By Erik Frantzen, President, Nurture Marketing
New technology keeps emerging at an ever-accelerated pace. Understandably, so does its sales channel. In the world of B2B technology products and services, traditional transactional partnerships have evolved to non-linear models—ones that include influencer and retention partners and look more like ecosystems and communities than clearly marked lanes.
Rapid change has become the norm for products, the paradigm of indirect sales, and buyers’ decision-making journeys—making through-channel marketing a major challenge. Social selling, however, offers partners a uniquely fitting mechanism to achieve results in this dynamic, developing landscape.
Firstly, social selling represents the easiest to implement action of all channel co-marketing programs. Approximately 90% of managed service providers (MSPs) use social media actively, with similar numbers of partners and potential partners in general currently leveraging LinkedIn for content marketing, lead generation, and sales. In this context, social syndication programs find certain traction. Such initiatives—where resellers and other channel partners share thought leadership content of their connected vendors, with the opportunity to add their own customized spin—provide a win-win for all parties involved. Vendors benefit from easily disseminated on-brand, consistent messaging. And reseller, retention, and influencer partners become go-to thought-leadership curators: Turnkey semi-automated programs include highly relevant content, easy-to-use social tools, setup help, and ongoing training and communication.
Secondly, social syndication programs—and social selling in general—get results. For example, resellers and partners using one leading social syndication solution have seen a 25% average increase in sales. Such numbers stem, in part, from the nature of the environment. Unlike email, which can feel intrusive, social platforms attract professionals who participate voluntarily, seeking to expand their knowledge and contact possibilities. Additionally, social profiles offer much clearer insight into the priorities of potential connections than do email lists—giving partners the opportunity to use the same medium for research and well-honed communication. Optimized for comment, conversation, and discussion, social platforms function as a natural place to nurture—from development of a thought leadership reputation that invites connection and query, to well-researched and individualized InMail’s that expand partnerships and lead to sales.
Additionally, social platforms both reflect and support the future of the channel. Composed of various categories of partnerships that more resemble Venn diagrams than columns and rows, modern channels structurally parallel the organic interconnection of social communities—so building and nurturing them there makes sense. At the same time, social platforms—automated, flexible, scalable, and accessible—have the agility needed to recalibrate quickly as new technologies, and the methodologies that sell them, unfold.
Nurture Marketing will offer a series to support successful social selling, covering key topics such as social publishing and building a thought leadership presence, nurture networking, social decision cycles, and more.
Please contact us to learn about our Social Selling solutions specifically designed for the Partner Channel. You may reach us by calling (732) 636-1001, Extension 27, or by visiting the CONTACT PAGE of our website.