Building channel partnerships by Heidi Tucker
HEIDI TUCKER, VP of Alliances & Business Development, InsideView
Top 10 reasons not to partner.
- Founded in 2005
- Mission: To give sales people access to better information, social media, LinkedIn.
- Grown to 350K users
- In 350 companies
- Evolving from direct sales only to a channel company.
- 92% of buyers ignore unsolicited contacts.
- Takes more time for sales reps to pitch and sell products than it used to.
- Buys have made up their mind before they even contact you.
They partner with most CRM and marketing automation companies.
- Exponential distribution:
- Having partners is way more difficult than selling direct.
- Dont have a quota.
- Can’t fire them.
- Don't have to learn as much about your product.
- But if you can get them to come on board you get an exponential multiplier.
- Rapid entry into new markets
- Industry expertise
- Added value to products/services
- Brand building
Join the Close Partner Program
Refer customers and get paid! Make 20% recurring commission on every new paying customer you send our way.
- Organizations and groups are great affiliates.
- Takes more work.
- Identify partners.
- Provide training.
- They refer deals to you.
- Partner runs the last portion of your sales processes.
- Can take a long time, but there is an advantage to partner with larger company to get better distribution.
- Have a long-term view.
- Tremendous amount of persistence needed, as this can take years to get done.
Tip: Keep it simple. Make it simple for partners to understand it and sell it.
Assembling the channel team
- Keep your channel team completely separate from your sales team.
- Dont have a model where the channel sales team refers business to your internal team. That doesn’t work because each group has different priorities.
- Dedicate marketing person for channel partners.
- Beyond that you can have shared resources with the rest of the company.
- Think hard about what is unique that you are bringing to your channel partner.
- What about you is important to the partner?
- Competitive differentiation
- Fill product/service gaps
- Revenue (last priority)
- 20–25% for referral customer to you
- 30–50% commision if they do the entire sales process
Build. Buy. Partner.
- Simple. Lucrative. Risk-free.
- Nothing kills partnerships such as even the littlest risk.
- Know your value to your partner
- Easiest way to find this is to ask the partner.
- Long-term commitment
- At least 2 years.
- Recruit broadly, focus on results
- Self-service partner portal
- Enable a partner champion. Dedicated channel team
- Give attention to 1–2 partners and help them be super successful.
- Partners vs. friends
- Ok if some partners don’t produce, keep it in mind they are more friends than partners.
- Reference ability
- Whatever you have to do to get the first few wins that you can use as references.
- Go for logos rather than big deals.
- More references can help channel partners be more successful.