Last week, Channel Marketing Journal launched the 2018 Channel Marketer Change Agent list — our way of recognizing leaders who are triggering excitement and change in the channel in new and creative ways. Our experience interviewing many of these leaders and sharing their success stories and lessons learned helped inspire us to showcase their achievements in a more public way.
Here are some of the stories that stand out (and the leaders that shaped them):
1. Moving Channel Partners Through the Sales Funnel
May Mitchell, VP of Worldwide Field and Channel Marketing at Cylance, knows channel partners and salespeople are reluctant to give customer information to vendors, beyond what’s required on a purchase order. To motivate them to share more, Mitchell developed an incentive program to reward partners for submitting customer names into their system based on stage in the sales pipeline. The brilliance of the approach — which even includes gift card rewards — is the recognition of what truly motivates salespeople to engage. With the additional customer information gained, Mitchell is able to offer partners more support moving prospects through the sales funnel — a win-win.
2. SEs on Your Side
At Varonis, sales engineers play a vital role defining solutions and helping sales teams develop messages around them. So Mark Wilcox, Varonis Vice President of Channel Operations and Strategic Accounts, focuses much of his team’s energy winning over the SEs. His “Hallway Education” program helps engineers make the most of spontaneous encounters with sales people in the hallways and around the watercooler to start meaningful conversations about Varonis value propositions.
3. Improving Face-to-Face ROI
Make sure to watch the video showing our recent interview with Rob Rae, Vice President of Business Development at backup and disaster recovery company, Datto. You’ll find it worth your while to listen to his take on the importance of face-to-face meetings, and how to maximize the value of these high-cost/high-touch lead nurturing activities. As Rae points out, vendors need to go beyond just hosting and attending events and staffing them with sales people. Your message, no matter how compelling, will fall on deaf ears if it fails to address the concerns of the audience; or if the skills of your messenger aren’t a match for the mode of communication. Ensuring your company’s representatives have the training and experienced to engage on the right level with the people you’re looking to influence is essential.
4. Partnering to Provide a Clear Solution
Our latest video features an interview with Cylance Vice President of Worldwide Channels and Alliances, Didi Dayton. In addition to sharing a channel marketing pet peeve, she talks to Channel Marketing Journal about the role vendors play helping partners understand and communicate how different technologies integrate to solve customers’ problems. During our interview, Dayton makes it clear that just building out partner solution SKUs isn’t enough. Vendors need to support their integrated offerings by educating partners on the benefits, and give them content and tools to help them bring these messages to end-user customers.
Success Stories in the Making
Connecting with channel leaders and sharing their stories in Channel Marketing Journal is one of the most rewarding parts of my job. I hope they help to spark some ideas on how to drive positive change in your channel ecosystem.
What about your company? Have you or a colleague done something new in the channel this year that would be interesting to Channel Marketing Journal subscribers? To share your story, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, consider nominating yourself or an associate for the 2018 Channel Marketing Change Agent list. Channel Marketing Journal is accepting nominations through November 30, 2018.