The best performing channel leaders are leveraging rich data to identify and engage the best partners and channel segments.

There’s an abundance of readily accessible market data on your channel partners, and yet the sheer volume of data can make it challenging to profile and benchmark your channel community.

1. Are we regularly tracking and benchmarking our channel?

In parallel, there are several ways to get your product and/or service to market through an ever-broadening channel. There are probably star performers in your channel who are not on your radar, and under-performing partners you persist in working with.

N.B. We’re not talking solely about mining sold-out data, but layering independent, large-scale business data to provide insight into their business profile.

2. Have we mapped our channel around our end-user audience?

Always start with the end in mind.

Well-structured channel programmes take into account the buying and consumption models of all end-user customer segments, then seek to align channel coverage accordingly:

  • Who are your ideal end-user customers?
  • How do they buy/consume technology?
  • Who do they consult for advice?
  • Which sectors/geographies are they in?
  • What technologies are you looking to replace/displace/complement/integrate?
  • What level of sector specialisation do you need to serve their needs?

3. Have we segmented our channel (again and again and again)?

Once you have defined the end-user customer segments, you’ll understand what you need from various clusters of channel partner.

Segment your existing channel into ‘pots’ to show which partners have the skills, resources, processes, and above all, passion, to deliver. You need to make some tough decisions. Not all of your existing channel will be fit for purpose (even the big ones!).

Some end-user customer segments will be currently under-served by your existing channel, so this will need some parallel channel recruitment activity. Make sure this is data-driven and aligned to those end-user consumption/engagement models.

4. Are (all) of our B2B channel marketing campaigns programmatic?

Global B2C sellers define their campaigns with very clear metrics, costs and outcomes, tightly focused on the small cohort of prospects most likely to engage. Yet many B2B marketers & sellers are cost/volume obsessed. All too often we hear:

  • How much is the day rate?
  • How much is the data?
  • How many contacts are there?

The B2B market must evolve to a more programmatic approach where greater value is placed on better outcomes, especially if it enables the marketer to do more with less by being more focused.

5. Have we identified, engaged, and are we digitally tracking our next stellar partners?

Get ahead with your channel recruitment. Long-term successful relationship building takes time. There must be a clear ­­­­strategic fit for both parties. Continuous profiling of the best-fit channel partners will enable opportunities to strategically engage, not when you­­­ are forced into making sub-optimal relationships.

Learn more about IQBlade’s data-driven channel platform.

by Emily Hill.

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