At the recent MarketingSherpa B2B Summit, I was honored to be named Lead Gen Apprentice for my innovative solutions to three common business problems. This is the second part of a three-part series in which I elaborate on each problem and my proposed solution. While the dollar amounts and company details may not exactly match your specific scenario, the strategies and tactics outlined here should prove useful for addressing these common challenges.
The business problem: A networking solutions company is trying to deliver more leads to its partner community. The partners do very little of their own prospecting, and most of their leads come through regional referrals or from the company’s corporate site. The company’s partner event is in two months, and the CEO wants to show an increased number of leads being delivered to partners. The budget: $100,000.
A partner road show will foster relationships between your partners and your local sales reps and re-excite your partners about the services and products your company offers. Let your sales reps sit in a room and watch your partners present their offerings. By bringing your partners and reps together they’ll gain a greater understanding of the value the other brings, increasing alignment and ultimately driving revenue.
In addition to the road shows, reward your sales team for their partner sales efforts. Announce an incentive program for your sales reps and provide awards when they introduce a partner to leads—for example, each time a deal is closed, they’re rewarded with a small prize.
This will be beneficial for partners for several reasons—PPC ads and search will allow people to quickly find the type of partner product or service they’re seeking and, more importantly, it will show your partners how much you value them by spending ad budget on them. It also provides extra real estate for your partners on the company page and essentially serves as advertising exposure.
Give each partner its own subpage for more detailed information. Finally, consider highlighting a “Partner of the Month” each month.
The partner portal also gives you the ability to grow your partner channel with a “Become a Partner” option on the tab.
Consider naming the top 20 partners based on revenue and including them in the VIP Club. As a benefit of being a part of the club, your company can provide paid advertising on a site like LinkedIn for a specified length of time. The advertising can be filtered by region and type of service or solution. Most importantly, spending ad dollars on the VIPs will show that you are committed to them. It may even be a new and original idea that your VIPs hadn’t thought of previously.
This will reintroduce your existing customer base to your partners. Place contacts in a program based on their appropriate region and include pertinent pieces of value, such as partner overview demos and videos or how-to guides, and highlight a different partner in each communication.
Also, consider creating a partner-focused nurture program where you're nurturing partners versus nurturing leads. Remind your partners of the benefits of your partner program and the capabilities of your products and services. This will reignite the enthusiasm in your partnership and help deliver leads to both parties.
1) Blog: “Solving Common B2B Problems, Part 1: Issues with People Registering for a Webinar”