In my previous post, I wrote about the benefits of a channel sales strategy for vendors, both traditional independent software vendors and software-as-as-service (SaaS) providers. Incorporating an indirect channel strategy increases exposure to a large number of channel partners, but that exposure doesn’t guarantee partners will actively sell a vendor’s products or sell them effectively.
Partners need enablement and enabling your channel means supplying them with sales and marketing materials to ensure they sell your products to the best of their ability. But to get the most out of going indirect, vendors need to activate partners in a way that removes any barriers to accessing enablement materials.
Creating a better vendor portal experience
Partners often spend hours looking through multiple vendor portals gathering the information they need to sell new products effectively. In fact, channel sales teams spend up to 40% of their time sifting through vendor content, according to Qotient. The reason? Inconsistency. Partners visit various vendor portals and get a completely different experience in each one. One portal might have a sales guide that’s 10 pages long, another might have a two-page guide and the next may have no sales guide at all.
Sales collateral on vendor portals also pose branding dilemmas for partners who want co-branded materials. Channel partners often don’t use the vendor-branded sales sheets provided because they want to include their own branding when presenting new solutions to customers, so they can be viewed as experts.
According to research firm SiriusDecisions, less than 25% of channel partners regularly use vendor portals. With such low adoption, vendors have a hard time maintaining consistent messaging and branding across partners.
Overcoming the status quo
Partners often decide it’s easier to continue selling the current products in their portfolio because adding new products can demand a huge amount of time. First, they have to learn about the new product, and then create new sales and marketing assets to sell it effectively.
Learning about new products and developing these resources in-house means partners face a trade-off decision: Should I spend time researching and onboarding new products to my portfolio or continue selling the products I’m comfortable with?
Given the time constraints for making sales goals, partners will typically do the latter and maintain the status quo. To spur them into selling new products, vendors need to make it easier. Until partners can easily learn about new products and have access to customizable sales and marketing resources, they’ll take the path of least resistance and continue to sell the products they already have in their portfolio.
Go-to-Market Automation is the solution
To solve for partner challenges, Ingram Micro Cloud created Go-to-Market (GTM) Automation—the fusion of through-channel marketing automation with sales automation. It’s designed to help channel partners automate their GTM activities for the products and services they’re selling from Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace. It also helps vendors programmatically create and update their GTM content in one place, so it can be leveraged by our large network of channel partners.
Within Ingram Micro Cloud Connect, vendors can access the Go-to-Market Builder module to efficiently activate partners with standardized sales materials, such as sales sheets and sales guides, and digital marketing campaigns, including prebuilt emails and landing pages.
Numbering 55,000 strong, our channel partner network can then access this content in our Go-to-Market Hub to easily discover, promote and sell new vendor products. This allows the vendors we partner with to focus more of their time on developing and refining their products. At the same time, channel partners have the resources to grow their revenue and accelerate their time to market without having to invest in their own programs.
To learn how easy it is to connect to the world’s largest channel ecosystem, visit Ingram Micro Cloud Connect.