Vendor-partner relationships have changed a lot over the past couple of years. While the pandemic might have instigated it, the real shift came from companies moving to remote work environments and the need for more cloud-based technologies.
Together, these events have created greater competition for software vendors, putting them under increased pressure to enhance marketing for partner-driven engagements. Beyond getting partners’ attention, they need to engage them and build long-term relationships with them to grow revenue year over year.
Read on to learn how partner-vendor relationships have evolved and how you can use push-pull marketing to stay on top of them and become the first choice for partners.
Intermittent sales have become integrated engagements. For example, previously, vendors could choose the partners they wanted to work with for certain products and handle the process themselves. These relationships have recently shifted from being purely transactional to ones where manufacturers and developers have adopted the channel as a sales strategy for their SaaS offerings. So, partners now have access to a wider range of cloud vendors.
The vendor-partner dynamic has also changed. Partners now need vendors’ support to address their clients’ changing needs and extend market share. Education and guidance are crucial components of this support. The transition to remote working has forced many businesses to move their networking and security requirements to the cloud. This shift requires partners to work more closely with vendors to gain advice on how they can support their clients.
Further, partner-vendor conversations are more honest and open. Partners are willing to share valuable feedback, allowing meaningful relationships to develop.
Partners don’t want vendors to take any shortcuts. Vendors must know each partner, gain insights into their capabilities, and learn about their available resources and plan. They want vendors to offer greater reassurance on:
However, vendors often fall into the trap of making short-term gains. As a vendor, your efforts shouldn’t stop at putting your brand in front of potential partners. You need to invest in knowing your partners’ business plans and engage with them on a deeper level to achieve more from these unique marketing opportunities.
Push and pull marketing strategies dictate your marketing efforts and set the tone for a mutually beneficial collaboration. Here’s how both methods deliver results depending on your immediate and future objectives.
A push marketing strategy involves advertising and distributing your products to partners through trade promotion, pay-per-clicks, direct marketing, and social media pop-ups. Use push marketing to:
A pull marketing strategy encourages partners to demand products from you by using marketing to generate awareness and pique your potential partners’ interest in your products or services. Use pull marketing to:
Both push and pull marketing have a significant impact but in different ways. While push marketing brings immediate results, pull marketing means you’re committed for the long haul.
For partners, costs are always a key factor when looking for a vendor. But finding a vendor that can support them along the sales journey by providing a seamless service is even more crucial.
Apart from focusing on providing cost-effective products, you must also adapt to your partners’ core needs. It comes down to spending more time marketing valuable services to partners and less on nonessential activities. Marketing messages that evangelize open and collaborative partnerships will be a big win now and into the future.
Show partners the value you’ll create for them through effective partner programs and serve their needs. Entice and engage partners by investing in a partner relationship management platform where you can:
To facilitate collaboration between you and your partners, enlist the channel partner relationship management capabilities of Zomentum PartnerAlign. With PartnerAlign, you can take charge of your channel marketing strategy, show partners your enablement strategy, and equip your partners to sell better. When you make PartnerAlign the command center of your channel partner marketing program, you can:
Adopt a partner-first channel strategy. Apply to join PartnerAlign.