Spotlight: Changing Pitch, Building The Channel from Scratch
ABC, we’ve all seen Baldwin in Glengarry Glenn Ross – use the brass or hit the bricks.
SaaS, as a generality – doesn’t resemble ‘80’s nostalgia real estate and ides of power suits steering oft intimidated customer pen to paper meeting after meeting, quarter after quarter – to points of dollar sign nauseum. The consumer world (especially the professional one), today? Full on consultative.
Why? Knowledge acquisition. What do I mean? The buyer has the power – no longer a novel concept – and is why companies like Salesforce Pardot, Marketo, and HubSpot shot to the moon in the automated marketing/sales waves with content tailoring, funnel nurturing, and closing as customers/cheerleaders.
Collaborative video salespeople are no different in their ‘buyer’s journey’ efforts. At its core – the understanding of what ‘always on video’ can do for a customer and their organizations systemic productivity.
There is, however; an unfortunate reality here – telling different stories of video use for companies who’ve leveraged it properly, compared to those who haven’t. Said differences are a primary result of seeing video as one of two things: a ‘nice to have’, or a ‘need to have’.
The biggest driver of this? Implementations. Complexity. Evaluation periods.
Who helps with things like this? Someone you trust. A partner.
Enter go to market strategies heavily involving the channel.
The adage goes ‘when you know, you know’, but the humor of the human race doesn’t offer a great success rate insofar as proposing to her the night you meet her can go. What helps here? A mutual acquaintance. You know, a partner relationship builder.
In dating, much like sales – partner relations can help otherwise convoluted situations across the goal line. It only makes sense – and in moving from a direct to partner model at Videonor U.S. we were tasked by management to tweak our focus not on closing – but on relationship building with potential partners. Namely – honest conversation.
In the traditional sense of a sale – there’s little difference once the ice has been broken and you’re working toward a deal, i.e. “in” with the customer.
The partner model, however, flips this on its head a little because rapport is more or less assumed by the customer via the partner relation. So – in direct, your customers don’t need to love you, but the arrangement needs be beneficial for both parties. In the same light – a step further, you and said partner also don’t need to be in love, but both parties do need to be able to leverage value consistently and remain aware of the working relationships boundaries in order to do business together again, and again, and again.
The top of outreach and follow-up is wildly important here to impress on the potential partner what exactly it is you need in order for both parties to be successful – in Videonor’s case, 2 new highly qualified customer meetings per rep – biweekly. Once adopting this strategy, the Videonor channel saw a 2x increase in pipe volume over a 30 day span.
In building a channel from scratch, the name of the game is simple : transparency. Tell them who you are and what you want from the get go and they’ll respect you enough to give straight answers back, and if the shoe fits – there’ll be plenty of margin to go around.
Once these early stages are ironed out – ‘when you know, you know’ – official partner agreements and more set in stone commercials start to become a lot more effective.