Help Channel Partners Prospect With Conversations That Matter
Knowing a Partner’s audience is necessary when helping them understand their prospects’ needs. It’s also valuable during demand generation activities. In B2C, segmenting buyers by demographic like gender, age, and geography is simple. Not so in B2B where we must consider multiple personas like the individual and influencers, their job roles and the organization as a whole plus how they fit into targeted industries. While some factors may overlap it’s not always the case and with a little online research, Partners can learn to understand what to look for, why this information is important and how to apply it to their sales processes.
Developing an individual’s profile:
Vendors who help Partners identify their buyer personas make it easier for their Partners to develop rapport when it comes time for sales conversations. It also helps Partners market more effectively to their audience.
Use LinkedIn to find current and past titles and connections
LinkedIn is also a good source to find out how Partners intersect with their prospects as individuals or companies. Do they have groups in common? If not, are there shared connections? Can they ask for a warm introduction or receive a credible recommendation?
Social media platforms reveal content preferences
Helping Partners discover the content preferences of their prospects is valuable for writing blogs, sharing on social media and understanding the buyer persona. Are there trends in the information they share? Does it offer insight into what drives their work? Partners may be able to gain insight into a prospect’s upcoming projects, what they are working on now and industry news sources they follow.
Use search to find out what they’re talking about
If a prospect recently published a blog or article, Partners should use those to understand their tone, perspective, and vision. Similarly, a simple online search can reveal when and where their prospects have been interviewed or quoted in media outlets or publications. Socializing those links while reaching out to say congratulations is perfect way for Partners to give their prospects a non-invasive ‘touch.’
Developing a business profile:
Help Partners become familiar with the visions and business models of their prospects by gaining understanding of their current market landscapes.
The Prospect’s website
Websites provide a plethora of information about the business model and structure of companies. Knowing the products and services your prospects offer is imperative for demand generation conversations. When Partners know their prospects, their current customers, their competitors, and their leadership teams, they are better able to act more as consultants than sales. Partners can find this type of information by viewing the executive team bios, reading customer recommendations, and scouring press releases for competitive actions and investments in innovation.
Understand major prospects’ industry trends
Yahoo Finance and Google Finance are great sources for Partners to find business drivers of their prospects and see how these drives impact their progress. Also, a simple search of “[company name] industry trends” can highlight areas of interesting and recent news for the business. In addition to helping Partners understand their buyers, this practice can also help them see trends and news in their sector allowing them to keep their competitive edge.
Uncover a prospect’s key initiatives and publicly stated goals
Reading investor relations information, such as the Annual or 10k reports, will allow your Partners to understand the vision for growth, areas of investment, as well as areas of struggle their prospects are facing. Press releases and corporate communications, like executive interviews, also shed light on business priorities and the current and future state of their business.
Developing buyer personas to drive demand is an important part of today’s sales process. Vendors who work with their Partners to enable them to do so offer more value to the Partner relationship and drive more demand through their channel. Leveraging online avenues to do the investigative work is key to helping Partners understand how SEO and social media can help improve their pipeline.
Originally published at channelmavenconsulting.com on January 14, 2016.