Hand on heart. Have you ever passed prospects on to your sales partners? Then you will also know how difficult it is to get information back on the status of these prospects. Which sales partner does what? What is the current state of affairs? How much revenue did your initiative generate in the sales channel? Do not you know? Then it’s time for professional channel opportunity management (COM = management of end-customer inquiries with the involvement of sales partners).
Why is it so difficult to get feedback on leads that the manufacturer has given the distributor?
No matter how intense the sales partnership is, the interests of manufacturers, distributors and resellers are very different on some points. Ultimately, the manufacturers want maximum transparency and the resellers want to give out as little information as possible.
Why? The reseller is often afraid that he could be “passed over” or “booted out” in the course of further business initiation. This is particularly often the case when manufacturers operate indirect and direct sales side by side. The same applies to access to resellers at the distributors. The sales partners, therefore, have little interest in giving the manufacturers an insight into their sales activities. But how do you still get transparency in your channel activities?
Manufacturers who are concerned about how to organize their opportunity management should definitely consider the following 9 principles:
The principle of a good deal
The principle of honesty
The principle of laziness
The principle of push/pull distribution
The principle of competition
The principle of the perfect processor
The principle of the carrot and stick
The principle of “everyone in one boat”
The principle of push/pull reporting
All of these principles are taken into account in our “leadtributor” product! We want to explain to you step by step!
The principle of the “good deal”
In general, of course, every reseller only gets involved if he can get something “valuable”. The relationship between effort and benefit must be very positive for him. For this reason, the opportunity management process must be designed in such a way that the leads are of the highest possible quality.
Qualification steps for leads are therefore often essential. The partner must always have the feeling that dealing with the prospects (leads) is worthwhile for him. There is no point in giving any downloaders of white paper material to the channel unprocessed. Lead management stands and falls with the quality of the leads. A good opportunity management tool should therefore ensure
TIP 1: Don’t give leads to resellers who are not qualified. Define the qualification criteria clearly and unambiguously. Which information must be determined in order to become an interesting inquiry for the sales partner?
The principle of honesty.
When acquiring new sales partners, manufacturers often promise partners that they will regularly receive “hot” leads or that they will be supported in generating them. Unfortunately, that’s rarely the case. If at all, trade fair contacts, downloaders, or competition participants are distributed to the sales partners. But nothing is more demotivating than post-processing cold or uninteresting addresses.
Partners do this a few times and then the motivation to follow up the manufacturer’s leads drops to zero. But be careful: some partners are even ready to process such addresses. The only condition: You want to know where the inquiries come from and what expectations they should have when they reach the leads. Therefore, it is very important to get as much information as possible about the lead. Is that a “hot lead”,
A little tip: In general, this is a guide. The longer the text in the comments on the prospect, the greater the partner’s attention. It simply has to do with the fact that the partner has the feeling that someone has dealt intensively with the lead in long-running texts and that it is not a “collected” business card or a “downloader of a white paper”.
TIP 2: Introduce the principle of lead temperature. Always tell your partner honestly whether this address is hot, warm, or cold from your point of view. And please be open and honest! If you use motivation systems, you reward the processing of cold leads disproportionately.
The principle of laziness
In the relationship between manufacturer and sales partner, there are almost always processes that have to be followed. These are often mapped via web portals or other connections. But be careful: some resellers are partners of many manufacturers.
In addition to the company’s own systems such as ERP, CRM, etc., a large number of manufacturers’ portals and tools quickly come together. The resellers would have a lot to do if they kept feeding all of these portals. For this reason, opportunity management must be designed in such a way that the reseller has no or only minimal additional work. At best, it even has to be fun.
Keep reading: how to crack upper back
Good opportunity management tools offer 3 ways to work on leads together with the partner
Web client. A very easy and intuitive web client that does not require any training, demo, or manual.
App – If possible, you should also use an app with which resellers can call up your leads from anywhere in the world (from mobile phones or tablets) and give feedback on them.
eMail – If the partner does not want to use any tools to retrieve or process leads, he should also be able to do this in his email client. He receives HTML emails with feedback options so that he can easily take part in the opportunity management process.
TIP 3: Make it as easy as possible for your sales partner to collect leads. He does not have to attend any training or read a manual.