It should come as no surprise that partners are not great at converting leads. That’s why channel enablement programs exist in the first place. But in order to effectively support partners, we must first understand why it is difficult for them to convert leads:
1. They don’t provide value through marketing…
Filling the top of the funnel is easy enough for partners. Where they struggle to convert is nurturing the lead throughout the buyer’s journey. Partners view marketing as a way to sell end users on a solution. Prospects don’t want to be sold, they want to be informed.
Solution: Provide partners with content that can help educate end users. Stay focused on solving problems, not positioning a product/service. This will position partners as thought leaders and help them stay relevant with prospects. Additionally, there are several partners with unique offerings. Providing access to digital agencies can help them create custom content and better showcase their individual expertise.
2. There’s a disconnect between sales and marketing…
No matter how good a partner is at marketing, if messaging is not consistent when the lead is handed off to sales, the prospect will lose interest. There is nothing worse than a bait and switch.
Solution: This should be an important theme throughout the channel. Make sure this practice comes from the top and is led by example. Channel sales and partner marketing managers should both communicate and enforce this when working with partners.
3. They’re brainwashed by telemarketing plays…
Partners have low expectations for manufacturer distributed leads and are less and less interested in receiving them. They have spent too much time calling down on prospects that have no interest in speaking with them and no longer trust the validity of these leads.
Solution: Rather than giving leads to partners, work with them to develop a strategy that helps them identify opportunities on their own and enable them to bring those leads to close.
Implement a Channel Program that Converts
Enabling partners to convert leads is difficult, but can certainly be accomplished with the right resources. High-touch support models are a great way to enable partners to build and execute the right strategies. Equally, access to relevant content will help them better nurture leads throughout the buyer’s journey. Help your partners help their customers and they will significantly improve their ability to convert leads.
Are your partners struggling to convert leads? What are their pain points, and how does your channel program help them increase revenues?