The channel is becoming an increasingly important path to market and future-ready businesses understand the need to capture the full potential of partnerships. To do this, they are shifting their partner programs from the traditional transactional model to a more complex partner ecosystem approach.
In this ecosystems model, partner experience (PX) is a priority – with many partners using PX as a basis for selecting which vendors to work with. This means it’s no longer enough to just set up a channel and let it run. To win partner mindshare, channel managers must also continuously explore how they can support partners further in growing revenue.
Lead management is an important part of this process.
Efficient lead management ensures a win-win-win relationship between vendors, partners, and their customers. As a vendor, you can leverage your partners to reach their customers, while supporting them by providing a service or product that their customers need.
By collaborating closely with partners throughout the customer journey, vendors are also able to create a superior experience for the end consumer at every step of the process. This is why it’s so important to get partner lead management right.
Read on to find out some of the common lead management pitfalls that channel teams face – and how to avoid them.
Pitfall #1: Not recording partner contribution to deal registration accurately
Accurate tracking of partner contributions to deal registrations ensures that partners receive credit and accurate payments for their efforts. Clear communication is key to ensuring a successful relationship between you and your partners.
Thus, it’s important to be transparent about how leads are managed and tracked, as well as be clear about the incentives available. This will ensure that partners know exactly where they stand and can help keep them motivated.
Pitfall #2: Not automating lead funnel to partners
Successful partner lead management can be time-consuming if you do it all manually. The process relies too much on someone remembering to follow-up and can also increase possibilities of error. By the time a partner is connected to a lead, they may have already explored alternative solutions and you would have lost a sale.
Here’s where automation can help. You can set up a platform that enables end consumers to easily search for partners that meet their requirements, send leads to partners with built-in time limits for them to take action, and provide real-time tracking on dashboards.
By doing this, you can reduce the amount of manual work required while also increasing partner satisfaction by helping them find new prospects quickly and efficiently.
Pitfall #3: Not providing enough support for demand gen and lead nurture
If your partners aren’t finding success on your platform, they are likely to look for another vendor to work with. To help foster partner success on your platform, it’s important to provide them with the right resources that they need to be successful.
This can include co-branded collateral for easy selling, automated through-channel marketing programs, as well as accessible, up-to-date product information and updates. You can also provide additional support by investing your market development funds in areas where you can see the most ROI.
This not only makes it easier and more convenient for your partners to sell – but also shows them that you are ready to provide the resources they need to be successful.
Find out more: See how Impartner’s Social on Demand and News on Demand can help you deliver personalized information to partners to increase your brand exposure. Or learn ways to connect your MDF directly to deal registration so you can see clear ROI from your efforts.
Pitfall #4: Not keeping track of lead management or measuring success
Without full visibility into the partner lead management process and a lack of understanding of what’s working or not, it becomes challenging to replicate success.
This is why it’s essential to leverage technology that can help you increase your chances of success by giving you a deeper understanding of what works best for each of your partners. Use software that enables real-time analytics, with comprehensive reports that can generate actionable insights for better business planning.
Find out more: See how Channel Intel+ enables full visibility into your channel, giving you crucial insights for making data-driven business decisions.
An easier way to manage leads
As a channel manager, you know how tedious and time-consuming it can be to manage and keep track of leads manually – but it’s an essential part of the partnerships process.
That’s why our Partner Relationship Management solution was purpose-built with all these processes in mind. Impartner PRM offers an easier way to manage partner leads and automate processes, thus freeing you and your team up so you can spend more time on strategic revenue growth initiatives that help drive long-term success.