Channel Partner Marketing in today’s time is not just about ensuring that your channel partner buys his quarterly quota but empowering him to sell more of your products so that your company sales grow.  In a B2B scenario, when channel partners implement digital marketing for their businesses, it can become the key revenue driver of your company sales.

It doesn’t matter if a channel partner is at base zero  when it comes to digital marketing, the important thing is that partners use today’s B2B digital marketing techniques to find new customers, make the sale and be more successful. By helping channel partners learn and implement digital marketing for their business, companies can take a market leadership position and improve sales.

As a Channel Partner Marketer or a Sales Head here are some pointers to help you structure your Channel Partner training on digital marketing techniques

Channel Partner Digital Lead Generation Techniques

Leads are the lifeblood of any B2B Sales and every additional lead that your channel partner is able to generate at a better ROI will translate into higher sales for your product. Some of the proven lead generation techniques partners could be trained on are:

1. Google AdWords

Google AdWords can be pretty confusing and frightfully expensive for anyone not trained in Search Engine Marketing. Google AdWords can be your channel partner’s biggest lead generation route. Train him on how to successfully plan a Google AdWords Campaign set it up and show him how to optimize it for his geography.

Aspects like keyword research, determining whether to use Exact, Broad, Phrase or Broad Match Modifier keywords can make a big difference between success and utter failure. Further  digital marketing training in helping him understand how to create the right textual ads that can convert coupled with knowledge on how to further optimize a running campaign will help your channel partner not only reach out to prospects when they are searching for your product category but also convert prospects into leads.

Digital Marketing Training

2. LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the de-facto medium for generating high quality B2B Sales Leads. However sadly most B2B channel partners are completely ignorant of this medium or at best use it sparingly.  If correctly used, LinkedIn can become a powerful lead generator and networking instrument.

Train the partner on how to create the right partner profile on LinkedIn and on the right social selling techniques.  Prospect identification, using LinkedIn InMail for prospecting, leveraging company content to promote specific products to specific audiences, using sales navigators are some of the techniques channel partners need to be trained on.

3.Email Marketing

Email Marketing continues to be at the forefront of the most widely used tool for B2B prospecting. It’s fast, cheap and a highly effective medium if used properly. But people make pretty common mistakes while doing email marketing

The structure of effective email marketing include 3 critical components which Channel Partners need to be trained on – a) Developing prospect database of B2B customers in their geography b)Email Content Planning and c) Using an automated email tool that can help them track and improve their campaign.

Digitally train your channel partner on aspects such as how to extract email ids from LinkedIn and the internet to build a prospect database potential customers, what tools exist that will enable them to do so effectively. How to write great copy for emailers that will get prospects to only open the email but also act on it and lastly what and how to use popular free email campaign management tools like Zoho or Mail Chimp

Content Management System

4. Local Search

Training channel partners to leverage local search parameters can go a long way in helping channel partners gain prestige and natural search led leads from within their geographic area.  Knowing how to use Google SEO as well as other local search platforms needs to be part of the digital marketing training modules.

5. Website

With the advent of web development Content Management Systems (CMS) like WordPress or even Wix, not having a website at the channel partner level makes no sense. Today building a website can be done even by a non-technical person. Drag and drop functionalities make it relatively easy along with ready made design and functionality templates make it easy for channel partners to have their own website.

Digital training on popular CMS systems like WordPress, Yoast SEO for doing SEO and on WIx or other popular website builders can help channel partners create their own website thereby helping themselves project the right market imagery for your brand as well as help project your company as a digitally savvy marketer.

Developing the Digital Marketing Training Module

While designing the training module for channel partners, care needs to be taken to incorporate and customize the training modules around your specific product category, your target audience and their geography. Digital Marketing is not a one size fits all approach but rather different stokes for different folks approach.

Some of the aspects that need to be accounted for are:-

  1. Structuring and customization of the module around your product category or domain, so that the channel partners can better understand the applicability of the technique for their business
  2. Keep it practical. Channel partners need to know how to do things, hence the digital marketing training module needs to be practical oriented, showing them how things are to be done rather than conceptual
  3. Handhold them post training. Digital Marketing is both a science and an art and for someone applying a new method of marketing, the chance of making mistakes, judgmental error or simply forgetting is quite high. Hence the digital marketing training module should account for AMA (Ask Me Anything) sessions on a regular basis for the next 3 months to enable channel partners to pose follow up practical operational questions to the digital marketing expert.

Conducting the Digital Marketing Training

Getting Channel Partners to leave their business and attend full day sessions are both avoidable as well as pointless especially with technology allowing for seamless delivery of training through the web.  Moreover since Channel Partners are located around the country, bringing them all to one place would be an expensive proposition.

The Ideal way to run digital marketing training programs for channel partners would be through webinars and hand-on sessions where the digital expert talks the partner through specific areas and then encourages the partner to implement it on his own business. Sessions therefore need to be spread over a longer period typically over a month with shorter one to two hour sessions held 2-3 times a week on particular subject matters.

This should be followed through with AMA sessions where the partner finds a platform to engage with the digital expert trainer on any issues he has found during implementation

Conclusion

According to Forrester Research 74% of business buyers report that they conduct more than 50% of their research online before making any buying decision. This coupled with the fact that today the buying decisions usually involve 4-5 key stakeholders make it even more critical that influencers are prospected to and engaged with as aggressively as with the Key Business Decision Maker.

And by empowering your channel partners with the right B2B digital marketing techniques you can help their growth and as well as yours

About DigiSkills

DigiSkills is the training and coaching arm of How To Do Digital Marketing– a content and knowledge platform aimed at helping entrepreneurs and working professionals learn and implement digital marketing through tips, guides and resources and digital marketing courses.

DigiSkills provides digital marketing training and coaching programs to corporates for their Sales and Channel Partners. Contact rajesh@how2dodigitalmarketing.com if you would like to know more of how we can help your channel partners sell more.

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