To succeed in channel sales, it’s essential to emphasize thought leadership as a way to enable existing partners and attract new ones. According to Forbes, thought leadership takes marketing to a new level. It increases the visibility of your organization by accelerating marketing efforts to accomplish goals and generate new leads.
These days, buyers are in control. Thanks to the internet and the availability of information, they can access what they’re looking for before and during the sales cycle. Thought leadership is about enabling channel partners to reach buyers where they are. If you’re looking to empower channel reps to make real relationships with their prospects, it’s important that the right content aligns with buyers and is leveraged across every stage of the sales cycle.
Thought Leadership & Sales Enablement
Building thought leadership into partner programs encourages partners to stand out in their crowded markets. Leveraging thought leadership strategies helps partners establish authority in the industry—which ultimately assists their efforts in generating and nurturing their leads.
As the sales industry continues to evolve, reps need a higher level of technical competence. This has prompted the rise of the technical sales rep in the channel. It’s important for partners to speak fluently about your product offerings, convey specific needs that your product fulfills, and ask prospects the right questions.
To encourage technical fluency across your organization, it’s important to empower channel partners with the right training. This is done by framing training around strategies, coordinated campaigns, and purposeful thought leadership content. It’s also done by ensuring that partners can access the right content at the right time to appeal to their buyers.
Sales enablement is all about getting the right content to your reps at the right time.
Your partners rely on your marketing team for content—and not just any content. Content must be aligned with the buyer’s journey and sales funnel. As you develop content, it’s essential that it’s usable for both your end users and your partners.
Building a knowledge base doesn’t mean overwhelming partners with information. It means delivering partner enablement efforts with content that’s relevant and applicable. It’s important to outline the features of your products and services so that partners can uncover customer needs. Provide them with thought leadership content so they can publish it on blogs and in newsletters and other industry-specific publications.
By championing the right content, your channel sales teams become thought leaders themselves. Ultimately, thought leadership establishes credibility. This not only manifests itself in your online presence and expertise, but also through validation in the marketplace. In turn, you can leverage this credibility to attract the right type of partners in the future.