Many companies derive a significant portion of their total revenues from sales made by independent channel partners such as franchisees, agents, financial advisors, dealers, and distributors. Because of the importance of indirect channel revenues, channel vendors have long been using a variety of tactics and programs to boost the revenues produced by their partners.
In recent years, many channel vendors have implemented channel marketing enablement solutions to facilitate the marketing activities of their partners. As the name implies, these solutions primarily enhance the marketing capabilities of channel partners. They aren’t typically designed to be used by sales reps, and they don’t usually provide support for interactions between sales reps and potential buyers. Therefore, these solutions can leave a significant “enablement gap” in channel operations.
Inadequate support for channel partner sales reps can be a significant issue because of the important role they play in the revenue generation process of many channel partners. Despite the explosive proliferation of easily-accessible online information, effective person-to-person selling remains critical to the success of many companies. Therefore, improving sales productivity has become a hot topic for business leaders. In a recent survey by Forbes Insights, US business executives ranked sales productivity as their most important management focus.
Most conversations about sales productivity have focused on its importance for B2B companies, but it’s equally important for many types of B2C companies. For example, many insurance and financial services enterprises are high-touch, relationship-based businesses in which frontline representatives, such as financial advisors, brokers, and independent agents, are the critical link in the revenue chain.
To boost the productivity of their sales reps, a growing number of companies are creating a dedicated sales enablement function in their organization and investing in sales enablement technology solutions. In its 2015 Sales Enablement Optimization Study, CSO Insights found that 25.5% of companies had a dedicated sales enablement function in 2014, and another 6.7% of companies planned to create one in 2015.
Most early adopters of sales enablement technologies have been companies that sell primarily through a direct sales force, but a growing number of channel vendors are now recognizing the importance and value of improving the productivity of their partners’ sales reps. As a result, many channel vendors are beginning to implement channel sales enablement solutions to drive increased channel partner sales.
We’ve recently published a white paper that discusses why sales enablement is needed in the channel and describes the capabilities and benefits provided by a capable channel sales enablement solution. You can get a FREE copy of our new white paper here.