Five Ways to Generate a Partner Lead

Posted: 5/17/2012 by 11

 

One of the common mandates throughout companies today is to increase channel sales. Larger and larger sales quotas are being assigned. Some companies are even requiring higher sales volumes each year for channels to benefit at the higher tiered program levels. How can marketing help its direct and indirect sales teams achieve this goal?

The first thing a company must do is define their target market. Who is your typical customer, what interests them and where do they go for information? Targeting a specific market allows you to focus your marketing dollars on a specific audience that is more likely to buy from you. It\'s a more affordable and effective way to generate business.

Once you have defined your target market, you need to create different classifications to further target your campaigns and messaging based on the stage they may be in the buying cycle. The method you use to generate the lead and the associated messaging when they are early in the buying cycle (e.g. researching products) will be different than when they are in a later stage in the buying cycle (e.g. generating a Request for Proposal to send out).

 5 Typical Methods to Generate Leads:

  1. -  Campaign Email Blasts / Monthly Newsletters
  2. -  Tradeshows / Road shows / Seminars
  3. -  Online click advertising
  4. -  Cold Calling Target Audience and Demo Webinars
  5. -  Co-market with Partner/ Partners with MDF funds

It is critical to ensure you have the right system tools in place to capture these leads and track them throughout the process.

You need to be able to capture the lead in a format digestible for your sales person. You need a well-thought-out Lead Capture Form. This is a critical piece because this juncture is where the official lead process begins. However, many companies fail at this step due to a number of reasons including a poorly designed form where the user aborts the form and never submits their information or a lack of quality questions leading to low numbers in both lead generation and lead closure.

A lead capture form needs a good balance between collecting essential information yet not asking too many questions that result in the user not filling out the form. Ask questions that are critical. For example, their name, company and email address as you need to know who you will follow up with and how. Perhaps a question around how soon do they plan to purchase to help you identify where they are in the buying process and how quickly you need to get back to them. Keep the form to a minimum. The detailed, more qualifying questions should be addressed at the next step.

The leads need to be stored in a centralized repository so that you can track follow-up of the leads, report on them, and use the information for next steps.

As you can see, this is a very integrated process that needs strategy at each point in the process to ensure a successful outcome - a high lead closure rate. Analyze your conversion rates across all of your Lead Capture forms, and find out where your high-quality leads are coming from. See if there is a way to capture how many users abort the form. All these questions and analysis will continue to help you identify areas within your process that need improvement.

Good luck and stay tuned for the next blog where we\'ll discuss the lead vetting process and how to better qualify your leads.

About our Guest Blogger

Lisa Heydorn, Professional Services Manager at Requisite Software (http://requisite.com/blog.asp),  has over 15 years of experience with channel operations in high-tech, telecommunications and manufacturing industries. She is a proven leader with strong skills in project management, customer service, execution, and on-time delivery. At Requisite, Lisa is responsible for the Channel Management solution.

Responses to Five Ways to Generate a Partner Lead

Gianluca Marcellino
http://biz0gianlucamarcellino.wordpress.com/

Initial lead information capture, either by the potential buyer or by a partner, is truly essential. I have worked with a few Independent Software Vendors, mostly on large, relatively complex deals with a long sales cycle. Some ISV appear little organized and stractured in capturing this initial information, then managing it. What correlation may exist between deal complexity and importance of initial lead management? Could it be that a structured process is more important for selling simple solutions in large numbers than more complex solutions in smaller numbers. Looking forward to your following post on how to manage those leads.

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