Are you making it easy & attractive for your channel partners to sell your products?
That is a loaded question, isn’t it? That being said, let’s look at the general landscape. For purposes of this discussion, let’s focus on what I like to call the selling supply chain . . . starting with the Manufacturer, through Brokers, MFGR Reps, Value Added Resellers, GPOs or Distributors. These I will refer to as Channel Partners . . . and the manufacturer needs them to perform consistently!
The real challenge is, the manufacturer has very little control (if any) over what the channel partner does on a daily basis. The manufacturer's primary goal is to drive sales. They spend significant time and resources on channel partners' training, motivating them, providing them with access to various tools and collateral . . . all the way down to the good old fashion way of Pay-to-Play, providing Marketing Development Funds (MDF) or trade spend, and marketing support.
Prior to the digital tools that are now available, MDF programs were very gray, or a black hole, and really treated more as cost of doing business with unreliable reporting. As the digital solutions have evolved, so has the tracking of promotional programs giving manufacturers more confidence on what is happening with their channel partner efforts.
So let’s talk about what channel partner tools are making an impact helping driving manufacturers' product sales. The primary tools are called Partner Relationship Management (PRM) portals. These platforms are not all created equal but overall they are very comprehensive. They provide collateral, usually YouTube or Vimeo Video links for video, they track commissions, they often allow marketing teams to create robust landing pages, they provide analytics -- overall they are pretty good. So what is the catch?
Why isn’t every company enabling their channel partners with a PRM solution?
There are 4 primary reasons:
PRM Platforms are very expensive and not even close to affordable for smaller to midsized businesses. They are really suited for enterprise accounts.
The PRM Platform can be cumbersome to learn. It also may be limited to a primary contact or two from the channel partner -- they then grab marketing content to distribute through their normal marketing efforts.
Co-branding with channel partners is possible but not efficient or easily scalable.
Easily distributive end customer facing content based on client need is not always part of the platform's capability.
So yes, if you have a PRM Portal, you have invested the time and resources into taking advantage of all of the tools, then chances are you have made a good investment.
So what else is available for manufacturers that sell through channel partners that can’t afford an expensive PRM Portal or want to use effective Video Solutions to drive their business?
Here is a SaaS platform that is so simple all sales people in your selling supply chain can use it. It is not limited or fully dependent upon your marketing department.
Introducing the Video Marketing Center (VMC). Simple for sales and marketing teams to use and even easier to enable your channel partners to sell more of your products. Manufacturers load their product videos with associated collateral, and can add optional micro-training quizzes, surveys and polling at the end of each video. They can add all channel partner branding as well as include links to commerce. With a few clicks, each rep or marketing team can create a campaign with unlimited videos with collateral and publish it. They can then send all of this highly organized co-branded content in ONE LINK, QR CODE or Snippet of Web Code to put on the channel partners' website. The campaign is simple, comprehensive and fully tracked at all levels!
So why is this different than all other solutions in the market?
The VMC is comprehensive, easy to use, and truly enables and co-brands your channel partners.
The platform is very affordable for companies of all sizes, starting at $199/month.
It is designed to allow every sales rep to have access to send unlimited product videos to clients one-to-one based on customer need, delivering a consistent message every time!
The VMC is designed to allow marketing teams to add to their marketing automation platforms, purchased media or websites.
In summary, it is very important to find ways to truly enable your channel partners. Doing it the way you have always done things needs to be inspected. With work from home changing the selling landscape, it is very important to be able to find digital ways to increase your customer reach, deliver your product's value consistently, and make it easy for everyone in your selling supply chain to promote your products and collect great analytics.