Tim Votaw—EVP & Co-founder.
Whether you’re a small business or a division/department in a large enterprise, channel sales enablement is an imperative for your go-to-market strategy. Arming sales reps in your channel with relevant buyer content and sales-ready messaging can make the difference in growing your sales pipeline and turning leads into revenue faster.
Channel Sales for the new SMB
You know your products provide value to buyers. You are working to build and leverage your indirect channels. Be sure that you are reaching those “reps in the wilderness” who work for your channel partners. The best time to capitalize on channel sales enablement for your organization is now, while you’re cultivating your go-to-market plan.
If you’re a manufacturer, reps who work for resellers don’t work for you. They sell multiple solutions—including your competitors’. These indirect sales reps are inundated with content from every manufacturer. Usually, this content isn’t focused on where prospects are in the pipeline, so it’s not used. As a result, most reps don’t have the right messaging to accurately represent their various vendors.
Today, a troubling 75 percent of marketing material isn’t used in sales. This is a critical issue for the sales AND marketing leaders we’ve spoken with. Beyond that, 65 percent of sales leaders indicated that their salespeople “spend too much time on non-sales activities.” Channel Rocket seeks to address this challenge. According to Lori Steger, Director of Marketing for medical billing and practice management systems provider, Abeo Management Corporation. “With the Channel Rocket app our salespeople no longer have to waste time sifting through folders and files to find the information they need on a particular topic or for a specific audience they are selling”.
Allocating Budget for Sales Enablement
When it comes to finding funds for sales enablement, you can assume your competitors already have or are planning to. According to a SiriusDecisions report, the average sales enablement budget in B2B organizations doubled between 2012 and 2014, and there has been a 69% increase in sales enablement technology spends. Increasingly, sales enablement is becoming a centralized function, delivering productivity tools to the field across geographies, but also measuring metrics and gathering feedback, best practices and market intelligence to input back into the system and improving overall productivity. Currently, channel executives are spending nearly $10 billion per year on Channel MDF and Co-op—And we believe a large portion of that spend will go to sales enablement solutions going forward.
Most sales content is found on Partner or Sales Portals—which are plentiful but expensive and not scalable. If a portal is not available then they pull information from web sites or reach out to a marketing department for help. The brutal fact is that most reseller reps simply do not use portals to prepare for sales campaigns—especially if they represent several manufacturers. When a portal isn’t in place, they go to the manufacturer’s website, accessing the exact information as end user. Neither one of these tactics prepare them sell to the C-Suite. They need to be empowered to better understand buyer personas and buyer business issues.
There’s Something Missing in the Process—It’s the pitch
To move opportunities through the sales journey, channel sales representatives need the right information to develop a compelling sales pitch that meets buyer pain points and matches the right solutions at the right time. The challenge for marketing and sales teams when selling through indirect channels is providing persuasive content that positions their products correctly against competition and in a way that focuses on the buyer’s specific needs. Nancy Nardin, President of advisory firm Smart Selling Tools, helps sales and marketing teams apply process and technology to drive revenue. Nardin says, “Regardless of the size of your company, division, or department, if you sell through channels, you absolutely have to provide their sales reps with the right buyer content at the right time. That’s just table stakes. If you don’t leverage sales enablement tools and processes, be assured your competitors will and they’ll have a tough-to-beat advantage as a result.”
Channel Rocket—Direct and Indirect Sales Enablement at Sales Reps Fingertips.
Your business is Small and Mighty, but it might not have the staff and resources to fully support your direct and indirect sales forces. The SMB sales force may be small and channel highly leveraged so it is even more important to be more effective than the large enterprises. Back to Steger, “We don’t have a huge sales force at Abeo, so it is critical that each salesperson is extremely effective in communicating our message and progressing opportunities. Using Channel Rocket ensures that the right message is getting through to our prospects. This focus increases our ability to move prospects into the opportunity column. With our smaller sales force, every customer engagement counts.”
Channel Rocket’s sales enablement solution is easy to use and intuitive for sales representatives. We deliver content and sales-ready messaging that actually means something to the buyer—and addresses their business issues. In addition, we match existing content with custom content to make it relevant—value propositions, qualifying questions, reasons to buy, and more. Even better, our intuitive end user app requires no training!