I’ve been here in Miami this week representing Zift Solutions at Channel Focus North America. Zift was a proud sponsor of the event, which was celebrating its 18th year as the premier conference that defines strategies and tactics leading channel vendors can use to grow their business.

Building Effective Engagement with Enterprise Partners

Channel Focus North America has established a strong reputation for assembling industry thought leaders to talk about how they are combining radical new thinking and proven strategies to open up new channels, and successfully redefine existing channel sales and marketing methods. This year, I’m a featured speaker and was pleased to discuss Best Practices in Building Effective Engagement with Enterprise Partners. For those unable to join us, I wanted to share just a few key takeaways from my presentation and the conversation it generated, including:

  1. Support modern marketing and sales: The buying process has changed. You must provide your partners with all of the sales and marketing tactics they need to drive success.
  2. Limit requirements to go to external systems: Your partner portal is an additional system. Make it easy for partners by injecting the marketing content directly into the systems they already use each day.
  3. Incentives on supporting tasks: Consider different types of incentive programs to ensure partner engagement
  4. Share performance against peer groups: Partners are naturally competitive. Provide visibility into how partners are doing against other similar partners to drive adoption across your partner community.

Enabling Effective Through Partner Marketing

Zift also co-hosted a Foundation Training Session with alliance partner Channel Maven Consulting on Enabling Effective Through Partner Marketing. Our Vice President of Customer Success, Mark Schlief, was joined by Heather K. Margolis of Channel Maven Consulting. The training session centered on the following topics:

  • State of channel partners today
  • Partner maturity models
  • Best practices for educating partners
  • Growing importance of content
  • How to build an audience instead of just a list
  • Essential marketing tools for supporting partner success

After spending a week with so many bright, innovative thinkers, all of whom are focused on the future of the channel, I’m inspired and looking forward to getting back to the Zift home office to put this energy and a few new ideas to work for our customers.

I hope those of you who were able to join us in Miami will share your experiences in the comments section below and I would love to hear what all of our readers see as the most important focus areas for channel leaders now and into the future.