How to Help Provide Sales and Marketing Expertise to MSPs
Channel partner programs have become the key way for vendors to help MSPs with the common challenges they face, including advertising and marketing their products and services to capture the interest of their target audience. These programs also offer mutually beneficial relationships for vendors, allowing them to sell to and through MSPs and expand their own availability of products and services.
However, the question remains: how can vendors help MSPs with their sales and marketing? After all, 94% of MSPs say lack of marketing and sales resources are the biggest challenges to growth. Let’s explore the different ways vendors can supply their channel partners with these skills and resources and help MSPs accelerate their growth, credibility and self-sufficiency.
The Benefits of Channel Partner Programs
With a channel partner program, two goals are accomplished. Vendors can sell their products and services through an MSP, boosting their customer base, reaching new markets and scaling up their organization.
At the same time, MSPs partner with these vendors to receive technology solutions that cater to their ideal audiences — or to use themselves. This can help newer MSPs become established as solution-providing brands. It can also aid MSPs who have stalled with new products and services overcome their stagnation.
Still, MSPs need to know how to market and sell these products and services. As a result, many vendors provide qualifying partners with sales enablement support and training, marketing tools and resources and partner portals to help sharpen their sales and marketing knowledge.
Leveraging Sales and Marketing Tools and Training
You may be wondering what specific channel partner marketing programs and sales training are available to MSPs. Some of the most common ones you’ll see include the following.
#1: Sales Enablement
Sales teams need to be prepared for customer engagements regarding a product or service they plan to sell. To assist them, vendors may offer content like sales scripts, presentations, online training, courses and certifications. Other strategies include in-person sales advice, pitch practicing and role-plays to improve sales performance.
#2: Marketing Collateral
Partner programs often offer a variety of marketing materials to help partners launch product and service campaigns. In a digitally focused world, this often means plenty of web-based services like social media content, e-mail campaigns, blogs, newsletters, press releases and informative guides. Moreover, they can also offer white labeling services to help them reach their market quicker and with greater credibility. Having this collateral available can make the marketing process run quicker and more efficiently.
#3: Partner Platforms
Lastly, many partners will offer online portals that provide direct access to online training, courses and certifications led by growth experts. These aren’t only focused on sales and marketing but can also cover building a referral network and developing long-term business relationships. A good example is Marketopia’s 4U2GROW training, which covers sales and marketing as well as business development and channel account managing (CAM) training courses and certifications.
Partner Program Strategies
A successful channel partner program goes deeper than simply providing the right tools and resources. It also involves strategies that allow partners to be motivated and inspired. Here are some ways to do just that.
The 30/60/180 MSP Success Plan
A 30/60/180 success plan gives your partner milestones to follow for structure. You can develop goals for your partners to achieve within a certain timeframe and then offer quarterly business reviews (QBRs) to measure their success.
For instance, in the first 30 days, you can have MSPs define their marketing goals and budget. By 180 days, they can release three different marketing campaigns per month. These campaigns can target both referrals and prospects to offer a broader audience reach. In addition, these milestones involve sales as well. For instance, MSPs can develop sales goals and create sales collateral within certain timeframes.
As part of your QBRs, you can evaluate the goals you had for the previous quarter and whether you’ve achieved them. Moreover, you can specify areas for improvement and identify action items you need to take to realize that improvement.
The 80/20 Rule
The 80/20 rule comes in three phases. At first, vendors perform 80% of the work, and partners do 20%. By the end, partners should be doing 80% of the work and vendors only 20%. Ideally, your efforts lessen as your partner’s marketing and sales success increases. How will you know you’ve achieved success? A self-sufficient partner will always hit their numbers, provides you with reliable business and helps you better forecast your pipeline.
Market development funds, or MDF, can be a financial incentive to help partners execute marketing campaigns advertising their products or services. Offering MDF to partners is advantageous in that partners have the proper market knowledge needed to get higher returns and develop bigger brand awareness.
To run a successful MDF program, you’ll need to decide which partners and activities you want to invest in. Consider the performance of your partners, analyzing the results they’ve brought you so far. The key is to pick a partner that will grow with you, not for you. That way, there’s mutual growth and a deeper sense of loyalty between vendor and partner in the long term.
While receiving marketing development funds is a great start to jumpstart marketing efforts, the day-to-day management and execution can be strenuous on one’s own. That’s where a program like Marketopia’s concierge services comes in handy. With these services, your partners have access to marketing professionals who maximize every marketing dollar spent through targeted, co-branded, multi-channel marketing campaigns. It’s the perfect way to meet growth initiatives and maximize ROI.
Get Started with Marketopia’s Channel Partner Program
Channel partner programs can propel the success of your organization if properly utilized. After all, developing successful partnerships brings more leads, more sales and more profit. It all comes down to properly nurturing MSPs so they can grow with your company.
If you’re interested in developing a partner program built to scale, Marketopia can offer the marketing and sales development you need. Vendors can license the entire Marketopia training library that includes eLearning courses, marketing assets and white-labeled sales collateral. There are also MSP networking opportunities, including monthly virtual and quarterly on-site peer groups and GROWCON, our annual conference in December, to share sales and marketing strategies and address common challenges.
Interested? Contact us today to get started!