A steady stream of new prospective customers is a must to get ahead in the sales industry. However, making those connections can be challenging as an outsider. One thing that can make it easier to reach new customers is to form relationships with other businesses that already associate with them. This practice is known as partner marketing.
The partner with no established connections within a company or group benefits from the trust the desired customer has already built up with the other partner. Of course, the relationship must be mutually beneficial for both parties for a partner marketing strategy to be effective.
Create a Profile of the Ideal Marketing Partner
It’s important for the company wishing to work with a marketing partner to understand exactly what they expect from the arrangement. A good way to help clarify this is by writing down what the prospective partner organization does especially well that the other company would like to learn.
When deciding who to work with, scoring the potential marketing partner on performance and industry standards can help to create a shortlist of possibilities. At a minimum, the partner organization should have a dedicated marketing function. This protects the opportunity for sales representatives from each company to continually enter new geographical regions and markets.
Incorporate These Components to Create a Successful Partner Marketing Relationship
Even when channel partners have the technical specifications they need to sell another company’s products effectively, they may lack understanding of why the other organization sells products in a certain way. For example, the outside organization would not be privy to details about which products typically sell well and which ones require much more customer nurturing unless the partner informs them. This will provide the partner organization with greater insight when making sales calls that will ultimately benefit both parties.
Remove Any Barriers to Partners Accessing Resources
Marketing partners can only be successful if they can regularly access the tools they need. Some examples include sales training videos, product samples, email marketing campaigns, pitch decks, and recommendations for SEO best practices.
Except for physical items such as product samples, the company sending out partners on its behalf should consider making everything available in one central online location. The person accessing the portal can then print whatever he or she needs for the next sales call. On the other hand, having to hunt for resources will frustrate the partner and take unnecessary time away from selling to customers.
Strive for Frequent and Open Communication
Both parties in the partner marketing relationship must communicate clearly and often to help ensure that future deals go as smoothly as possible. The team selling products and services would surely appreciate timely tips that help them work more efficiently. A weekly email or meeting via Skype or conference call is the perfect opportunity to discuss new products and procedures as well as address any challenges. Meeting in person periodically for a business lunch is another way for the team to stay connected and reaching for the same goals.
It takes significant effort at the front end of the marketing partnership to make a good connection, but the rewards typically make up for it in short order.
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