You may not think you need a PLM solution, or that the costs of adopting one can’t be justified. Or you may not even know you need one for your channel. The basic fact is you rely on your channel to work the leads you generate for them. You’ve built processes to not only route or deliver the leads you generate, but also to receive program feedback and pursuit status for the leads.
These processes are often manual which introduces cost and delays lead velocity blunting your demand generation efficiency and value. Sound familiar? Well, you’re not alone, and we’re here to help you get up to speed.
“With the rapidly shifting partner landscape, channel leaders and B2B marketers can no longer succeed with manual, human-centric processes or rely on spreadsheets to manage their partner programs.”
- Jay McBain, Principal Analyst for Forrester.
Partner Lead Management Platform
What are the 4 pillars to a successful Partner Lead Management platform?
- Automating and using artificial intelligence to route your leads to the best partner.
- Maximizing lead velocity ensuring a partner accepts a lead and engages with the prospect.
- Receiving field level pursuit feedback in real time.
- Ensuring which ever solution you employ is adopted and used by your partners.
What does a Partner Lead Management platform not do?
- A PLM doesn’t build out partner portals for your partners.
- It doesn’t (ideally) require you to register and go through lengthy information updates.
- It doesn’t train your partners nor is it a content management solution.
- It doesn’t provide prospect pages or sales playbooks.
These are functions typically found in partner relationship management (PRM) technologies. Not to minimize the typical functions of a PRM platform but you’re here because you know leads aren’t being actioned by your channel so let’s get to it.
Automation and Intelligent Lead Distribution
A successful partner program, like any sales process, starts with quality leads. Having multiple products and services means leads could come from multiple sources. Large organizations with large partners networks will generate leads from multiple demand generation programs including using agencies, social media, trade shows, direct from web site amongst others. Each lead source means varying qualities of the leads.
BANT leads are defined as prospects with defined answers to their budget, authority, need and timeline. Essentially, they are the holy grail of leads, are typically pre-qualified prior to being distributed to partners. On the other hand, marketing-qualified leads (MQLs) may be generated and nurtured internally prior to sending to partners, and many lead sources are direct to partners without nurturing or qualifying. Your partner lead management platform needs to be able to accommodate, identify and route on each lead type based on the best suited partner.
Most companies have a defined process and set of rules for distributing their leads. If those rules are in a spreadsheet that a partner business manager approves its likely you are adding days to a process that should be done in real time. Given the variety of lead types and volumes using technology to determine the best suited agent sounds like it is a costly endeavour. The good news, it doesn’t have to be.
Ever wondered how much more revenue opportunity you can generate from your marketing leads by implementing lead management?