We, as marketers, can’t be everywhere at once. As search engines and tech sites aggregate “top marketers” based on metrics such as user submissions on their particular site, the number of reviews from obscure advertising platforms, or geotags from the searcher’s area, it’s not always easy to help the leads find you. It’s even more frustrating when you eventually connect and realize you were perfectly suited to solve their problems months ago!
Through purposeful referrals, channel partners can help direct traffic from other locations and grow your B2B business and revenue. Because these services channel leads specifically rather than through linking or hosting promotional content, channel partners are considered different from affiliate marketers in some key ways that we’ll go into below.
Channel Partners are like intermediaries between leads and your service. While your marketing runs, a channel partner runs a differently focused campaign, and any actionable results are vetted for suitability before being funneled to you. This can be done through a commission structure or per-basis, as their business is dependent on a successful sharing of leads.
Affiliate marketing, on the other hand, is a broader and less specific type of marketing. It is typically seen through link-sharing and third-party lead trafficking. The relationship is much looser, like a poster on a signboard as compared to a door-knocking campaign.
Since the success of a channel partner is directly tied to the sales they achieve, a channel partner will typically take a greater degree of care in understanding your problem and the types of customers you want to attract. This is why some of the best channel partners can be your own competition! If they cannot take on a project, they will know your business well enough to recommend you as part of a nurturing campaign. They say keep your friends close…
Finding channel partners involves research and networking that may seem counterintuitive at first. Attending conferences and events will help you meet similar businesses in your field, and educating them on your platform and services may help them drive future traffic to you and your brand. In formalizing this relationship, this can become mutually beneficial. They receive a commission; you acquire new business. Not such a bad deal!
While channel partner models also exist for selling specific products and manufacturing deals, it is beneficial to view these channel service offerings in the context of B2B sales. Relationships are everything, as is brand trust. In working with channel partners, you establish brand recognition both in the internal field you work in as well as outside through word-of-mouth and referrals.
In building a business that is attractive to channel partners, you must remain transparent about the benefits that channel partners will see in working with you. Gently encourage your existing partners and clients for further referrals, as they are experts in their regions and may have access to leads you do not.
Growing your B2B takes time, patience, care, and an empathetic approach to all of the struggles which come along with you and your client’s scope of work. Channel partners help leverage new business in a way that grows you steadily, healthily, and with clients that are best suited to the services you provide most effectively.
Whether you’re looking to grow your B2B business or start one from the ground up, I can help. Booking a meeting is simple and easy. As with channel partners, you never know what kind of goodness will shake loose!