Connect are two examples of this.
  • Strategic Alliance: Is an agreement between 2 or more companies to pursue a common set of goals while remaining autonomous.
  • System Integrators: Businesses that buy individual hardware and software components from various vendors and combine them into a single customized solution for the client.

Uber’s strategic alliance with Spotify is an excellent illustration of a successful operating strategy. How does it function? While waiting for their Uber journey, consumers can log in to Spotify and select whatever playlist they want to listen to during the trip.

Both companies benefit from the approach because it improves the user experience and attracts more people. (Source).

After you’ve finished building your program, you’ll need to start looking for possible partners—but don’t skip the research and planning stage. Need assistance creating a channel partner program that corresponds with your company objectives? 

Please contact us. 

Scaleo is a strategic partner marketing software that can assist you in developing a program tailored to your specific needs.

Do you already have a channel partner program in place? Then it’s time to move on and begin marketing it!

Inbound marketing tactics are the most effective technique to recruit new channel partners. Crafting valuable, relevant material for your audience while leveraging social media can raise awareness for your program, resulting in the recruitment of new partners.

Top Inbound Channel Partner Marketing Strategies For More Potential Partners.

Before reaching out on social media, create personas for your ideal match. Partner personas let you choose whether people are worth partnering with.

Now that you’ve developed your partner persona, it’s time to reach out to possible mates. Make sure you can properly explain how your solution can help them obtain new customers, increase revenue, and diversify their offerings.

Before starting to reach out to potential partners on social media, ask yourself the following questions:

  • How would working with you assist their company?
  • How can your items assist them in expanding their business and consumer base?
  • What advantages do your product or service providers have that your competitors do not?

You can utilize social media to start a relationship with possible partners before reaching out to them. This can involve things like following their blog posts, enjoying or sharing them, and leaving smart comments whenever feasible.

Webinars

Education-based webinars deliver information that helps the audience answer a need or problem.

Webinars are an excellent way to attract new channel partners while also establishing your credibility in the industry. The capacity to contact many individuals worldwide at once with no overhead is a big benefit of webinars.

Do you need a webinar topic? Why not incorporate success stories from partners and customers? These might demonstrate how your product has benefited a consumer while also supporting the partner in income generation.

Newsletters

A monthly message highlighting feature enhancements and recent client success is an excellent method to entice partners to join your channel network. Newsletters allow you to show off your company’s personality, customize your message to existing clients, and drive traffic to your partner program’s landing page.

eBooks

People are increasingly reading books on their iPads and smartphones. An eBook published on your website is an excellent approach to advertising your channel partner program.

Self-published eBooks, which may be developed and distributed for free, allow you to showcase your authority on a subject for a longer period of time than a standard blog post. Here are some ideas for promoting your eBook:

  • Put the eBook up on your corporate blog.
  • Make it a point to promote it on your social media platforms.
  • Send it to folks who have subscribed to your newsletter.
  • Send it as a free gift with a customer’s purchase.

Case Studies

Case studies emphasize a customer’s requirement or problem and illustrate how your company solved it. This gives potential partners a sneak peek into how your channel partner program might benefit them. Successful case studies typically have the following elements:

  • Challenges + How You Contributed: Case studies include detailed information on the obstacles and problems that your clients had, as well as how your partner program solved them. Including what the customer has tried in the past, as well as what sets your product apart from the competition.
  • Client Quotes: Quotes from clients who have used your product or service are frequently included in case studies. Client testimonials provide social proof to your partners, indicating that they are making the proper decision.
  • Measurable Stats: Nothing beats numbers when it comes to persuasion. Make sure to include relevant statistics in your study to demonstrate the effectiveness of your program.
  • Call-To-Action (CTA): Finish your case study with a few phrases about your product or service. The final paragraph should entice partners to call your company or enroll in your program.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is a popular method for strengthening a brand’s engagement with current/previous clients or acquiring new customers. It can also be utilized to reach out to specific people in your business in order to raise awareness about your channel partner program. Email marketing must be effective if the following criteria are met:

  • Valuable: Partners aren’t interested in your firm or program; they want to hear how you can help them solve their problems. Concentrate on sharing relevant content that will resonate with them.
  • Relevant: Make sure your database has been segmented based on demographics and activity to guarantee you’re sending the correct message to the right person at the right time.
  • Expected: Maintain regular communication to ensure that your email is expected. Analyze your subscribers’ behavior and send your pitch when they are most likely to expect it.
  • Email marketing: works best when it is integrated with the rest of your marketing efforts. When it comes to getting statistics on how well your email marketing initiatives are going, integrating email with other data technologies is ideal.

Measure Your Channel Partner Program ROI

Do you want to know how successful you are? Here are the key metrics to consider when calculating your return on investment (ROI):

Channel Sales Recruitment Metrics

  • Total Partner Count: How many partners have you been able to recruit in the last month or quarter?
  • Attainment of Recruitment Quotas: How far or close are you to meeting your recruitment objectives?
  • The Cost of Recruiting New Partners: How much money do you need to invest in acquiring new partners?
  • Percentage of Partners Attracted Through a Channel: For example, webinars generate 45% of revenue, email marketing generates 30%, and referrals generate 25%.

Channel Sales Success Metrics

  • Average Revenue Generated Per Partner: The first step in enhancing your sales engagement is to track the revenue generated by your partners.
  • Average Partner Contentment: Monitoring your partners’ satisfaction is a solid indicator that your product is working.
  • % of Partners Who Completed the Training: What % of your partners completed the training you provided?
  • Sales Cycle Length on Average: How long does it take your sales representatives to close a sale?

Channel Sales Profitability Metrics

  • Channel Retention Rate: Keeping track of the percentage of people who have ceased selling your items is critical for staying on top of the situation.
  • Program Expense to Money: How much revenue do you generate overall relative to the cost of your program?
  • Average Profit Margin: How much profit do you make on average from the sale of your product?
  • Partner Multi tier Revenue Growth Rate: This demonstrates how partners are expanding across various product lines and can assist you in making effective resource allocation decisions.

Conclusion

Today you learned how to get started with inbound marketing to grow your channel partner marketing program. Are you ready to dominate your channel partner marketing campaign?

Using the techniques described above, you can create a working partner program that excites your team, attracts top-notch partners, and sets you apart from the competition.

scaleo

Need help building your channel partner program or adding an affiliate partner program? Then contact us! We will work with you to maximize the effectiveness of these marketing methods and develop a partner marketing program that will get you more business and sales.

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Elizabeth Sramek
Elizabeth is a Senior Content Manager at Scaleo. Currently enjoying the life in Prague and sharing professional affiliate marketing tips. She's been in the online marketing business since 2006 and gladly shares all her insights and ideas on this blog.
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