How to Help Value-Added Resellers Improve Sales

While these challenges certainly exist in the modern sales environment, VARs can still overcome them and bring tons of value to partner companies when set up for success.  

Here are a few specific ways partner companies can help VARs improve their sales

Companies that focus their energy on helping their VAR partners succeed will see improved sales and better returns in their VAR strategy.

1. Automate the lead management and lead distribution process

Lead Management is the process of acquiring, tracking, and managing prospects to convert them more efficiently into customers. When done poorly, this causes prospects to slip through the cracks of an ineffective process. Leads get sent to the wrong channel. Sales get missed. And sellers get frustrated.

When done well, the opposite outcome happens. Sellers target their energy only on the best leads, leading to higher win rates and less time wasted on unqualified companies. The ability to win more customers and focus on what they do keeps them motivated to continue with their success. The same thing is true for VARs. To optimize their success and keep the relationship flourishing, partner companies must constantly distribute the right leads to achieve a positive ROI for everyone involved.

But doing lead management and distribution well doesn’t come easily. It requires strategic processes that, if done manually, can take a toll on an organization. Sales and marketing teams end up sifting through spreadsheets or CRMs and reviewing each individual lead to send them to the right seller and channel. It’s not impossible, but it sure is challenging, time consuming, and costly.

Automating this process enables organizations to avoid such monotonous tasks so their sales teams and VAR partners can focus on what they do best: getting customers to purchase a product.

An effective and efficient lead management and distribution strategy requires teams to get rid of the spreadsheets, the manual reviews, and other burdensome administrative tasks. Automation makes all this possible while also improving the end results.

2. Match the right leads with the right VAR for conversion

Lead routing is an important part of any organization’s sales strategy, but it becomes even more valuable for those that partner with multiple VARs.

Many organizations work with a variety of VARs as part of their larger sales and marketing strategy, which allows for better reach and market saturation. However, it can also create complexities when it comes to assigning leads.

Each VAR brings different value-adds to the original product, so some leads will not fit each one. Assigning a lead to the wrong VAR or assigning the wrong lead to one may result in the loss of a prospect that would have otherwise become a customer had it encountered a value-add that fit their needs.

The organization partnering with the VAR can solve this by routing the right leads to the right seller every time. This ensures that the VAR only spends its resources on the prospects who are most likely to appreciate their unique value-add.

Adopting sophisticated lead management software can help organizations improve their lead routing. Automated processes promote quick and easy lead routing, and the highest performing lead management solutions utilize AI and other technologies to score leads and assign them to the appropriate seller.

Without a proper lead routing strategy and solution, organizations are more likely to see well-qualified leads slip through their fingers simply because the prospect got assigned to the wrong seller. Developing a lead routing strategy and adopting the right technology will ensure that every lead gets sent to the right VAR every time.

3. Ensure that sales reps follow up with leads within minutes, not hours or days

Timing is everything in the modern sales cycle. Even if an organization provides their VAR partners with great, qualified leads, there’s still a chance they’ll lose that prospect if they don’t get to them fast enough.

Reps who have the right lead at their fingertips can’t hold on to it for hours or days and let it go stagnant, and organizations have the power to ensure that this never happens. If the ideal VAR can’t respond to a lead in a timely manner (say ~30 minutes), the partner company can develop a system that moves that lead to a type of shark tank where other VARs that can respond can take the deal and make the sales.

A strategy like this enables sellers and partners to stay on top of their leads and requires the right tech stack to make it happen. Once all the tools are in place, though, VARs can respond to the lead almost immediately after they’ve shown interest, when the product is still at the front of their mind. Having such timely response will help the VAR, and the partner organization, stay in front of customers and ahead of the competition.

4. Avoid controlling VAR workflows with complex CRM software or partner portals

Getting teams to adopt software often ends in frustration and disappointment for the organization’s leadership. They spend tons of money on some nice piece of CRM software or partner portal only to have their sellers and partners halfway use it with no enthusiasm.

Adding another piece to their tech stack requires them to dedicate more of their time working as data entry clerks instead of sellers. For sellers, it’s usually something they cram in as they approach a review or sales meeting like a freshman before midterms. VARs experience even more frustration because they often have additional software platforms to navigate. Training also becomes a struggle as sellers need to learn a whole new platform in addition to the ones they’ve already adapted to.

Organizations can help ease this burden if they stop trying to own workflows and inputs they can’t control. Instead, they can integrate with VARs’ existing workflows and technology by using simple technology like email and SMS. Adoption of new software becomes unnecessary because everything gets moved into the platforms team members have already learned and use regularly. Sellers get the benefits of a CRM without all the frustrating tasks that come with adoption.

5. Ensure successful Partner Relationship Management (PRM)

VARs function as an organization’s partner and an extension of that organization’s sales team. They bring value to your organization and building great relationships with these partners can lead to further success for both the VAR and the partner organization.

Managing these relationships can be tricky, though. That’s why a ton of Partner Relationship Management (PRM) tools have shown up on the market in recent years. With such a variety of options, organizations may struggle with deciding which solution fits their needs best.

Keeping up with your VARs and other partners helps promote long lasting and mutually beneficial relationships between your organization and their business.

How to Optimize VAR Sales With the Right Tech Stack

Like any helpful sales strategy in the modern world, organizations want to pick the right technology solutions. Decision makers will want to find tech that can respond to the challenges in front of VARs by helping them optimize their sales process.

The right tools will include:

  • Automated processes
  • Effective lead capturing
  • Real-time lead management
  • Sophisticated lead routing
  • Intelligent lead scoring
  • Timely outreach capabilities
  • Detailed analytics
  • Easy integration

Enabling your value-added resellers to close sales successfully is no easy task.

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