Channel Marketplace Blog

Through Channel Demand Generation Got Flipped on Its Head

[fa icon="calendar"] May 11, 2020 2:05:57 PM / by Heather Margolis

Heather Margolis

Right now we find ourselves, and our Partners, trying to understand what through-channel demand generation programs aren’t getting used.

Between innovations moving at the speed of light and now finding ourselves in the midst of a pandemic, there’s been a huge shift. Let’s stop with the “wait and see approach” and create through-channel demand generation strategies that will actually work. Your Partners need your help, now, more than ever.

  1. Education: We’ve talked about educating Partners on demand generation for over a decade. Some Vendors did, many didn’t claiming “they won’t listen to us anyhow.” Hey guess what? They’re going to listen now. Partners are desperate to figure out how to fill their pipeline. Provide them with “snackable” educational content to teach them how to better engage their prospects.
  2. Content: Content is king but not all created equal. A fifteen page white paper works once you’ve closed a deal and the tech team gets a hold of it but if Partners are trying to fill the funnel they need short videos identifying the pain point and how your solutions solve them. Give Partners the ability to personalize videos, webinars and podcasts so they feel confident they are providing value to their prospects.
  3. Vehicles: If Partners post content on their website and wait for prospects and customers to find it, they’re going to be waiting for a long time. Educate and enable Partners to find prospects where they are “hanging out” and post on social. Certainly there are options around ABM and Retargeting but let’s crawl before we walk shall we?
  4. One size does NOT fit all: To my previous point, if some of your Partners are a level 1 in demand generation expertise, they aren’t going to become a level 10 overnight. Having a concierge or internal team that can assess Partners and take them up 3 or 4 levels will be much more successful and even more appreciated by the Partner.
  5. Empower that Sales team!: One of the biggest missteps of through-channel marketing automation platforms in the past is that they focus on marketing. Salespeople build the relationships with the prospects, they should also be sending the relevant content. Did you know you need to hear something at least five times before it sinks in? And that people do business with people they like, not with logos. So if the prospect is getting something from ‘Partner Company XYZ’ instead of ‘Salesperson from Partner Company XYZ’ they’ll open the latter and if they get it from both that just might push them over the edge to click on the piece of content.

The bottom line, there’s more work for you to do and we can help. Happy to have a complimentary brainstorm/chat anytime!

Topics: Strategy, Channel Sales

Heather Margolis

Written by Heather Margolis

Heather K. Margolis is Founder and CEO of Spark Your Channel, creators of the Spark Your Channel through-channel marketing automation platform, and Founder and Chairperson of Channel Maven Consulting, a strategic channel marketing agency. After several years in channel programs and marketing for EMC, EqualLogic and Dell she launched Channel Maven Consulting in March of 2009 providing strategic channel marketing and demand generation “with” IT and telecom channel organizations of all sizes. That experience inspired her to launch Spark Your Channel in 2019 to create a through-channel marketing automation platform.