5 Tools for Channel Account Managers: Part 3
Part 3: How To Sell Your Value as a Vendor.
knowing how to communicate your value is integral to transforming your channel partner relationship. At the centre of a great relationship has to be trust. Trust that you have their best interests at heart, not just your own. Trust that comes from knowing and understanding and – and this is vital – believing in the value you create.
Welcome to part 3 of our 5 part series giving you the ideas and strategies you need to excel as a channel account manager.
In Part 1 we showed you how to move beyond the product and put practical selling tools in the hands of your partner sales teams. In Part 2 we looked at how to create stories that excite. Now let’s talk about how to sell your value as a vendor.
Picture this for a moment, each one of your partners has maybe 40 different vendors pitching their wares to them. At the centre of a great relationship has to be trust. Trust that you have their best interests at heart, not just your own. Trust that comes from knowing and understanding – and this is vital – believing in the value you create. The value you create for them, for their business, and for their customers. A big demand, yes? So knowing how to communicate your value is integral to transforming your channel partner relationship.
The first step is being clear with yourself about what your value is, so I encourage you to set up a ‘value bank’ of 6-10 points of value that you hold as a vendor. Write them down, write as many as you can think of, don’t edit. Once you have your list read them back to yourself and imagine you are the owner, sales manager or sales person of one of your partners. How do they sound now? From a partner perspective are you left asking “so what?” or “nice, but what’s in it for me and my customers?” Be ruthless with your value offering. Do your points truly offer something different, a competitive advantage, or some desirable outcome for your partners? If not, re-word it, re-think it, focus your value propositions until they are irresistible.
Once you have drilled down to the real and meaningful value you know you can deliver, it’s time to find out what matters most to your partners. Ask your channel partners about what sort of relationship they want to have with you. What do they look for in a vendor and what can you provide them that will put a smile on their face, day in, day out? What makes them sell one vendor’s solution or products over another?
One thing we know about value is that it represents different things to different people. Some of your channel partners will find value in the way that you are responsive to them. They like that you take back products with no questions, the way that you always have a customer service department that answers queries. Maybe it’s in the product itself, a blistering set of benefits that give your customers a real sense of competitiveness in the market. The truth is, you won’t know until you ask.
Now you have everything you need to start positioning yourself as the most valuable partner they have. You are tooled up with a range of your own high-powered value statements, and you know directly from them what they perceive as value and what they need from you. Now it’s all down to the delivery. Relentless and consistently making that value a reality for them, in a way that shows them you really mean it.
At the heart of your CAM’s world is showing partner sales people that it is easier to hit their number through your solutions than competing vendors. When they are already experiencing the value you create that’s not such a hard thing for them to imagine. They can already taste it.
If you would like to find out more about how we help our clients uncover and deliver consistently high level of value to their customers and channel partners, then please get in touch. It would be great to find out more about your current experiences.
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