Monday morning, you have a meeting with the Sales team and not very happy about it, the constant conflict you have is about the lead pipeline and how the sales team is not receiving enough leads from Marketing. SEO/SEM doesn’t seem to give the same results and events are just too expensive. So what is the next growth engine that Sales and Marketing teams can leverage to achieve their growth targets?
The answer is Through Channel Marketing. According to a Forrester Article published in April 2018 – “75% of world trade is flowing indirectly (WTO), the time has come for channels, partnerships, and alliances to be enabled with the same level of passion.” This new opportunity requires us to not only identify and sign on new partnerships but to also ensure customer buyer experience do not deteriorate when routed through the channel partner. This is easier said than done. Most of the channel partners are traders or entrepreneurial ventures with no experience in digital marketing.
When I was driving channel marketing engagement for a leading global brand in the Asia Pacific, I was faced with the same dilemma. That is when I discovered Through Channel Marketing Automation. As a part of my partner engagement, I identified key partners who were scaling well across the Asia Pacific and provided them support to set up their web presence and automate their lead flow by providing them an instance on our Marketing Automation Platform.
I then had them identify one resource in their team with whom we collaborated to guide them through the automation process, this meant that we not only provided them the platform but also helped them define their customer journey maps and build appropriate messaging based on the stages of their journey. The uptake was a little slow but as channel partners saw leads flow in with no intervention from their sales team, they began to show interest and started spending the time to ensure those leads were followed up and closed properly.
As the word spread, I had more and more partners reach out to us asking to be made a part of the program. At the end of the year, we were able to substantially add to the companies bottom line with minimal investments and scale impact which had the potential to grow beyond our wildest imaginations.
The critical part of making TCMA work for your organization is to decide what mode of support you will provide your channel partners, in my experience, a self-enablement mode is probably not going to work at this juncture, you will have to ensure that an agency or your team is available to guide the channel partner through the transition. As a colleague of mine always says “It is always the man behind the machine, and not just it”