Channel Marketer Report


B2BSMX Channel Track Explores Strategies To Align Partner Marketing And Sales Effort

Even at large partner companies, marketing staff can be pretty lean. That’s why many of the more successful channel teams are working hard to provide partner sales staff with the tools and content necessary to engage customers and prospects all the way from the top-of-the-funnel to post-purchase support.

At the B2B Sales & Marketing Exchange (B2BSMX), an online experience October 26-28, a line-up of leading channel practitioners and industry consultants, will share insights into a variety of strategies and tactics to engage both partner sales and marketing teams, including:

  • Implementing highly personalized partner portals and apps;
  • Aligning sales/marketing initiatives to partner personas; and
  • Optimizing opportunities for partner-with-partner collaboration.

Maria Chien, VP, Executive Advisor, Channel Marketing Strategies at SiriusDecisions/Forrester will kick off the channel track with a presentation on driving partner sales and marketing alignment. Because B2B buyer habits are changing rapidly, nimble channel leaders must be quick to adapt their partner sales and marketing motions to delight buyers. During her presentation, Chien will share insights in evolving B2B buying habits and review the implications they have on channel organizations.

Cindi Johnson, Global Director of Partner Programs at Tanium, will review why and how her company created a personalized portal that recognizes the variety of roles at its different partners, especially sales staff. During her presentation, Johnson, will discuss how Tanium is putting its stake in the ground as a channel-first company and boosting channel engagement with an innovative onboarding strategy, a distributed publishing model that keeps content fresh, and partner activity analytics that identify opportunities for improvement.

Check Point Software has raised the bar on providing channel sale reps with anytime/anywhere support. It’s app, Check Point Engage, was created to support proven activities that drive demand and customer value and then enable, report, and reward those activities. During his presentation, Frank Rauch, Head of Worldwide Channel Sales at Check Point Software, will review the planning, development and ongoing enhancement of its partner-popular app, in particular how its gamification features and incentive strategy prioritize sales training.

Targeting Business-Unit Buyers

With 65% of all technology buying decisions being made by business unit leaders, it’s imperative that vendors enable their partners to understand and address the very specific needs of their different prospects. During a presentation by Rob Spee, Regional Vice President, Channel Sales at OutSystems, and host of the Channel Journeys podcast, attendees will discover how they can develop a strategy to enable partners to build business solutions and align partner marketing and sales team with prioritized markets.

Larry Walsh, CEO and Chief Analyst at The 2112 Group, returns to B2BSMX to discuss why continuous customer engagement by channel partners is critical to their success as well as the vendors they represent. Technology was once a transactional business in which solution providers and sales reps would approach customers when they had something new on the line card – a new release, a new version, or an upgrade. Transactional sales are increasingly a thing of the past, maintains Walsh. Value propositions are no longer just about cost savings, but rather in the technology outcomes and user experiences.

Ensuring that customers understand their technology investments, planning the right implementations, and executing the highest possible outcome is making continuous engagement by channel partners the equivalent of customer experience, he believes. During his presentation, Walsh will delve into changing customer expectations and how vendors need to rethink their customer journeys – direct and through partners – as an endless river of engagement.

Enabling Partner Collaboration

With more than a third of partners regularly collaborating with 3-5 other solution providers and almost 20% regularly working with 6-10 partners, a growing number of vendors are assisting their partners in the development of a trustworthy channel ecosystem. During a discussion moderated by John Guido, Founder and CEO of P2P Global, a panel of innovative technology solution providers will review how vendors can support the critical elements of a collaborative and mutually beneficial of a channel ecosystem including.

While many channel partners may not have dedicated marketing staff, they almost always have sales staff. Encouraging and enabling partner sales reps to prioritize your content in the conversations they’re having with prospects and current customers is an effective way to amplify your marketing messages. During an interactive workshop, Heather K. Margolis, CEO and Founder of Channel Maven Consulting and Spark Your Channel, and attendees will explore efficient and effective practices for:

  • Creating and assembling content and messages in B2B buyer-preferred formats;
  • Initiating partner rep participation in content sharing programs;
  • Motivating ongoing sales rep activity; and
  • Monitoring and reporting results.

In addition to the channel track, B2BSMX offer a comprehensive program of keynote speakers, workshops, breakout sessions and 1:1 networking and mentoring opportunities.

More information about the event and registration is available here.