How Do you Effectively Drive and Measure Your Partners Marketing & Sales Success?
Q&A, along with some resources
  1. Someone mentioned a "marketing accreditation course". Can you give more insight as to how companies have done this, or what 'best of breed' looks like?

    Claudio Ayub: Please click here to view the eBook on the matter 

  2. Can you give an example of a partner recognition program?

    Claudio Ayub:
    i. Recognize and reward NEW partners for (on-boarding): 
      a. Registration and Contracting - Complete registration and contracting requirements during a specific period 
      b. Staff Induction and Training – Complete minimum training requirements to complete registration above 
      c. Access to systems – Complete registration to sales and marketing enablement systems 
      d. Accreditation – Complete review of accreditation resources and tools
    ii. Recognize and reward VOLUME partners for (engagement): 
      a. Deals Registered (approved), Inviting PAM/CAM on calls to deals reg, Proof of Concept, Deal Closing 
      b. Systems Utilization of sales and marketing enablement resources in alignment with number of leads generated 
      c. Buyers Journey Accreditation – Formal understanding of the digital buyers journey, stages, buying groups, scenarios, etc.  

  3. Can you give a real example of a successful fully integrated digital marketing campaign?

    Heather Margolis: It starts with a healthy list. The list needs to be a culmination of LinkedIn contacts, current customers/prospects, and if a list that's been purchased, they are first connected with on LinkedIn. Then we'd move into building relevant content. This includes blog posts, videos, webinar, podcasts and one pagers. You can see suggestions for creating video content here. Follow the funnel when trying to figure out what content when, I'm happy to share ours. From there you need to get as much exposure for the content as possible. That means social posts from everyone on the team, newsletters, website, and emails (though limit one-off emails, use them in prospecting emails with a combination of content I.e. a video, webinar, and blog post all in one email). Finally, to gain even more exposure to people who don't yet know you, it's time to start using ABM and Retargeting as well as online ad campaigns. 

    Thaddeus Ward: These run the range from incredibly sophisticated gamification and tiering schemes to simple email blasts. The general rule is that the more sophisticated/complex a program is, the more important communication about standards and measurement become. A few simple ideas: 1) In these very dynamic times you may know what the right behaviors are to reward. You can start just by publishing anecdotal success stories and big wins. 2) If you have a community for partner support and exchange of best practices I would recommend some sort of badging system to recognize frequent contributors and/or people who emerge as experts on particular topics 3) Assuming you can track activity effectively (e.g. without needing to ask for updates) you can also set up impromptu contests for things like # Leads, #Mktg messages sent, etc. BOTTOM LINE: Anything you can measure can be used for recognition. 

  4. If we are devising a simple marketing training course what are the 4-5 most important topics we should cover?

    Heather Margolis: Creating killer content, leveraging your sales team's social, digital marketing 101, running a virtual event 

    Thaddeus Ward: This varies greatly by industry, geography and the sophistication of your partner base. There is a huge range of options. This might be a good time to ask them what they need. 

  5. Could you give us the same for remote selling?

    Heather Margolis: Leveraging LinkedIn to drive demand, social selling 101, how to personalize marketing content to better engage prospects, the art of the prospecting email 

  6. Could you define concierge marketing?

    Heather Margolis: concierge is generally when you identify a company to help your partners on a one-off basis. Think Tech Support. They have trouble building a list or have a question about the steps to better engage an audience. This is different from Managed Marketing Services or MMS where the Partners are assigned to a consultant who will start at the beginning, step through goals, identify challenges and build a plan as well as help with execution.

    Thaddeus Ward: In the most extreme scenario you are doing the marketing for them. 

  7. You mentioned marketing KPIs - can you define the top KPIs I should be using?

    Heather Margolis: First and foremost is revenue but give it 8-12 months from starting a program to see if it's working. Others include how often they use your content, platforms, resources, as well as clicks on content they've sent out, number of meetings, live/virtual event attendees, and marketing activities (are they posting about you on social?)

    Thaddeus Ward: In my experience the key to success here is making sure there is a link between leading indicators (like messages sent, webinars, invites etc.) and lagging indicators (deals signed, $$$ received, CSAT, renewals etc.). The idea is to incentivize the leading indicators that correlate with the best long-term results. When you actually dig into data there are often some surprises about what your most effective partners are doing. Even worse, the drivers of success shift over time. 

  8. As many partners don’t have marketing capabilities is it not better to move to full concierge marketing for them rather than try and educate partners?

    Heather Margolis: ideally you want them to have some understanding otherwise they won't even take advantage of the concierge correctly. You want them to know what they don't know, so to speak. At Spark we're also taking note that your salespeople need to better engage with your content, not just marketing so this education is important for them as well. They should understand LinkedIn, content, how AdWords work so they know which keywords to use in emails, etc.

    Thaddeus Ward: Also, this depends on the economics of your channel and strengths of your company. On a radical extreme, you may have something like a franchise model where you develop a fearsome marketing machine which does all the marketing for everyone. This is baked into the cost and profit model of the partnerships. On the other extreme marketing may be one of the services you expect from partners (think Natura, Avon, Mary K etc.). Most partnership models fall in the middle ground described by Heather. Before you 'do it for them', they need to appreciate what you are providing and at least have the skill to be able to capitalize on your support.

    Claudio Ayub: Click the links to download KPI Metrics by Activity Type or Channel Incentives Framework