BlogChannel Intelligence

The 3 pillars to increase channel success

7 min read By November 15, 2021 No Comments

In our previous blog about Defining Channel Intelligence we demonstrated how outdated, traditional methods are causing a race to the bottom. How going forward, we need to stop assuming and start knowing, using Channel Intelligence to provide us with actionable insights. And we briefly touched on the three pillars of Channel Intelligence: Campaign Collaboration, Partner Performance, and Market Insights.

In this article, we will further explain how these three pillars will help boost your end-user demand, drive predictable and scalable revenue growth, and get raving partners.

Goodbye hassle, hello Campaign Collaboration

Partner portals have replaced flyers and product catalogs. Emails have replaced personal one-on-one communication. Online stores have all but replaced physical ones.

We have been transitioning to an almost entirely online buying experience for the past few decades. Today, 80% of the buyer journey takes place online. But somehow, channel management seems to be stuck in the past. Using traditional methods to try and reach their modern partners and ultimately end-users. Digital sales and marketing require a different (digital) go-to-market approach from vendors and partners.

Create scalable, demand-generating go-to-market strategies

  • True automation

Forget logging into partner portals and other manual handlings required by partners. Campaign Collaboration gives channel teams the power to launch fully-automated end-user campaigns and uncover actionable insights by connecting their systems to the Channel Intelligence platform.

Intelligent connections give channel managers an overview of opportunities generated by their partners. Then it’s up to you as a team how to follow up. Having access to improved insights allows channel teams to create campaigns that resonate with their target audience and their segment.

  • Opt-out instead of opt-in

Your team has probably made countless attempts to get partners to share your marketing messages. Incentives to post. Automation tools that only require a click of a button. Beautiful, comprehensive partner portals. And still, participation is mediocre at best.

It’s because each of these methods requires manual handling and proactive action from your partners. With an opt-out strategy, vendors set up campaigns for all partners at once, then automatically push the content through their partners’ marketing channels. No manual handlings for the partner. No follow-ups for the vendor.

  • Go-to-markets in days instead of months

We often see that between vendors and partners, launches take an unnecessarily long time.
So how did Logitech achieve a 9x faster go-to-market using campaign intelligence? They automated the process for their partners. Once the campaign was crafted, assets were uploaded into the Channel Intelligence platform, partners were informed at least 48 hours in advance, and it was time to lift off!

Where a product launch would take months before, now the entire process was done within mere days.

Over 60 data points to evaluate Partner Performance

Traditional channel management manages partners based on a handful of data points: revenue, certified employees, sales-out lists. But does this really show how committed and active your partners are? Are your brand ambassadors still campaigning on your behalf? And which partners deserve some extra attention from you?

Know your partners to generate scalable, predictable revenue growth

  • Get proactive data

Partner portals are great if your partners proactively put in the time and effort to sign in and retrieve what they need. Unfortunately, most portals don’t log whether a partner has signed in, downloaded information, etc.

With Partner Performance, you do get an overview of what your partners are doing. Which campaigns are they running? Which social connections have they made? Are they true brand ambassadors? Knowing this helps you determine where to focus your attention.

  • CRM integration

Asking partners to log their leads in your partner portal may not seem like a big ask, but if you imagine they need to do this for each of their vendors, it suddenly becomes clear that their admin load is way too high.

Partner Performance creates a direct connection between your systems and the systems of your partner. This means that a lead logged into one CRM, automatically shows up in the other. Automated data exchange means a single source of truth. And talking about the same information makes for much quicker decisions. Allowing you to adapt to the market as changes happen.

  • Closing the feedback loop with your partners

You rely on partners to be your brand ambassadors, promoting your products to potential customers. So you instruct, offer great promotional materials, incentives even. But unless you’re keeping excellent tabs on them, how do you know whether your partners like your products? And whether they are really promoting you?

Partner Performance incorporates monthly NPS feedback and encourages partners to give feedback on active campaigns too. Allowing vendors to adjust where necessary. The better their experience, the more active and engaged your partners will be. And happy partnerships mean higher revenue.

Focus your channel marketing efforts using Market Insights

In traditional channel management, vendors only really speak to their partners. We never had a great picture of our end-users. And that means we were out of touch with the market. Because how can you really anticipate the wants and needs of your market, if you don’t know what that market looks like? Time to be innovative, instead of reactive.

Know your end-user network to create propositions that resonate

  • Know your end-user

Before Market Insights, how did you know who your end-users were? Were they based on an ideal customer? A target account? And how did you know what resonated with them? Chances are, you were working based on gut feeling.

Gut feeling is important, but it doesn’t help you prove what works and what doesn’t. What does? An overview that shows what kind of messages, what type of content, and which propositions work based on real-time data, like CTRs, CPC, and overall sentiment.

  • Know what your partners’ network looks like

Once you have an overview of what kind of content works to promote your business, it’s all about crafting specific propositions that will resonate. For this to work, you’ll need to know what industries your target audience is located in, what company size they work for, what roles are your buyers in?

Knowing your audience means you can create a portfolio that anticipates their needs. It will allow you to focus on innovation instead of being purely reactive.

  • Target efficiently

Once you know your end-users and your partner network, it’s time to target your propositions more efficiently. Spend your channel marketing budget where it will make an impact.
Say you assumed your best customers were in Education in the US, but Market Insights showed they are actually in Healthcare in Northern Europe, which will take a whole new type of messaging.

Create a scalable, predictable go-to-market machine

In article one we saw that Channel Intelligence is helping channel teams transition from traditional channel management tactics to an intelligent way to run demand generation campaigns. This article really dove into the three pillars of Channel Intelligence and how they will help you:

Reduce repetitive tasks: so that you can focus on your partner relationships, and the contents of your channel’s strategy and campaigns.

Get raving partners: happy partnerships make for longer relationships and higher retention rates and CLTV.

Boost end-user demand: combining all the insights will help you create a predictable, scalable, channel go-to-market machine.

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