MM 098 - Get More Sales from Channel Partners

    This podcast deals with the sometimes contentious relationship between manufacturers and their channel partners. Learn how you can get more sales from your channel partners.

    Guest: Debbie Pierce, CEO Nitromojo

    Highlights:

    • Sometimes trying to decide exactly who the manufacturing customer really is can be confusing for manufacturers. [4:00]
    • The most successful manufacturers have great communication, visibility, and transparency with their channel partners. Lack of transparency can cause fear on both sides. [7:10]
    • An automated feedback loop can be a huge benefit for attribution and sales projections. [9:50]
    • The 'where to buy' section of the website is a big black hole where sales attribution information disappears and a huge opportunity to for connecting to the end buyer. [16:00]
    • The tri-lateral model changes the old linear model to a circular model that keep channel partner, end user, and manufacturer all in the loop. [23:00]
    • Action steps for getting started with a better channel partner sales strategy: [25:50]
      1. Modify your website to capture those end buyers who visit the 'where to buy' page or other lead generation activities such as a trade show.
      2. Develop and implement an end customer feedback dialogue that provides actionable results.

    Interview Questions:

    Question 1 – What are you seeing out there in the field Debbie?

    Why are some manufacturers doing better than others when it comes to mastering this complex dance between manufacturer, channel partner, and end-user?

    Question 2 – One of the biggest challenges is sales attribution. In other words, the manufacturer has no idea what or when the partner may or may not sell his product.

    What are a few ways you are seeing the most successful manufacturers overcoming this challenge?

    Question 3 – Many a direct sales rep have said they will not share leads with the channel partner because it’s like tossing the lead into a black hole. And many a channel partner sales rep has said they will never share their customer information with the manufacturer. Not a very effective working relationship.

    What is the solution? Could you share an example of a real life success story?

    Question 4– You shared with me an idea that you are working on at your company called the ‘Tri-lateral model. Could you describe the model in actionable terms?

    Let’s say there is a podcast listener that is nodding his head and agreeing, but wants to do something right away to start solving the problem. Something besides firing all his channel partners. What would you advise?

    Challenge Question – This week our challenge question comes from an OEM sales manager in the Boston area. Here it is “Been listening to your podcast and read your book,"The New Way to Market for Manufacturing." Currently, I am a manufacturer's representative and trying to figure out how to implement content marketing in a sales organization. What would you advise to get started?”

    • Work with the manufacturer to co-brand their content. Share end buyer needs with the manufacturers to persuade them to build content around those needs. Leverage your manufacturers and get them to create the content. They will probably have more resources than the channel partner.
    • Build some content based on your knowledge of the pain and problems of the end user. For example, "How to Select the Right Safety Glasses for a Particular Job" if you are a rep for safety gear.

    Takeaways:

    • Make the end customer a focus and take control of that relationship by capturing their information when they interact with the manufacturer. Don't leave it up to your sales reps, you have to do it as a company function.
    • Build visibility with your channel partners. Build the end buyer feedback loop.

    Nitromojo special offer to podcast listeners: Complimentary analysis of customer experience. Contact Debbie via email to take her up on this complimentary offer.

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