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Relayware Blog

 

Partnering Automation

 

Last week, I discussed the important role that channel partners play in your customer relationship.
Relayware is thrilled to be a contestant in the fourth season of CRM Idol. This is the mother of all awards in our space! Influencers of all types - including investors, media, industry analysts and customers - watch this award and take into careful consideration the judges’ analysis. It will be an exciting journey for us.
If your company sells to consumers and you don’t own your own outlets and you don’t consider your independent retailers are your biggest asset, then here’s an uncomfortable fact. There are over 700,000 firms with over 1.1 million establishments in the US that generate a total of approximately $4 trillion in sales. Breaking news: they own your customers, not you. And if your company sells to other companies and is not among those who consider the partner a hero, here’s another uncomfortable fact. Over ¾ of all businesses in the US employ less than 1,500 employees
You might have heard the term “customer experience” used by someone in marketing, or in reference to your direct customers. Maybe your CEO said that creating a better customer experience is a priority, or perhaps your director of support motivates his team by saying that service is critical to creating a good customer experience.
The Pareto Principle is well known – perhaps by its alias, the “80/20” rule. It takes on various forms – 80 percent of your revenue comes from 20 percent of your customers, 80 percent of your effort is devoted to 20 percent of your clients, 80 percent of your sales come from 20 percent of your sales people, and on and on.
How do you employees like to work? I’m not looking for the answer “infrequently,” although if that was your answer I congratulate you for your wit.
Gerhard Gschwandtner may have a name that’s tough to spell – but it’s a name you should know just the same. He’s the founder and CEO of Selling Power, a leading source of news and advice on sales leadership, management and, really, all things having to do with selling.
Last week, Jim Somers, Tim Harmon and I presented a webinar on the topic of partner portals. (If you want to hear it, you can, free of registration, by going right here.) The topic was “10 Ways Your Portal Is Sabotaging Your Partner Program,” and we didn’t just call out portal failings – we also pointed out fixes that can take portals to the next level.
Every now and again, we all need a reality check on what we’re doing. It’s easy to get a process in place and then become committed to keeping that process going; it’s harder to step back and examine whether or not what you’re doing is actually bringing you the results you’re after.
If you’re thinking about incentives the right way, you see them as a way to motivate partners toward a behavior you want them to continue even after the incentive is gone. In other words, you want to steer them toward a behavior that’s good for both you and the partner through an incentive, and then ideally the partner should recognize that behavior’s profitable for him even when there’s no incentive attached to it.
Incentives are tough to get right, and market development funds (MDF) may be the difficult aspect of your incentives to perfect. Not only is it tough to track the impact of MDF allocations, it can be tough to find partners in which to invest MDF dollars.
Gauging the effectiveness of your training efforts is sometimes thought to be a simple thing. If your partners aren’t clamoring for additional training resources, and your end customers aren’t complaining about what your partners are doing, your partners must be good enough to get the job done, right?
Where are leads hitting speed bumps in your processes? Where are they slowed by partner processes? And where can you make changes that improve the velocity of leads?
Partner training materials are usually viewed as a source of two sets of metrics: how much are partners using them, and how many are earning certifications and accreditations?
If you run a partner portal, you have something that marketers on the Internet dream of: the ability to follow your partners as they move through your content.
So, you’ve stocked your portal with content, built profiles of your partners, and established a method for delivering the right materials to the right partners...
Training is one of the critical concerns for businesses selling through the channel..
We all know the type: the person who never stops talking, to the point where they prevent you from being heard...
Numbers are wonderful things, which is why I like the study done by CompTIA and Baptie & Company last year...
In study after study of customer service, a pattern of diverging opinions emerges – namely, that companies think they deliver great service, while customers think their service is terrible...
When you cover technology as a journalist, you often see themes that repeat themselves...
Just as hiring the right people can make or break a business, recruiting the right partners is critical to success with the channel...
It’s not often that you hear a discussion about the impact incentives have on a channel partner on the radio, let alone an hour-long episode of American Public Radio’s This American Life...
I’ll admit it – and I already have, in print even: http://www.cmswire.com/cms/customer-experience/conversion-of-a-gamification-skeptic-crm-adoption-and-a-clean-house-014999.php I was once a skeptic when it came to the idea of gamification...
Getting people to do the things you want them to do is difficult, and it’s complicated by the fact that the process you use to motivate them to do those things varies depending on the relationship you have. ..
One of the hazards of running an incentives programs without a channel management application is that it’s a little like dropping a bomb..
The first secret to create customer loyalty is to deliver a great product or service that does what you say it will do. But the second secret is to provide excellent customer service...
Some truisms are true primarily because there’s no way to really measure them. They have what Stephen Colbert describes as “truthiness” – they feel right, and that’s all that counts...
When I tell people I’ve joined the team at Relayware, I get a lot of questions. The first is, “why did you leave the world of CRM?” That’s the technology I’m most associated with, having worked as the founding editor of Inside CRM and Forecasting Clouds, as a columnist at CRM Buyer, and as the editor-in-chief at SugarCRM...
When I tell people I’ve joined the team at Relayware, I get a lot of questions. The first is, “why did you leave the world of CRM?” That’s the technology I’m most associated with, having worked as the founding editor of Inside CRM and Forecasting Clouds, as a columnist at CRM Buyer, and as the editor-in-chief at SugarCRM...
Lenovo deployed Relayware to manage its wordwide channel operations and partner portals in late 2010 when the company ranked fourth or fifth in global PC shipments. In the second quarter of 2013, as total worldwide PC shipments reached 75.6 million units, global PC shipments of Lenovo reached 12.61 million units surpassing HP that shipped 12,378 million units, according to a new report from IDC.
A few weeks ago I had the privilege of talking to an individual who worked for a channel partner organization. During the course of our 20 minute conversation I learned some incredibly useful bits of information. The net take-away was that she thought the vendors that her company did business with weren’t as easy to deal with as they made themselves out to be.
We’ve all heard the African Proverb, “It take a village to raise a child“. The idea behind this is that a child does not become a productive member of society by simply following direct orders from his or her parents. The proverb implies that everyone in the community has a vested interest in the success of every child. It implies that the community has a responsibility to inform, enable, collaborate with, and nurture each child.
Ahead of my brief series on ecosystem collaboration, I was keen to share the details of a book that I am reading and which is written by Jacob Morgan. Jacob is the principal of Chess Media Group, a management consulting and strategic advisory firm on collaboration. Jacob is also the author of the Amazon best-selling book, The Collaborative Organization. The book mainly deals with the topic of solving internal business challenges using emerging social and collaborative tools but almost all of the main principles that Jacob covers for improving workforce productivity can be applied directly to improving external ecosystem productivity as well.
For some enterprises, the rise of social networking and social media among employees, customers, and the channel creates new opportunities to accelerate communication and improve operational processes. For others, it’s an additional piece in an already complex partner relationship management (PRM) puzzle. To learn how to evolve PRM programs to take advantage of top trends like social networking and social media, and improve the way enterprise works together with the indirect channel, Channel Management Insights turned to Mike Morgan,Relayware’s chief executive officer, for answers.
The Business Issue It is often said that the cost of new customer acquisition is five times the cost of customer retention. Yet many companies have yet to benefit from these economies. More significant are the multiples generated by repeat …
If you want to understand the potential benefits of deploying social collaboration and communication technologies within and beyond the enterprise look no further than this excellent McKinsey report. In summary, the report tells us that ina few short years, social …
Why do we buy things? Not so long ago, the answer was simple. We either bought things out of necessity or out of desire and the proportion of our purchases falling into the second category was directly proportional to our …
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channel marketing social collaboration communication mobile indirect sales partner portal email
In our personal lives we’re compelled to check in with Facebook, Foursquare, and Yelp! in order to be crowned as the “mayor” of a restaurant, bar, or other business. We compete with others, both inside and outside of our social circles, to prove our loyalty to the businesses we love. Sometimes we’re granted discounts and perks from those merchants as a result of our loyalty.
Here at Relayware, we are excited to announce the launch of our proudest achievement – the 2012 Release of our leading B2B collaboration and multi-channel communication solution for companies seeking to maximize the performance of their indirect sales channels. The …
The RelayWare team have returned from SugarCon 2012 in San Francisco after our first year of sponsoring the event. It was attended by around a thousand SugarCRM customers, partners and developers and spanned three days. It’s a unique blend of …