Almost everything has moved online, and face-to-face interactions are minimal. The situation has forced even the most traditional old-school companies to put on their creative hats and brainstorm innovative solutions to grow.
One of the best and most popular strategies that has evolved is channel partnerships.
In the current COVID situation, finding new business opportunities is one of the biggest hurdles for any company. Starting a partner program gives you more feet on the floor without any additional cost. It’s simple math – if one person can generate 5 leads in a week, then 10 people can generate 50.
Without a partner program, you would have to hire more people to increase sales, which would eat into your profit. With a referral program, you get access to more leads while improving your lead to cost ratio. To achieve this target, you must collaborate with a company that works closely with your target customers and develop a strategy that encourages them to easily bring you business from their existing and new customers.
There’s a big difference between leads and qualified leads. Leads are people who you can reach out to, but qualified leads are those people who have already shown an interest in your products and services.
If you choose a partner who offers products and services that are related to yours, their customer base is likely to be interested in your offers as well. Thus, most of the leads generated by a partner program are more qualified leads than you may get from other sources.
Also, there’s the trust factor to consider. Your partner company has already had a working relationship with their customer base and built trust. Their customers are more likely to trust their recommendations than respond to publicity or sales emails.
Some partners may be even more positioned to sell your products than you are since they are in closer proximity to your customers. This is yet another aspect that benefits your company and increases your conversion rate.
Managing costs during this economic downtown has been hard for everyone. Hiring has been out of the question for most companies. Thankfully, a partner program typically works on a reward/discount model.
With a reward/discount system, you owe your partners payment only when they have been able to fulfill their objectives. Thus, you can avoid too many upfront costs and make a win-win situation. This allows businesses to stay true to their growth path while minimizing costs.
Not only that, but your partners usually also have a working relationship with their clients. Since they are well-positioned, they can help with the onboarding and training process of these clients, reducing costs even further and increasing your customer retention by providing more value to your end client.
Since the opportunities to host or participate in conferences, trade shows, etc. have been limited, businesses are finding it difficult to expand their reach.
Partnering with companies that have a well-established presence in the market helps overcome this hurdle. They can promote your brand in their marketing campaigns and create synergies that strengthen your brand image and help you reach out to new customers.
By simply publishing your logo on their website or mentioning your company in their blogs, webinars, etc. partnering companies can further your reach. They can also mention your brand in newsletters and other promotional campaigns to advertise your name and notify their customer base.
For partnerships to be effective, you must build strategies that benefit both sides and keep your partners engaged. This may be more challenging than it seems since you probably need multiple partners and partner types to meet your growth objectives.
A partner relationship management tool like Kiflo can help you out. With a PRM, you can easily onboard, support, and engage your partners, all while generating essential data that will help you make more strategic sales decisions by having full visibility over your partner ecosystem.
If you are looking to start a new strategy during these testing times, contact us. We’d be happy to help you put your partner program together.