Anyone who has worked on product design, manufacturing and program execution knows that sometimes, the hardest part is when you’re finally at the end of the line — distribution. That’s where the magic happens, and it can determine your top line, revenue, and profits. It can also be the most stressful stage of our product life cycle.
This is where channel marketing becomes key to growing your business. The great thing is, you don’t have to settle for lower sales just because you don’t have the right team or the bandwidth. Even if you have an in-house sales team, associating with the right channel partner can throw the gates wide open for your business.
Indirect channels could be the additional revenue sources you need
If you’re just starting out with a channel partner, bear in mind that it takes time to orient the relationship based on your strategy and vision. There have been enough cases, however, when over time, channel partners mature to become a key source of sales.
You and your team can only do so much. Bringing on additional manpower through a channel marketing partner will allow you to explore new avenues without spreading yourselves too thin. Some businesses even choose to launch new products or services exclusively through such channels.
Channel partners offer specialized services
If you pick a channel partner with enough expertise and experience in your chosen sector or industry, it’s quite likely they understand the business landscape as well as the competition. Not only will they be familiar with your type of product or service, but they will know how to position it as well, given the overall ecosystem. There are many kinds of channel partners as well, like affiliate partners, or referral and reselling partners. You can even come up with a co-branding agreement if it makes sense to do so. If you’re generating your own leads, you can choose which ones to pursue internally and which ones to hand over, based on your partner’s expertise.
Channel marketing can help you bring down sales costs, leaving more room for product or brand marketing.
Rather than putting your money into keeping and managing a large sales team, you can choose to have a leaner sales team working on the most critical B2B or B2C sales for your business. The rest can be handled through channel partners. While channel partners are a good option for investing in for boosting sales, you should focus on brand or product marketing yourself. That’s something that will help you build visibility with consistency, while still pocketing the rewards.
Work closely with your channel partners for best results
Any relationship takes to time to take root and thrive. That’s just as true with channel marketing partnerships. Give your partners the independence they need to convert leads and meet targets, but make sure they understand your priorities as well. Have they internalized your value proposition? Do they know about current trends and shifts in the industry? Stay engaged throughout the process and set up a two-way feedback process, so you’re still connected to user feedback and other insights that you can channel back into production or marketing.
Make your channel marketing strategy as scalable as your business
To really push your business further, work with a scalable channel marketing plan as your grow your business. Maybe in the beginning, your production and marketing was more focused around direct sales. Take into account newer opportunities while planning for the future, and make indirect sales an independent lever for your company. What have you learned over your channel marketing engagement? Is there a hidden opportunity for product design or innovation, perhaps a recently discovered potential for a new business line? Factor that into your growth plans.
Don’t let the fear of the unknown hold you back. As long as you’ve kept on strategy and if your partners are engaged, you can dive right into a marketing channel and explore uncharted territory with your business. And if you don't know where to start, or are stuggling with a strategy, New Angle's channel marketing strategists can help.