Episode 16 - Communicating the Right Message

Full Transcript

Communicating the Right Message

Convey MicroCast Series

This is Carolyn Bradfield and you’re listening to Convey’s MicroCast audio series.  

The way we communicate has changed forever.  In our personal lives, we send text messages, use Facebook messenger, and use Instagram.  Our communication has gotten shorter, more direct, and to the point.  In business, however, we fail to recognize that short, sweet and to the point is the way people like to receive our messages.  Communicating the right message in the right way in the channel is no different.

Here are three critical mistakes we see companies make when they communicate with their sales partners:

1.         Oversharing.  We have thousands of content posts across hundreds of vendors on our master agent portals.  When we look inside a vendor content catalog and see dozens of content posts, we worry that the vendor is now oversharing.  Most of the time, more is not more and having less material gets people to focus on what is important.

2.         Focusing only on the product.  Knowing the features of the product is important, but it’s not the most critical thing that partners look for.  They need to be informed about the right customer, the best markets, and why they should trust you as a vendor.

3.         Failing to recognize what partners really care about.  Partners care about serving the customer but they also care about the bottom line.  Is this product easy or hard to sell?  What resources will it take to develop a customer base?  And how do they make money with you?

So how does a channel program deliver the right message to engage a sales partner.  Here are 3 simple strategies to help you with messaging.

# 1 Add a simple battle card to serve as an overview.

We all like to read the summary before we read the book, the review before we see the movie and the battlecard before we dive into a vendor’s services. For those of you less familiar with them, battlecards are a 1-page overview of your partner program, services, and financial incentives.  They are the most viewed content, outside of spiffs and promotions, on Convey master agent portals and an essential content piece for all partner programs.

#2 Focus on the ideal customer profile

You cannot win every deal that a partner gives you, but you can win the ones that are the best fit.  Let the partner know who the ideal customer is by defining the size of the company, vertical markets they exist in, their characteristics, and why they would buy.  Knowing who to refer to you is more important than the features of your product and services. 

#3 Let the partner know how to do business with you and quantify what it’s worth

So, the partner has found the right customer.  What’s next?  Do you want them to get a quote from you?  Register the deal online?  Set up a meeting?  Or what?  Partners need to know the rules of engagement, so they know exactly what to do with the prospect.  And certainly, a partner needs to know what’s in it for them.  If they sell the deal, what’s the commission value?  Is there a promotion to incent the customer to buy or a spiff to reward them for the sale?  Make sure they understand the numbers.