by Greg Sherrill, CEO & Co-founder.
By 2020, there will be more than 6 million inside and outside sales reps in North America alone.
A staggering statistic. And if you’re selling through indirect channels, many of those sales reps don’t work for you—they work for your distributors, VARs, MSPs and integrators. That means what you really have are “sales reps in the wilderness”. So how do you get your value proposition and product messages to those sales reps so they sell your solutions over your competitor’s?
Sales Portals—Bag of Hammers
Google these items: partner portal, channel portal or sales portal and you will find an incredibly expansive list of portals from a plethora of different companies in a variety of different industries. It’s status quo for distributing marketing and sales content, right? You know, build it and they will come. However, industry research shows that most reps—direct and indirect—do not use these portals. Why? It’s tough to find relevant sales content without a lot of work on the sales rep’s part—plain and simple. Sales portals are a great repository—but face the facts—content tags weren’t created for salespeople. And you want your reps spending more time selling and less time looking for relevant buyer content. Still a doubter on the use of your sales or partner portals? Then I challenge you to look at the analytics on usage or survey your direct and channel sales teams on their use if your portals. And measure how many times specific marketing or sales content was accessed, downloaded or actually used.
When it Comes to Content, One Size Does Not Fit All
Indirect sales reps are blasted with marketing content from every manufacturer they sell. They’re deluged with content from vendor emails, partner or sales portals and more. Many channel reps need sales ready messaging to represent their various vendors correctly—the value proposition, business issues and solutions. In addition, channel sales reps require relevant content and messaging from their manufacturers that addresses buyer personas and buyer business issues. According to The American Marketing Association, B2B salespeople spend 30 hours a month searching for and creating their own selling materials. Even more astounding, up to 90% of marketing deliverables aren’t used by sales. Sales and marketing content can be powerful – but that last time I checked, content that isn’t used is like dried up mashed potatoes on an all you can eat buffet.
The Missing Tool in the Sales Process—It’s the Pitch!
Rather than an “all you can eat” content buffet, manufactures need to provide bite sized, buyer centric content woven into a pitch for each step in the sales process. However, content alone only addresses half the challenge. A great pitch also requires sales-ready messaging that addresses buyer personas, pain points and provides situational fluency so sales reps are smarter—before, during and after the sales call. The SiriusDecisions 2015 B-to-B Buying Study examined the buying behaviors of more than 1,000 B-to-B executives. It found that more than half the time, a salesperson’s involvement with a prospect starts at the beginning of the buyer’s journey. Consider this quote from Fred Diamond, founder of DC based IES—Institute for Excellence in Sales, “Sales or Channel Portals are great collection ponds for sales and marketing content. You can tag content until you’re blue in the face. But if your sales team isn’t using your content regularly—and selling your value prop and messaging—your portal is where content goes to die,” Diamond says. “You need to arm sales with relevant content for the pitch—and I mean every pitch—if you want to move the needle on building pipeline and closing deals,” Diamond added.
Channel Rocket—Tailored Sales Pitches. Right at Your Fingertips.
Channel Rocket was purpose built to fill that gap in the sales process. We provide channel sales representatives with a compelling sales pitch that meets buyer pain points and matches the right solutions at the right time.
Our 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!