Innovating For Impact In Channel Sales

Innovating For Impact In Channel Sales | ChannelEdge Ep. 2

  • July 12, 2018

Lisa Penn is the Sr. Director of Global Indirect Partners at SAP and has been working in the partner community for many years, having started her career a partner herself. Her take on the partner perspective is real and raw: “Partners will do what gives them the most comfort and gives them the most results until they are forced to a point where they can’t do it any longer.”

This way of approaching their businesses creates a significant challenge in the era of digital transformation. Some partners may not be in enough pain yet to notice it, but their patterned and familiar ways are just not going to continue to net results as more and more customer buyer journeys are happening digitally and without any direct contact with the partner.

“The best way to have a partner understand digital transformation,” says Lisa, “is to have them think about their own actions.”By encouraging partners to think like their prospects, it becomes easier for them to understand the perspective of their would-be buyers, whether in B2B or B2C spaces. “There is also a partner type out there that understands the world is changing around them, but they need help understanding that world.”

Innovating for Impact, Be Prescriptive

With many partners, marketing is likely the last thing on their mind, so it’s essential that your marketing support be simple to implement, clear and prescriptive. Different partners will have different needs, proficiencies and resources, so it’s okay if your program is tiered (e.g. a good, better, best framework) and it’s okay if the partners don’t follow every single step. It’s your work to make sure you define each step and the likely desirable outcomes that would result. If they feel strongly about their autonomy or they need to be more tactically selective due to budgetary or other constraints, that’s fine but make sure that you are offering data that demonstrate how each tactic will support a portion of their business goals.

Identify and Overcome

An important aspect of the prescriptive approach is to make sure you are showing a very realistic pathway for your partners to follow and that you understand there may be obstacles or roadblocks along the way. This means helping them to understand what the challenges may be along the way, including those they may face within their own organizations. Highlighting potential speed bumps in advance makes them less likely to disrupt your partners as they work through your program and if they’ve anticipated the issue and are pre-armed with a solution, the challenge will have less impact to the partner’s resolve in executing the work.

Help Them Understand The Results

Partner personnel, especially non-marketers simply can’t get funded again if they can’t demonstrate outcomes. In many partner organizations, marketing is not an ongoing focus within the enterprise, and so when there is an opportunity for specialized and focused attention on marketing, it’s important that the partner can articulate whether or not the effort was worthwhile. Part of being prescriptive means making sure that you effectively communicate not only the pieces they need to have in place to get the results but also how to interpret and report against their marketing outcomes.

LISTEN TO THE ENTIRE CONVERSATION NOW:

If you’ve got ideas for future shows, want to connect us with an exciting guest or send questions or comments in on the podcast, please free to email us at ChannelEdge@360insights.com

Also, if you enjoy the show please do share it with your colleagues and remember to subscribe using whatever your favourite podcast platform is: iTunes, Stitcher Radio, Google Play or Spotify.

Join the Discussion

Have something to add to this topic?

How does observation and listening propel insights and social selling? Listen in to the latest #ChannelEdge podcast as Michael Brito explains this and more.

Check it out here: https://okt.to/7cg8wf

#newnarrative #socialselling #socialbusiness #datascience #podcast

Have you ever heard of the world’s first T-Shirt Bakery? Sure you have, its Johnny Cupcakes. Listen in to this week’s episode of the #ChannelEdge podcast as our guest @JohnnyCupcakes shares his #branding story with host @StevenKellam6

https://okt.to/xAiFzs

#BrandStrategy

Meet January, Finance Lead.
 
We’ve introduced January as a part of our #dreamteam over on Facebook, check it out: https://okt.to/avxVmJ
 
#employeespotlight #careers #bestworkplaces

The latest #ChannelEdge podcast features @GabrielCarrejo as he explains how he leverages social media to build relationships vs transactions and how that has benefitted him.
 
Check it out here: https://okt.to/F4ieB6
 
#newnarrative #socialselling #socialbusiness #datascience

Inspiring presentation from @travisdutka at @360insights! 👏

How do we strategize to engage employees at a high growth firm and leverage technologies to help manage the workforce? It's worth us RETHINKING!🤔

@BDO_Canada #RethinkConference

Load More...

What do you believe is the channel’s biggest challenge today?

Upcoming Channel Events

Are we missing an event? Tell us about it.

Channel Partners
May 4-7, 2020
VIRTUAL EVENT
SiriusDecisions
September 8-11, 2020
LAS VEGAS, NV
Channel Focus
Nov 17-19, 2020
NEWPORT BEACH, CA
360insights Relevance
Postponed
NEW ORLEANS, LA