With Channel Sales Soaring, Shouldn’t You Be A Partner Marketing Wizard?

Published: October 11, 2017

The news that Dell EMC’s indirect business will account for more than 60% of its overall revenue by 2020 is not surprising. Already two-thirds of all IT products and services are sold through channels. And it’s estimated that as much as 75% of all global trade is generated through the channel.

Companies large and small are taking action to strengthen their channel programs. For example, Xerox is in the process of transforming its indirect sales organization, including the implementation of a single, global PRM platform to better enable channel partners and empower channel managers globally.

Samsung Electronics announced that it’s upping its investment in the channel with new solution provider training and demand generation programs. The company will also offer a marketing concierge service to all of its channel partners.

Start-up companies, too, said channel partners will play a key role in the sales and marketing of their products. Participants in the 2017 MIT Sloan CIO Symposium’s Innovation Showcase are considering indirect channels much earlier in their development, according to a TechTarget Network report.

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The potential benefit that the channel is providing many companies is reflected in the people invited to attend key strategy meetings. Maria Chien, Service Director of Channel Marketing Strategies for SiriusDecisions, told Channel Marketer Report that more companies are taking steps to include channel programs in their strategic planning. “Channel managers and marketers are more likely to get a seat at the table as companies plan their go-to-market strategies,” she said.

For channel-centric companies, optimizing to- and through-partner marketing programs is an opportunity laden with its fair share of challenges. While new purpose-built channel marketing tools are streamlining the processes that connect vendors and partners, disruptions in the way products and solutions are promoted, sold and serviced are requiring greater skills.

Class Is In Session

To help seasoned channel professionals sharpen their marketing chops, the B2B Marketing Exchange is expanding its 2018 agenda to include sessions and workshops on channel marketing. Already a premier event for marketers managing the complex sales cycles and group buying realities common today, the addition of a channel track expands the scope of B2BMX to address the opportunities delivered through high-performing partner programs.

“Considering how much B2B revenue is generated through indirect sales teams, it’s critical that all marketers have a better understanding of how to market to and through their partners,” said Andrew Gaffney, President and Founder of G3 Communications, the organizer of the B2B Marketing Exchange, and publisher of Channel Marketer Report.

The agenda is being expanded with sessions and workshops on key channel marketing trends. “Our goal is to provide in-the-trenches channel marketers with up-to-date information on their profession’s best practices,” said Gaffney.

Equally important, the event will also demonstrate to marketers unfamiliar with channel practices how marketing through partners can represent the greatest opportunity to help them drive key marketing messages to extended audiences, especially long-tail opportunities.

In addition to the channel marketing sessions and workshops, attendees will also be able to review the channel marketing campaigns nominated for the 2018 Killer Content Awards. The awards program has been expanded to include recognition of the assets and materials vendors create to drive through-partner marketing campaigns. The deadline for nominations is Nov. 1, 2017.

The B2B Marketing Exchange will be held at the Fairmont Princess Resort, Scottsdale, Ariz., Feb. 19-21, 2018. Registration is now open.

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