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Social Selling For The Channel

patriciaBy Patricia Hume, Trapit

This is the last in a three part blog series about how an effective content marketing strategy coupled with the delivery of the right content mix can improve channel mind-share, loyalty, and, of course, revenue creation. Let’s dig deeper into social selling for the channel, and how and which technology can provide real ROI.

Social selling is the use of social media to increase sales revenue. It is the mantra of all the top CROs today. They have realized that the old approach to sales is no longer sufficient. There is a lot written about the “why’s” and “how’s” of social selling, but there is scant focus or thought leadership on how social selling can be leveraged in the channel.

When embarking on a plan to begin social selling, one of the critical elements is to determine the type of content that your sales team will leverage in order to engage their prospects. The same is true for channel partners. They need content that will establish them as thought leaders, amplify your brand, generate awareness, grab buyers’ attention and create leads.

We all create content and sales assets to support the sales team. Our content is filled with data sheets, white papers, PowerPoint presentations, battle cards, price lists, positioning PDFs, and endless documents about features and functions.

But what about the stuff that really starts a meaningful dialogue? Stuff like industry trends, the latest news, industry or legal insights, blogs on relevant topics, cool videos, etc. This is what enables your channel to be interesting while generating buyer attention.

Some say: “It’s too hard to effectively provide highly relevant content to the partner community!” They say that different partners need different stuff, that content needs to have geographic relevance, that there is a need to ensure brand consistency, etc., etc., etc. There are lots of roadblocks and very little appetite to really think outside the box. Let’s take a look at how we might overcome these objections by examining a couple of questions.

Question: Would you like all of your channel partners that are socially selling to leverage highly relevant content that you have curated for them?

Answer: Of course, giving partners the content they really need to engage their customers is the answer to protecting your brand. By providing content, you know that your channel partners are not sharing videos about cats playing with yarn, but rather, smart and relevant content that fits with your industry. Likewise, by enabling your partners to curate content on social media, you will amplify your brand, getting more and more people talking about you and your team. And you will improve your channel results: More awareness, more leads and more revenue. Finally, you will have less hassle. Unless you have a small army of content creators, there is no way you can create enough relevant content to meet all the many needs of all your channel partners.

Question: What should you consider when looking for a technology to automate social selling for your channel?

Answer:You need to find a cloud-based technology that provides an application workflow that automates the task of discovering, curating and delivering unique and relevant content in real time to virtually any communication channel or device. You need to make sure that the content is cross media — text, video, podcast — and has a broad enough source library that you will find the most relevant, diverse and local content that you need. The user interface should allow you to edit the content, include created content and annotate the content for maximum results. Additionally, it is important that this application delivers “push of a button” publishing to social media management platforms or directly to social media outlets from within the application. It needs to be easy and intuitive so that there is not a lot of friction and cost on getting your channel ready to use the technology. Finally, your application will need analytics allowing you to measure the results. Measuring the ROI of your curated content is important.

Question: Any suggestions on technology that might deliver these capabilities?

Answer: Of course, I’m biased but I do believe that Trapit provides the world’s best content curation solution. We have introduced multi-tier curation, thereby allowing an easy and efficient way for vendors to curate content and push it to their channel partners, who then have only the ability to read and publish the content you’ve provided. However, if you were inclined to allow your partners to curate their own content, Trapit also allows for end users to leverage the power of the application for social selling. Our roots go back to a consumer app, and as such the UI/UX is elegantly and simply designed for ease-of-use and rapid adoption.

But don’t take my word for it. I’d suggest you find out for yourself by visiting www.trapit.com and requesting a 15-minute demo.

Once you see how easy it is to implement social selling for your channel, I believe you will be delighted by the results.

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