STARTUPS TAKE NOTE!
I was interested to read this short article (courtesy of Terry Moffat at Channel Marketer Report): Start-Up Companies See Straighter Path to Market with Channel Partners, and another piece referenced in the same article: At MIT, a startup marketing plan may call for channel partners.
These articles are another example of what I am seeing every day.. the realization that for ambitious tech companies, channel partners are the key to fast growth and frictionless scale.
Think about what is needed for high growth success in b2b tech:
- Packaged products that can be easily deployed and supported without significant training or service overhead
- Sales methodologies which are repeatable and scalable based on the parameters of the deal
- Access to multiple verticals and geographies through trusted referrers
- Sales and service offerings which are global in standard but local in ‘feel’. This includes elements like local language support and enterprise specific consultancy
- High margin software with low fixed overheads
Given the above, it is hard to see any real path to true scale than without partners. If you get your template right, it is realistic to create an army of invested and trusted organizations who will bake your offering into their business model. This can provide incredible reach to customers and markets that would never even get on the internal plan if you tried to scale purely through direct sales. It can be game changing for your organization and lead to value creation beyond precedent.
That said, getting the template right is therefore absolutely critical to success. If your organization is not ready to scale (and does not have a product of process that can be easily replicated) then ‘blowing’ up the model through partners could prove disastrous.
But let’s say your company is ready to go. The next big problem is engagement. How do you target, nourish and engage prospects so they want to partner with you? Once they have expressed interest how can you make sure they are supported to easily start selling on your behalf. Just like your customers, if you create a bad experience for partners when they first touch your program they are not coming back. There is a lot of other software they can sell.
Great technology is the absolute key to this
Think about how marketing has changed through the utilization of platforms like HubSpot. Or how e-commerce is now the whole company not just a piece of technology. Giving your partner the right experience (from the ‘first click’ of interest they demonstrate) is now a critical component of your success.
Too often I’ve heard small tech companies saying ‘we are not ready for a platform as powerful as this’. That tells me two things:
- they are not serious about partners and;
- they are very unlikely to scale their channel anytime soon
In the last few months, Webinfinity has been working with great clients like Hedvig, Racemi, White Hat and Snowflake - all of whom really get the value of digital first partner engagement. We are creating a results driven approach to helping drive their Channel success based on hard KPIs that can be measured against strategic objectives. I am beyond excited about the opportunity we have to help these companies scale and learning more and more about how we can help achieve this together.
On the back of these learnings, Webinfinity is in the final stages of launching a packaged approach designed to help many more companies do the same. Legacy PRM and partner portal software is simply not going to cut it - a new opportunity has emerged and we intend to help lead the next generation of B2B Tech to unrivalled partner success. If that sounds like your objective - we’d love to show you how we can help!