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The Power of Getting to Know Your Lower Tier Partners Better

Over the past 10 years I have worked and still work with many channel focussed technology vendors. Most if not all vendors understand their top tier partners very well but conversely know very little about their lower tier partners. Personally I think they might be missing a trick. In order to achieve significant, meaningful growth vendors operating in a mature market need a long reach and to achieve that they need a motivated, loyal and active ‘wider base’ of partners. Unless a vendor knows its lower tier well enough identifying their future stars is like finding a needle in a haystack. Here are some questions I think vendors should know the answers to for all of their partners, both big and [currently] small:

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Ulrike

Ulrike

Account Director

Posted November 30, 2012 by admin & filed under Channel.

3 Important Trends in the Telemarketing Area

There are really 3 major trends in the Telemarketing world at the moment: 1. Greater focus on ROI: IT vendors [i.e. our customers] have become more & more ROI focussed when looking at the value of all forms of marketing, including telemarketing. This trend started 4-5 years ago but has gained momentum over the past few years. What’s exciting now is that vendors are beginning to look much more carefully at spend prior to a lead being generated, and what happens beyond a lead being handed over, and quite rightly so. All elements of the marketing mix & the chosen sales channel [whether direct or indirect] need to be scrutinised to understand where waste occurs and where opportunity for refinement still exists. Looking at the process end to end is where the real savings can be established.

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Andy Rutherford

Andy Rutherford

Global Sales Director

Posted November 13, 2012 by admin & filed under Industry Insights.

Extending Your Reach to Lower Tier Partners

When it comes to deciding which channel partners you’re going to engage with directly, who is it that decides the selection criteria and what percentage of partners get left to self-service or distributor resources? This is a tricky call to get right. Partner Marketing budgets are often restricted and therefore rarely stretch further than the top to middle partner tier. But isn't the real question, can you afford not to invest time and money into engaging and motivating all levels of partner? Are we missing the point with those partners who are currently buying low volumes but might be tomorrow’s stars? In my experience vendors tend to be very good at servicing the top and middle tiers, but leave the lower tier partners reliant on their web tools and the relationship with the distributor. I now see both sides clearly, having worked for the vendor and for the partner....

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Teri

Teri

Outsourced Channel Manager

Posted November 09, 2012 by admin & filed under Channel.

Lower Tier Channel Engagement, Nobody Said it’s Easy!

Getting lower tier channel engagement right isn't easy; here are some of the top challenges that we think vendors face today: 1. Partner marketing funds, in whatever form a vendor chooses to distribute them in don’t stretch to lower tier partners, particularly those that aren't doing very much revenue today. How do you develop partners without funds? 2. The wider base tends to be pretty wide by nature and with a high number of lower yield partners to engage with even spending a little time per partner gets expensive. How do you go about building an ROI case in today’s budget restricted world? Execs are looking for 12 month returns not 3 year investments. 3. Partners [even lower tier ones] are supposed to be excited about doing business with you [the vendor]. They signed up, they agreed to the terms, yet they don’t use any of the marketing collateral you develop for them, they don’t use the tool and they don’t follow through on the activities they said they would....

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Tags: Channel Management, EIMS, Lead Generation, Partner Marketing

Tim Smith

Tim Smith

Managing Director, Global HQ

Posted November 08, 2012 by admin & filed under Channel.

Can Vendors Afford Not to Build Relationships With Their Lower Tier Partners?

In today’s budget restricted world Channel Execs are faced with a tough problem to solve - ‘How do I cost effectively engage with all of my partners, not just the top and middle tiers?’ The received wisdom is often to focus the most effort on the top tier of partners [fair enough], at least do something with the middle tier [like partner packages, partner marketing as a service], and accept that you can’t afford to tackle the lower tier with anything more than e-mail broadcasts of the vendor’s latest promotions plus access to some online tools. It’s a safe strategy in the short term, and if done well it most likely will deliver a return, but will it grow your market share significantly? Will it achieve the big picture goals? Will it make you number one in your market? Or give you the revenue spread that you desire? Here are a couple of quick ‘industry knowns’ that we’ve picked up on that suggest that a ‘standard’ channel strategy might not deliver anything other than disappointing results, if you have ambitions to grow your wider base:

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Tags: Channel Management, Channel Recruitment, Channel Sales, Inside Sales, Lead Generation

Tim Smith

Tim Smith

Managing Director, Global HQ

Posted November 06, 2012 by admin & filed under Channel.