We welcomed Channel Vendors, small and large, to the second Virtual Channel Chat. Each with different strategies and opinions on how best to move forward, our community of professionals shared their thoughts on a range of issues, from standing out in a crowded digital market to how education is now essential to supporting Partners.
Below, we’ve shared the three key takeaways from the second Virtual Channel Chat.
As more companies shift to digital, how do Channel Vendors stand out?
Webinar fatigue – who knew that existed? Amongst other discoveries, webinar fatigue is one you’re possibly now familiar with, particularly as more and more content now moves online.
The key to combat this is all in the operation. How you deliver and share your content is vital to keeping your audience engaged. Create a clear message and stick to it, and remember, lead with your most impactful message – don’t wait until people have already “switched off".
What’s more, to truly stand out against other Channel Vendors, you must leverage your digital content, particularly virtual events and webinars, to drive the value to your Partners (something we discussed in detail in the first Virtual Channel Chat).
Sherpa Recommends: In the face of the current economic challenges, business leaders should leverage the opportunity to over-deliver to Partners. Systematically and consistently communicate with them, knowledge share and reaffirm digestible and actionable points that Partners can take forward.
There’s a plethora of digital content readily available – ensure that your message is key to cut through the noise.
Prioritising Channel Partner education
Where marketing delivery has slowed down, many Channel Vendors are taking the opportunity to provide educational materials for their Partners. At this time, it’s vital that Partners feel like they’re supported. For small businesses, cash flow is always key, so offering free virtual training can play a massive part in protecting them.
Giving your Partners the opportunity to raise their concerns, with VPs and senior figures (if possible) will enable you to create a strong community amongst your Channel Partners.
Sherpa Recommends: Educate, educate, educate! It’s the moment to foster trust and strengthen the foundations of Partner/Vendor relationships. Navigating these unprecedented times together will stand us in better stead to contend the aftermath of COVID-19 and its economic impact.
Arm your Partners with product insights, sales enablement elements and the right go-to-market strategies to empower them to drive growth. Partners will look to Vendors for support and guidance – being an open and approachable resource will help appease their business concerns.
Is it time to start planning for the future?
Categorically, yes! Now is the perfect time to plan for the future and the “new normal.” Whilst no one knows what this looks like, the opportunity to update collateral, educate your Partners and to show that you’re there to support them is essential to any plans you have for the future. If you’re a small Vendor or have a global presence, getting to grips with how you phase in any new marketing campaigns will be pivotal to success.
Sherpa Recommends: The day-to-day management and operations to ensure business continuity are, of course, the priority today. But whilst this pandemic has perhaps identified vulnerabilities in our business operations, it should also engender the desire to change and improve processes for the future. Those Vendors that can be agile and forward-thinking now, will be in a stronger position than those that aren’t.
Get involved – we’d love to hear from you and your experiences. Are you facing similar challenges or are there others we haven’t raised?
Let us know!