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As Zift has grown within the channel marketing automation space, becoming a leader in Through Partner Marketing Automation (TPMA) and working closely with both suppliers and channel partners, we’ve recognized a striking new trend. It’s a subtle yet persistent thing – a blending of sales and marketing enablement that can no longer be denied.

We are confident that this trend will continue as more companies automate traditional processes in how they work with their indirect sales channels. And as new systems are put in place to provision and enable partners to market and sell more efficiently, these companies also expect to see measurable results from their partners’ with a bottom line mentality on revenue production.

New Expectations and Differing Attitudes

This shift is creating a gap in sales expectations and correspondingly in enablement. OEMs want, even expect, partners to sell more of their products using specific approaches, conditions and even require certifications to sell higher end products with the best margins. While partners are feeling the pressure from suppliers, their attitude is a bit different. Already laboring under time and resource constraints, channel partners are selling what they can, how they can, in the manner that pays the most amount as quickly as possible. They don’t necessarily have the time or desire to travel to an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) training center for training and/or certification.

Both OEMs and partners have skin in this game. They all want the same result: to capture more revenue. However, as new marketing automation tools are accelerating partners’ ability to market – sales reps are often left behind.

So what is the solution?

MobilePaks CEO Chanin Ballance Weighs In

Chanin Ballance is the CEO of MobilePaks, an award winning, cloud-based marketing and sales enablement provider.

The age old problem of OEMs engaging partners and educating them to sell products is not new. That said, we see a growing trend of OEMs using technology to make training more friendly and accessible – easier to digest, as well as tying consumption to certification programs, SPIFFs and other benefits.

Examples include:

  • Converting content to 2-5 minute bite-sized chunks vs. traditional 20-45 minute web-based training.
  • Improving the user experience so accessing training is simple and available on- demand, on any device.
  • Using notifications, as well as tracking usage and motivating completion of a collection or group of bite-sized modules through certification that include marketing funds, SPIFFs and other benefits.

With new sales enablement training software, OEMs can see at a glance which partners are engaged. They can correlate usage and seller competency to pipeline strength and quantitatively identify areas of improvement as a result.

Closing the Gap

Mind the GapClearly, there is enhanced interest and need to close the sales enablement gap. As Zift’s customers are taking an increasingly comprehensive view of channel sales and marketing, they’re asking questions about combining partner certifications with marketing execution to create a more “virtuous” process that encompasses training, execution and evaluation.

For Suppliers and OEMs, it’s becoming imperative to evaluate training under the lens of value to revenue production. This is no easy task, even within a direct sales force, let alone an extended, third-party partner network. Technology holds the promise of linking once disparate marketing and sales disciplines and meeting today’s changing expectations for both.

Looking Forward

Using the Zift Platform together with tools like those MobilePaks offers will provide the ability to link sales and marketing enablement. Imagine being able to unlock unique demand-gen tactics after finishing specific training courses, achieving a certification or reviewing new messaging requirements. Marketing Development Fund (MDF) programs can be linked to both sales and marketing as well, driving toward complete partner enablement that is engaging and satisfying for both sides of the channel equation.

Interested to learn more?

Watch our upcoming joint webinar with MobilePaks: Closing the Sales Enablement Gap. We’ll demonstrate how technology can create a closed-loop process that engages partners and addresses both marketing and sales needs by encompassing training, execution and evaluation to generate more revenue for suppliers and channel partners. Click here to register now!

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