How to Become a Savvy Business Advisor: A Channel Account Manager’s Road Map for Success

How to Become a Savvy Business Advisor: A Channel Account Manager’s Road Map for Success

As a CAM, you’ve devoted a lot of energy to developing business relationships and learning about how to make the most out of those connections. But to become a true business advisor, you’ll need to fully understand the ins and outs of every partner business. If you’re serious about building partnerships within the channel, demonstrate your commitment to the industry by respecting everyone’s respective role in the supply chain.

With a polished skill set, a strong sense of professionalism and a bit of training, you’ll be able to speak directly to partner businesses’ pain points — and connect the right people with the right resources and solutions.

To do so, you need to first earn credibility the old-fashioned way, by becoming someone your partners can trust and turn to for advice. Getting there is hard work, but it’s all worth it. Start studying your partner businesses to figure out what makes them tick, and then determine how you can improve their bottom line.

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Understanding How a Partner Business Makes Money

Step One: Appreciate and Respect the Supply Chain

Consider how each organization, person, task, data point, tool and asset impact the integrity of the process before making any hasty changes or decisions. Resist the temptation to eliminate parts of the supply chain in order to save money or automate processes without fully considering what’s at stake.

Step Two: Pay Attention to Organizational Structure

Take time to understand how your partner business makes money and what they must accomplish in order to turn a profit. From billing and collections to sales and advertising, there’s a lot that has to get done. Remember that a smaller partner might have different needs than an enterprise, and develop strategies and offerings with both in mind.

Step Three: Facilitate Success for the Front End

When consumers visit professional websites on their smartphones, they are enjoying a clean user experience thanks to a lot of work on the front end. What they see is the result of a long process that the customer benefits from, but likely knows very little about. While the front end of a business tends to get all the credit, they share systems with and often need just as much support as the back end, so give them the services and IT infrastructure they need to thrive.

Step Four: Give Credit to the Back End

The back end is everything an ordinary consumer doesn’t see. It’s all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes, and it doesn’t resemble the neatly-packaged front-end presentation that the customer admires. Managing databases, processing orders, handling finance — everything is easier with the right resources, and there are a lot of departments that demand your attention and support.

Step Five: Recognize and Rectify Inefficiencies

As a successful CAM — and emerging business advisor — your job involves helping partners reach long-term goals through a combination of insourcing and outsourcing. Provide clients with the best cloud offerings, the right managed services, industry-specific technology solutions and professional IT support, and you’ll empower them to simplify everything from inventory and customer support to research and development and more.

Step Six: Consult Like the Pro You Are

In your quest to become a top business advisor, you will continue honing your expertise and eventually cultivate a reputation for solving problems on the fly. This may mean establishing yourself as a consultant and conducting business as such. People look to you for advice about how to handle emerging technologies and solve problems in the supply chain, and you’ll want to be able to tell them what to do next. By investing in high-level training, you’re putting yourself in a better position to understand each partner’s business and how you fit into the equation.

What’s Next? Scout Out New Opportunities for Growth!

As you master the art of pleasing every partner business, you’ll become a pro at helping everyone get the quality service they deserve. Consider how the needs of large and small partners differ from one another and develop new offerings that target a partner business’ operations, services, finance, product development, marketing and sales accordingly. To continue building value in a dynamic business world, find innovative ways to connect with partners new and old, and stay relevant by networking, upskilling, outsourcing and knowing when it’s time to bring in professionals who can take things to the next level.

Ready to Elevate?

As a vendor or reseller, working with a partner like Marketopia means that you don’t have to spend your time training and creating lead generation for your partners – let our team of IT industry leaders handle it instead. At Marketopia, we speak the language of the channel and have the expertise it takes to support your business goals. We know the channel inside and out and have designed cutting-edge marketing strategies for CAMs who are ready to grow and build a better future. Let’s Get Started


Reaping the Benefits of Social Media Advertising

Reaping the Benefits of Social Media Advertising

“With nearly half of the world’s population now active on social media, social selling is more relevant than ever. Sales leaders who’d rather be ahead of the curve than chasing it would be smart to start systemizing the practice in their sales force.” -HubSpot

You don’t have to be an influencer to understand the connection between social selling, lead generation and profit.

But if you want to excel in an online marketplace, you do need to get serious about your brand’s digital presence and how you’re using social media channels to support your advertising and marketing campaigns. In this blog, we’ll explore the benefits of social media advertising and why it’s such an integral part of any aggressive sales strategy.

What is Social Selling?

Social selling is an accessible way for salespeople to reach target audiences, attract new prospects and close more deals by posting relevant content and engaging friends and followers. To maximize the power of social selling, develop a strategic social media marketing (SMM) campaign with ads specifically designed for YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or any other platform.

The Power of Social Selling

With a bit of creativity and drive, your business can create an effective social campaign and start bringing in money through a blend of direct and indirect approaches. Creating a content calendar and coming up with posts may sound like a lot of hard work, but once you see the results, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without this simple sales technique. Start by setting some goals.

1. Maximize Your Exposure

Because you’re advertising on social media and working with different hashtags, locations, and mentions, you have the ability to use your brand’s distinct personality to catch the interest of people you’d otherwise maybe never even get through to. Reaching huge audiences and turning clicks into conversions is, of course, one of the many benefits of social media advertising. This approach is also valuable because of its relationship with consumer data, digital traffic figures and SEO keyword research.

2. Personalize Your Brand

Build authority as a leading MSP and distinguish yourself by developing unique content that caters to your clientele and separates you from your competitors. On social media, you also have more freedom to be more playful or creative than in other mediums, which is great in terms of building brand loyalty. Once people develop a more nuanced understanding of your brand, they’ll come to understand how your IT services can improve their bottom line. And finally, after earning prospects’ trust and gaining their attention, you’ll be able to start a conversation that can generate more leads and convert more sales. The process can be simplified by setting up automatic drops of prepared posts and ads that represent your brand and are timed and themed to get more business.

3. Keep Costs Down

They say word of mouth is the best advertising, and on social media, it’s often free. Some social ads can be generated for a relatively minimum cost, repurposed from one channel to the next (i.e. Facebook to Instagram) and depending on the content, even recycled for future use down the road. One thing to remember is that coupling the right copy with the right graphic is not as easy as it sounds, especially when the goal of each ad is to generate leads and grow your business. Yet it pays off, and in reality, placing a few ads on social is a great way to stay in the foreground without investing too much. By interacting with other users via likes, comments and direct messages, your organization can nurture relationships without spending a dime.

4. Get Huge Returns

When you consider all of the benefits of social media advertising, including how inexpensive and effective it can be, it’s easy to see why more businesses are relying on social selling. Not only does SMM keep your brand in everyone’s feed and therefore on their minds, but it’s also a quick way to simply get your name out there and increase the odds of making a sale through virtual networking. By integrating a social media advertising campaign into the mix, you’re giving your business a better chance of connecting with clients and prospects on a daily basis, including those who will stumble upon your brand through hashtags, mentions and more.

Don’t forget to think deliberately about your image as you develop your online persona and your messaging as you start churning out popular posts. After all, the only thing worse than having no social presence at all is having no clear online identity or digital marketing plan.

How Marketopia Can Help

If you’re ready to take advantage of all that social selling has to offer, it’s time to partner with a marketing agency that understands the IT channel and what it takes to generate leads and grow your brand. Our content creation team can collaborate with you to ensure your social posts are optimized and on point, and through careful collaboration, we can get your business’ message out into the world. From our content, design and digital teams to our appointment setters and sales team, you’ll have a whole agency behind your company when you work with Marketopia. Contact us today to learn more.


The Big Blog of Video Marketing

The Big Blog of Video Marketing

The world moves faster than it used to. People have less time in their day-to-day lives and even less of an attention span. It’s difficult for many professionals to break away from their tasks and focus their minds solely on reading. That’s why media like video has become such effective forms of marketing. They can be played in the background while people multitask, and therefore, are more likely to be consumed from beginning to end.

The pursuit of increasing your digital footprint is never-ending. Video is the leading way to take the next step. Easily consumable content is how your audience wants to hear from you. If you can get even a sliver of their attention, you can sell your services more effectively. In this blog, we’ll examine the benefits of video marketing and what you need to do to implement it successfully.

Get Started on Your Video Marketing Efforts Today

What is Video Marketing?

Video marketing is much more than a television commercial or YouTube ad. It’s easily consumable content that not only pitches an offer, but also provides useful information to your audience. An example would be a video about how managed services can help a business succeed in a post-COVID-19 world. At the end of the video, you would then present your managed services as the solution. This sort of value-added content is the most successful in attracting new business.

When Should You Use It?

Video is the most efficient way to get the word out about what’s new in your organization. According to research from HubSpot, four of the top six social channels on which global consumers obtain marketing content is through video. This means video marketing is the most popular and successful way to reach the masses. When you introduce new services or products, you can use video to insert it into your sales cycle and promote it via your sales cycle emails.

Where Should You Post It?

The best technique of deploying your video marketing efforts is by parceling it out through your social media accounts. When you produce video content, it can easily be shared across all of your accounts like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and others. Most businesses choose to host their video content on YouTube and Vimeo. It’s important to remember these should be treated with equal care as your other social accounts. Meaning, that the engagements and comment sections should be curated to foster engagement and maintain appearances, just as you would with your other social accounts. Your company website can also be used to host video content, either natively or via embedded links.

How Should You Do It?

Not everyone is as adept at producing video as others but learning to do so will significantly improve your online presence. Here is a checklist of things you should keep in mind when creating video marketing content:

  • Be organic. Prospects want to work with genuine people. You don’t need to put on an Oscar performance or do your best Billy Mays pitch, just be you.
  • Expensive equipment isn’t necessary. You’d be amazed at the great content you can produce with your phone. Tutorial videos can be helpful for recording and editing tips.
  • Always use stats from reliable sources to back up your claims. Accuracy is important, and prospects will appreciate it when you’ve done your homework.
  • Produce content that people want to consume. Videos on timely content, like COVID-19, will bring the most attention. You can also do branding videos like office tours and employee interviews to promote transparency.
  • It’s vital that you use optimized search keywords in the titles and descriptions of your videos. This will boost the click-through rate of your content.

The techniques you use to create this content should be a reflection of WHO your team is and WHAT your organization represents. Put care into what you produce, but remember, intriguing content will always shine through the level of production.

How  Marketopia Can Help

If you’re ready to begin your video marketing journey, reach out to Marketopia and see how we can help. Our content and design teams are more than capable of producing the polished message you want from topics to scripts, recording and editing. Not to mention, our digital team will use of appropriate SEO terms and post at the proper times across all your social media to get the most engagements. Put an entire agency behind your company to tell its story the right way. Contact us  today and let’s start writing yours.


It’s Time to Start Building Your Partner Value Proposition

It’s Time to Start Building Your Partner Value Proposition

If you’re a CAM, you’re probably a natural when it comes to nurturing relationships among key players in the channel. But when your primary goal is to drive revenue, building the partner value proposition is always on your mind. To do so effectively, you’ll need to learn how to develop and position the value vendor solutions provide to your partners and your partners’ customers. With the right strategy in place, you’ll easily be able to evaluate value prop statements and understand their impact on channel partner recruitment. By optimizing and reprioritizing offerings, you’ll be able to get through to both prospective and existing partners in the channel. The next step is to use your talent and expertise to build your partner value prop.

It will require additional training, tools and time to reach the next level, but it’s worth it. After all, as a CAM, you’ve invested a lot to get to this point in your career and probably had to make some sacrifices along the way. The professional relationships you’ve built in the IT channel are a solid foundation, but until you’ve invested in building the partner value proposition, you haven’t reached your potential. In this blog, we’ll lead you through a few ways to build your partner value prop and grow your business.

Discover Your Potential

Refine Your Understanding of the Buying Cycle

Remember that businesses can bring value to their clients and their channel partners at the same time, so it’s best to begin by considering the buyer’s journey and taking a bird’s eye view. If you were a partner stakeholder, what kind of concerns might you have and how they might be addressed? Be the solutions-oriented person you are and anticipate any counterarguments ahead of time. Be prepared to address them during conversations with decision-makers, and then press on in the recruitment process. Since selling through partners on a routine basis requires that you sell to your partners first, you’re going to need to do some marketing and consider the buyer’s journey.

Continue Building Your Partner Value Prop

To succeed, you’ll want to have some assets ready that add value to your offerings and help your partners achieve long-term success. As a CAM, your IT solutions and products are one way to develop profitable relationships with partners who are already paying attention to you, but you need to attract and delight new prospects, too. Creating and offering downloadable PDFs, case studies and other resources will help partners understand what you’re bringing to the table. By establishing credibility and value in the field through things like tools and testimonials, you’ll be in a better position to persuade the specific channel partners you’re targeting to act.

Get Through to the Decision-Maker

Dedicate time and resources to learning how to reach the decision-makers at key partners and communicate with them. Getting through isn’t easy—that’s why you need to develop a personalized value proposition statement that prepares you for these conversations. Your job is to quickly convince the decision-makers that a given program or service has the added value it takes to give customers a high ROI. Now is the time to apply what you’ve learned as a successful CAM and establish joint vendor partner value propositions.

Ready to Elevate? As a vendor or reseller, working with a partner like Marketopia means that you don’t have to spend your time training and creating lead generation for your partners – let our team of IT industry leaders handle it instead. We know the channel inside and out and have designed cutting-edge marketing strategies for CAMs who are ready to start building their partner value prop. Team up with Marketopia to help your partners separate themselves from the competition. Get Started


Understand the Models of All Your Channel Partners

Understand the Models of All Your Channel Partners

As a vendor, your goal is to remain the logical choice for each of your channel partners. To stay at the forefront of their favor, pay special attention to how you manage the opportunities they present, and strive to understand each of them.

In this blog, we’ll discuss how you can easily differentiate your channel partners’ models so you can remain successful as a vendor.


Manage the Opportunities

An important thing to remember is that your business as a vendor and your partner’s business are codependent. The more harmoniously you interact, the more competitively you will perform.

You can bolster this relationship by managing the opportunities that each partner offers. This allows you to leverage partners for their value-added capabilities. Managing doesn’t mean taking control of partners, but rather enabling them to run with what they’re doing correctly and helping them amend what is impeding their progress.


Understand How to Make Partners Perform

As a vendor, you will be able to manage channel partners more successfully once you’ve learned to understand each partner. Consider each facet of their operations and how they functionally mesh together. You can do this by examining the following:

The structure, style and priorities that motivate partners. Every partner is unique in their needs, wants and the way they go about satisfying them. Learn how they approach each opportunity and see how you, as a vendor, can improve their tactics.

Partner sales, technical and financial capabilities. Just as their needs and wants are unique, the size and scope of each partner will differ. You must not set standards too high or low, but rather adapt your standards to each partner.

Their business, goals and success. Not every partner makes money the same way, has the same goals or is even in the same type of business. Your job as a vendor must always be to foster growth and success and help them achieve their goals.

The universe of channel partners is a complex and changing place. Partner types, labels and motivations are continually shifting. Your job is to get beyond the words they use and understand what they do, so you, as a vendor, can help them achieve what they want.


Relationships Are Ongoing

Once you’ve audited your relationship with all of your channel partners and put them into effect, you can examine the results to improve the process further. Take a look at how your product or solution benefits each partner. Some good questions to reflect upon include how well you:

  • Reinforce each partner’s value proposition
  • Sustain each partner’s business model
  • Enhance each partner’s commercial operations
  • Reward each partner’s unique value and expertise
  • Align with each partner’s business development intentions

Partner engagement is built on business alignment and relevance. When you take on the role of an active vendor, it means you know the structural components of your partner types and their business models.


How Marketopia Can Help

If you’re a vendor looking to improve your relationship with channel partners, look no further than Marketopia. Our expert team is well-versed in the IT channel. We understand channel partners and how to optimize the opportunities they present. Get in contact with us today and see how we can help your business achieve more leads, more sales and more profits.


Daily Disciplines for Successful Salespeople

Daily Disciplines for Successful Salespeople

As a sales professional, it’s your mission to be dedicated to both the wants of your prospects and the growth of your own craft. It’s an ongoing pursuit that is never truly perfected due to changes in the market, but by following certain disciplines, you will successfully accomplish this mission. In this blog, we’ll share three disciplines that you and the rest of your sales team need to follow to close more sales.

Win Over Prospects the Right Way with Marketopia’s Daily Disciplines for Salespeople


Be Adaptable

A successful salesperson does what unsuccessful salespeople won’t. When it comes to sales, it’s not your pitch that closes, but how well you can cater to your prospect’s needs on the fly. If 2020 has shown the sales world anything, it’s that you must be dynamic in your craft and be willing to change your tactics and adhere to current market demands completely. Understand that this means going beyond the pitch you’ve rehearsed and drilled into your own head, because using a scripted approach may do more to hinder than help you. Know when something works and no when and how to change it when it doesn’t. You should make a point to audit your performance after every conversation.

Some points to take into consideration when understanding your prospects include their:

  • Industry
  • Goals
  • Challenges
  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses
  • The quicker you can identify and understand all of these, the easier it will be for you to close
  • Stop Pitching and Start Listening

Too many salespeople rush to get their pitch out and overwhelm their prospects with information. What they should be doing is getting to know their needs, desires and expectations beforehand and incorporate those specifics into the solution the pitch offers.

Don’t rush to get your pitch out. Keep the prospect talking. If they’re talking, there is always time for the pitch later. It’s vital that you first make the prospect feel like their concerns are valid, and you can only validate them by showing them you’re intently listening. This means not interrupting them, maintaining eye contact and understanding their body language. If the prospect feels like their concerns and ideas are above all else, you’ve made a sale.

Another handy trick is to take mental notes of three to four points they touched on and how they relate back to your pitch. Once they’ve finished, connect the dots back to your pitch.


Keep Your Sales Skills Sharp

While being adaptable to change and putting your prospects’ needs first will be the difference makers when closing, there is no replacement for the old-fashioned art of the sale. The best way to keep these skills sharpened is to always keep them against the grinding stone – in other words, turning every conversation into a pitch.

If you think about it, the point of every conversation is to put an idea into another person’s head. For example, if you can make your pitch as natural as asking someone about their musical tastes and telling them why they’d really enjoy your favorite musical artist or band, you’ll be that much more comfortable asking a prospect about their concerns and pitching them your solution. When you’re always on, you’ll never be off your best.


How Marketopia Can Help

If you’re looking for a better way to bolster your close rate, we’re here to hold the door open. Marketopia has developed sales training webinars, Quick Connect YouTube videos and other professional development resources that will help you build out your sales strategies both now and in the future. From our appointment setters to our sales, content, design, event and digital teams, partnering with us means that you’ll have an entire agency supporting your dreams for growth.

Connect with us today to get immediate guidance on how to close deals more effectively.