Listen to Make Them Famous’s 55 minute deep dive on the Digital Agency Partner Persona to find out more about this persona and how your agency can leverage partnerships to generate growth.
3 Takeaways we got from the Podcast
You might be able to easily convert your existing relationships into partnerships. Building out these relationships can give you and your partner reciprocity and mutual wins.
Be flexible with your partnerships. Companies may change their tech stack, their value and more. Don’t be afraid to reevaluate your relationships.
Maintain partnerships even if you can’t offer your partner’s product at the moment. You never know which one of your clients will need a particular product and maintaining those relationships with those partners will make it easier to recommend them to the clients who need them.
Recently on The Partnered Podcast, host Adam Michalski and guests Jared Fuller and Justin Bartels gave some insights into the future of B2B marketing and partnerships.
Listen to the PartnerUp Episode
They spoke about the tectonic shift in forming partnerships. Businesses must develop the proper techniques and understand the vital role that partnerships play in the overall success of their venture.
In the podcast, the importance of the Partnership Funnel was discussed. It was suggested that there should be some strategy in how a business find partners, handle onboarding, activate, and maintain their partnerships.
Another key takeaway is that businesses that understand the partnership ecosystem will be more successful in creating their partnership team, rallying the entire staff, and boosting their overall revenue. There is a lot of untapped partnership potential, and xAmplify supports the futuristic approach of helping companies to realize their partnership potential.
Most businesses that work with channel partners enter the relationship to grow revenue. The desire is that each partner will generate leads and deals from their current clients and connections. The hope is that partners will actively market to grow the number of deals beyond their current connections. In reality, not every partner is able to achieve these expectations. In fact, only 20% of partners generate 80% of channel revenue.
There’s a reason for this — The Pareto Principle. It says 80% of results come from 20% of the effort. This rule applies to partnerships, too.
Most companies will sit back and accept this as their reality. In our experience, we see underlying problems that keep partnerships from breaking through this barrier.
Most partners lack a clear sales process to be able to sell your product or service.
Your product or service needs to fit into the partner’s marketing capabilities.
You have limited bandwidth to support partners equally.
What makes a successful partnership
Partnerships are successful when they align with both companies’ goals. In most businesses, success is measured by revenue. When you’re looking to create successful partnerships, consider these factors:
Trust levels: First, you must trust the business with which you’re partnering to do the right thing for you and themselves.
Willingness to communicate: Partnerships require easy, consistent communication to keep teams apprised of the latest company developments and direction. Treating partners as an extension of your team is a great way to think about the level of communication needed.
Follow-through: Any company can say they’ll do what you need. Look for those who can demonstrate their effectiveness at coming through for their partners. Partners will focus on the companies that are giving them mind share.
That seems easy. Why can’t more than 20% of partners contribute more revenue again?
If you follow the success factors from the previous section, then every partnership can be successful. If your company is small with a handful of partners, then you can easily manage. If you have hundreds or thousands of partners, on the other hand, execution is really hard.
As mentioned earlier, companies with partner or channel marketing and sales teams have more requests from partners than they can ideally manage. You end up focusing on the top-performing partners and making sure they have a clear understanding of sales and market development processes.
Partners do not sell your product or service exclusively. They tend to focus on what is easiest to sell. If they don’t get the right information or collateral at the right time, they will move on to the next company.
Partners need to know how to sell to their current customers, and they also need help to fill their pipeline. The companies that can fill their pipeline become invaluable because it helps them grow. This can be challenging.
How do we overcome this and engage all our partners?
To overcome the Pareto Principle and engage more than 20% of your partners the right way, you need to make sales enablement and marketing programs scalable across all partners. Here are a few things to keep in mind while you develop or revamp your partner program:
Make life simple for partners. Use a PRM to communicate and share information. Ideally, choose one that uses automation to co-brand marketing collateral and make things easy for them to share.
Fill your partner’s pipeline. Provide complete lead generation marketing programs they can implement easily. Provide funding to support their marketing programs.
Help them close. Share leads so they feel you have a vested interest in their success and enable their sales team to close deals and sales efforts. Measure everything: Data will give you insights on which partners need more help. It also shows you which marketing collateral and campaigns are working and which need addressing. Get attribution to make sure you reward partners correctly for generating leads and deals.
Make it easy for yourself. Use a platform to scale these items for each partner. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck with the 80/20 rule.
xAmplify replaces friction with automation to help partnerships scale marketing automation and sales enablement across all your partners — not just 20% of the most active. To see how xAmplify can improve and amplify all your partner relationships, request a demo.
Channel software tech solutions are used by companies to engage and grow partnerships as well as enable them to generate revenue. This tech stack helps companies attract, onboard, develop, enable, incent, co-sell with, manage, and measure partners. Forrester has released its Channel Software Tech Stack for 2021, and the message is clear: channel solutions are evolving rapidly.
As Forrester noted, the worldwide health crisis of 2020 inspired innovation in nearly every part of doing business, including how channel marketing works in a distributed, high-touch environment. Forrester’s research can be found here. Gone are the days when spreadsheets and person-to-person knowledge transfer were sound practices. Many tech companies capitalized on this digital transformation.
xAmplify’s suite of products already fits this model using “through-channel marketing automation” (TCMA). However, TCMA is just one way xAmplify works for you.
Channel marketers can enjoy the benefits of xAmplify for any aspect of their partner channel:
Partner Relationship Management
Partner Sales Enablement and Demand Generation
Tech Alliance and Ecosystem Marketing
xAmplify Purposely Designed
xAmplify’s solution is purposely designed to take the friction out of how companies and partners work together. With decades of experience as channel partners and value-added resellers, we bring unique insights into the problems experienced with many PRMs and partner portals. xAmplify was built from the ground up to eliminate common co-marketing challenges and facilitate the main goal for both companies and partners, revenue growth.
xAmplify Cloud & API Based Integration
xAmplify’s cloud and API-based integrated solution is what drives customer success. We focus on adding value for both businesses and partners. Faster setup with native integrations for channel programs means easier, scalable solutions. From the native Salesforce deal registration to 3-click campaign launch for partners, here are just a few ways xAmplify continues to stand out among the growing marketplace:
Fast setup: xAmplify gets your account and integrations set up in a matter of hours instead of weeks.
Native integrations: Deal registration connects to Salesforce without any custom development.
3-click campaign launch with automatic co-branding: Partners easily launch co-branded campaigns without much effort.
Integrated SPAM, GDPR, and CCPA Compliance: xAmplify maintains the latest privacy and data handling compliance as well as SPAM check to ensure your brand reputation is maintained.
Even with a growing ecosystem, a fundamental aspect of successful partnerships is providing an excellent experience with companies. xAmplify was designed with this in mind. xAmplify lets you provide your partners with access to a host of digital campaign marketing tools all in one place. From emails to videos, landing pages to online events – partners can co-brand and redistribute campaigns with a mere 3 clicks.
Build Your Ecosystem Today
Ready to take your partner channel to the next level? Consider a consultation with our growth experts so we can understand the current state of your channel program. Let us show you how you can customize the xAmplify platform to fit your unique channel needs and deliver the best partner experience to grow revenue.
The Channel Software Tech Stack for 2020 was published this week by Forrester Analyst, Jay McBain. We thought it would be a good time to explain our positioning in the market due to the sheer number of channel software tech solutions out there. xAmplify is pleased to be included in the TCMA category. Through-channel marketing automation is our primary technology classification; however, our platform accomplishes many different things for channel programs.
Channel marketers can enjoy the benefits of many solutions in one platform with xAmplify:
-Through-Channel Marketing Automation
-Partner Relationship Management
-Partner Enablement & Demand Gen
-Distribution of Co-branded Assets
-Tech Alliance and Ecosystem Marketing
-Launchpad to connect your learning modules, channel incentive programs, and more.
xAmplify Deployment and Integration
Our deployment and integration strategies are what drive our success. As shown in the Forrester report, we are the youngest SaaS provider in the TCMA space. Because we have the latest in technology development, our deployment and integration capabilities leapfrog that of our competitors.
Quicker deployment for Channel Programs
-Provision an account for immediate use in less than an hour
-Leverage single sign-on for streamlined access
-Easily integrated with your CRM to accomplish lead and deal registration
-Add partners in seconds for faster go-to-market
-Partners quickly launch campaigns in a few clicks
All of the accelerated deployment and integration process rolls up into our Rapid G2M solution. The idea is to provide a simple, yet powerful interface that doesn’t require additional enablement from internal headcount or outside agencies. All partners can quickly launch a vendor campaign without assistance. That allows channel teams to be more strategic and remove many repetitive tasks from their daily workload. More partners executing at one time results in faster growth quarter over quarter.
Integration for all of your Channel Needs, Not Just CRM
Many channel leaders look for solutions that can quickly and easily integrate with CRM, but our integration efforts go far beyond that. Integration with CRM makes your deal reg simple. In our standard solution, your current deal reg form will immediately be available in xAmplify. Along with that, you can repurpose your content from your other existing marketing platforms. Your partners will not need to locate branding guidelines because you have brand governance by partner type over all of your assets.
We would like you to consider a consultation with our growth experts so we can understand the successes and challenges of your channel program. We can show you how to customize the platform around your unique channel needs and deliver automation for many different workflows with your partners. Our automation will help ease demand, enable more partners, and drive revenue to new levels.
Industry is undergoing a huge change. A new era of business is being ushered in for supply chain management, with the adoption of industry 4.0 applications. These applications have the metrics insight to change the game when it comes to channel sales inventory, eradicating “just-in-case” warehouse supply and letting “just-in-time” inventory rule. Less waste, stable pricing and more profit.
The first companies to embrace this change and adopt this shifting technology will be the winners of tomorrow. They’re the ones using today’s cloud technology and software automation to communicate and forecast across inventory, manufacturing, and distribution. They’re the ones shrinking inventory margins and making optimization and streamlined corporate behavior necessary.
Just-in-case inventory is used by manufacturing companies that lack the ability to accurately forecast sales. They have to determine how much product they need to meet demand with the projections they have, which are based on incomplete data, economic patterns, or industry predictions. In other words, these numbers are estimates at best. Furthermore, they do not account for the demand of through-channel marketing, which results in indirect sales. A company that is unable to accurately forecast sales generated via channel marketing ends up producing this just-in-case inventory. This surplus results in wasted resources and warehousing space, and erodes the value of current inventory with the inevitable need to move that surplus product.
Alternatively, a company able to accurately forecast by leveraging comprehensive, through-channel metrics allows their business operation and supply chain to become one well-oiled machine. This results in producing far more just-in-time inventory. Just-in-time inventory is the most optimal position for a company. Before automation, IoT, AI, and data management applications, just-in-time inventory was almost impossible to achieve at the enterprise level. Today, just-in-time inventory is possible for all companies no matter their size, as long as the right metrics tool is in place.
The TCMA solution to your “just-in-case” supply
To put it simply, when the supply chain knows where both direct and indirect sales are coming from, they will know how much to supply. How can one get that kind of information? TCMA.
Supply chain teams with an optimal tech stack leveraging true automation can close the gap on just-in-case inventory by capturing comprehensive, through-channel data. And with the industry 4.0 era, there are TCMA software platforms with metrics features that not only track partner opens and redistribution of marketing materials, but also track and collect data on downstream customers. This indirect sales activity can be harnessed further upstream with the right visibility.
More accurate channel sales attribution, more profit
Furthermore, the fact that leads, opportunities, and deals are properly attributed with trackable data also resolves channel conflict across the board. With no channel conflict, companies know exactly where sales are coming from and what volume to expect. These supply chain companies will eventually incorporate revolutionary TCMA tools like xAmplify into their product management to accurately forecast supply and save billions of dollars they would otherwise waste on surplus. Change is constant, and innovation is key.
With the use of a full force TCMA platform, supply chain companies can see immediate snapshots of the health, inventory, and up-to-date manufacturing and production issues. Having insight will help streamline shipping and warehousing, resulting in the most optimal inventory outcomes on a day-to-day basis. The companies that are most efficient will have an inherent competitive advantage over their competition.