Before Exertis PRO AV Benelux started using the Channext platform, it was already one of the largest and fastest-growing technology distributors out there. The company represents a lot of big ICT names and brings these to the end user through the channel. Think of brands like Barco, Poly, LG, Promethean Konftel, Spectralink and many more.
To understand what effect the Channext platform has on business processes and the ROI of Exertis, we interviewed Christ-Jan Beljaars, its Sales & Marketing Director. His first words? “We experienced greater success than we expected before we started.”
He continues: “We have an anthem in our organization: we want to strengthen the proposition of our reseller channel. A success story is when the user is experiencing an advantage of the solution brought. And at that moment, we celebrate success. It’s got nothing to do with money, nothing to do with the brands we serve but the total solution sold through the channel to the end user.”
Beljaars paints a picture of resellers in general. One we feel quite familiar with, as we previously outlined in this blog on activating your channel partners: “When you start a company, most people do the things they’re very good at. Look at AV integrations resellers for example. These people are fantastic at building experience rooms. But when you’re good at that, it doesn’t mean you’re good at marketing. And especially the smaller resellers don’t have this knowledge in house to do it themselves.”
And with that statement, Beljaars touches upon a critical point. Unburdening resellers on a marketing level, without losing quality is a hard reality to achieve. Keep in mind that less than 15% of resellers engage with marketing programs. And it’s these programs that deliver the precious marketing collateral through ill visited partner portals to spark brand awareness. This means you’re losing control over which reseller downloads what, and what happens next with regards to actually sending out your carefully curated content.
“When you have fantastic content, and it doesn’t reach anyone, what’s the use and value of that content?” On a daily basis, Exertis channel managers were reaching out to all their resellers: “Please, put this logo, and this data sheet on your website.” And no one did it because they didn’t know how to do it. “Or didn’t have the time to do it, or they didn’t like the content”, Beljaars adds. “And nowadays, because of Channext, we can do it automatically. So you always have the right information on your website and share the right information with your customers. This saves a lot of time.
Exploring different lead gen methods
Besides the (earlier mentioned) fact that building brand awareness through your business partners is very hard, demand generation is another tough file. Because how are you going to generate leads and nurture them into Sales Qualified ones together with your partners, without providing a one-on-one service package?
Exertis found that one of the most effective ways of generating new business was by organizing events. This is also supported by Demand Generation Reports, see figure below. And although these might return in the near future, the pandemic made clear that you definitely do not want to rely on a single strategy anymore. Beljaars feels an important element for lead gen is loyalty: “Building a network together. With solid information and trustworthy leads that flow back to the channel that generated them. So the reseller who brought in the contact is also assured that they get the lead.”
“With this, we can empower our channel in bringing what they are best at: getting the solution to the customer. And we take out all the nonsense of marketing, we bring it to their website and the content is there. However, for every brand, we serve we have a different approach. It’s not easy to say: this is working.”
If you’d ask me: what’s working the best… loyalty marketing! So we can bring people together through meet and greets, and build a story. But especially in the COVID-19 period, we experienced – no one had ever experienced something like this before – we had to find new ways to bring knowledge to the end user, and with Channext we’ve found this way. Why Channext? It’s very easy. Just check the brands that are using this platform. It’s not only being used in the BeNeLux, but they’ve also rolled it out across Europe. And that says enough. For us it wouldn’t be a success like this without this solution. So please, look at these logos, think about it and start yourself.”
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