Let's face it: B2B sales has become a lot more challenging in these past few years.   With global economic uncertainties looming, competition in today's market has become fiercer. B2B buyers are becoming more demanding. Instead of looking to you only for information, they're spending more time looking for information from other trusted sources.   That means your sales team has a smaller window to catch your potential buyers' attention.   This infographic states that B2B buyers are spending most of their time doing their own research rather than speaking with sellers   With that said, you won't go far with outbound sales, not in this economic climate. And while inbound sales — drawing your potential buyers to you with high-quality content — is the new trend, the returns can take a while to materialize.   But what if there's a way to get third-party sources of information to rally behind your product? Then read on to discover how channel partnership can help you gain your buyers' trust quickly and easily and stand out from your competitors.  

You may also want to read: 4 B2B Sales Trends to Follow to Power Up Your Sales Game in 2023-2024

 
 

What is channel partnership?

Channel partnerships are an effective tool which can help you expand your business' reach, boost sales, and tap into new markets.   Such strategic partnerships involve using third parties — referral partners, affiliate partners, and the like — to introduce goods or services to potential buyers.   Using the channel sales methodology, relationship-building through trust becomes easier with the help of influential industry experts. Your sales team doesn't have to put up so much effort to penetrate through the noise surrounding your buyers. Instead, you can use the collective voice of industry influencers to influence your buyers to buy from you.  

By leveraging the collective voice of trusted third-party experts, businesses can quickly generate leads, build relationships, and create a more extensive customer base.
 

How can channel partnership accelerate your lead acquisition?

Here are a few reasons why you should maximize the potential of channel partnerships:

Broader reach

Channel partners can extend your reach into new markets or deepen penetration within existing ones. They often have established customer relationships and knowledge about specific markets that would be difficult to achieve on your own.  

Increase in sales volumes

Because channel partners have their own sales team already, a partnership with them can result in increased sales volume due to the expanded sales force.  

Cost efficiency

Leveraging a partner ecosystem can also make it more cost-efficient to reach prospective customers, particularly in new geographic markets.  

Speed to market

Channel partners can typically get products to market faster because they already have established relationships, distribution means, and an understanding of the market.  

Access to resources

Partners often have valuable resources, including business contacts, established customer bases, and sales expertise that you can leverage for your business.

Channel partnership is an essential part of weathering the trends of today's ever-changing market, and once a system is in place to automate the process, it couldn’t be much easier. Suppose you’ve got a product worth referring to and customer service worth talking about. In that case, it’s probably time to maximize those assets using your network of third-party influencers as a sales and marketing channel.  

Always look to who your customers listen to first. They are excellent sources of leads, and you have good access to them.
 

How to implement channel partnership to your sales strategy?

Here are a few steps you can take to activate the power of channel partnership and start growing your sales to new heights:

Find out who influences the buying decisions of your prospects

Always look to who your customers listen to first. They are excellent sources of leads, and you have good access to them.

As an illustration, real estate agents can be a good channel for banks and security companies because they have some influence on new people or families who move into the market. If you are selling payroll services, CPAs might be a high-producing channel because they influence small businesses, and it is the same with banks. Organizations such as chambers of commerce influence many small businesses and can be a great channel.  

Inspire and motivate these advocates to join a community, program, or channel

Any place you “touch” them is also an optimal opportunity to recruit them – whether through an online banner ad after an e-commerce transaction, a sales rep in the field, or an email – but it is important to recruit them into the channel.

Think of this as a professional channel/relationship. Ask them to read the overview of your program, sign the terms and conditions, and register to become a part of your team.

Remember to also motivate your new advocates by sending regular communications, reminding them of the opportunities and encouraging further engagement. Nurturing is critical in creating long-term relationships with your advocates and growing the program.  

Ask your advocates to give you leads

While you can drive advocates to the program, they should also provide leads for your brand, and there are many subtle and unobtrusive ways to do it.

To give you an example, once advocates add value to your business, reward them with cash, points, donations to a charity, special offers, or other forms of recognition deemed most effective.

Don’t forget to continue asking for their help. An effective cadence of reminders and communications has been proven most effective at generating the highest levels of engagement and the most significant numbers of leads. Have a strategy based on proven best practices.  

Ensure they can access multiple sharing tools to simplify their work

There’s nothing worse than launching a channel partnership program and realizing it has significantly limited the program’s performance by offering your partners a limited choice of sharing tools.

Make mobile, social, digital, and offline sharing available. These tools are vital to your schedule and crucial to tracking and managing your growth.  

Keep track of the leads and manage the channels

Your channel partnership program must be capable of seamlessly dropping the leads into the buy flow and lead flow. In a B2B environment, this feature is a highly effective tool for sales teams. They are traditionally effective at knowing who could influence prospects and drive high-quality leads.

 

The significant benefit is simple and powerful: you extend your sales team with additional overhead. This team knows when friends are in the market. Another use: sales-management teams can measure progress and motivate their sales teams to acquire members into the channel and determine how to boost it to drive more leads.    

Automate your channel partnership sales approach with Expando

Channel partnerships is a powerful sales approach for any business who know how to tap into the influential voice of third-party experts. What sets the methodology apart from other approaches is it wins your potential buyers' trust faster and more cost-effectively.   With Expando's AI-powered sales partner-matching tool, you can get connected with high-profile industry experts who can introduce you to their wide network. Plus, our all-in-one dashboard gives you complete visibility into your channel partnership strategy. With our platform, you can be a channel sales master in no time!

 

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