For decades now, technology companies have used channel partners as a way to scale their sales organization and extend their reach. Companies work hard to recruit the right partners who specialize in services that will yield the best results and get them into their programs. But then what? How do you ensure your solution stays top of mind with them? How do you make sure your partners have the right content and messaging to effectively sell your brand? And most importantly, how do you let their prospects and customers experience your solution firsthand without overwhelming your presales team with demo requests and customer site visits?
You can solve these problems with intelligent demo automation. As companies try to find efficient growth opportunities without adding new resources, tapping presales resources is one way to make an impact in the reseller channel. And using intelligent demo automation ensures you scale your presales teams without overburdening them with additional competing priorities like customizing solutions, consultative calls, and building trust with customers. Companies who include their channel partners in their intelligent demo automation strategy experience three key benefits:
1. You Increase Your Deal Sizes
Channel partners are always looking for ways to add value to their customers. Whether they are helping customers move from on-premise solutions to the Cloud, providing managed services, integrating complex systems, or acting as a support line, their livelihood depends on their ability to keep their customers coming back to them.
Giving your channel partners access to demos that address key buyer stages helps them add these services and increase deal sizes by giving them opportunities to increase the scope and influence of your footprint on their deals. As partners access these demos, they will find new ways to expand your influence and traction with end users by sharing other use cases for your solution.
For example, if your software integrates with their client’s CRM, learning management software, or other key programs in the end user tech stack, you can help your partners add integration services to their deals by giving them access to FAQ Demos on the various ways your solution integrates with other tools.
Best Practice: Use a clear naming convention for the folders in your demo library that resellers will be accessing. Have your Vision, Micro, Qualifying, FAQ, and other demos marked so your partners know which demos should be shared for the situations they will encounter while helping end users buy your software.
2. You Close Deals Faster
Today’s resellers face more challenges than ever before. A 2022 article by The Channel Company said “Customers expect agile and performant services. MSPs are under pressure to develop, test, and deploy advanced processes quickly in order to compete and stay profitable. They must manage and maintain multiple moving parts such as on-premises environments, private and public clouds, SaaS, and technologies that enable hybrid working.”
That B2B buyers are impatient is nothing new (see Garin’s book on buyer enablement) but this impatience and heightened expectation of service means that partners have to be more agile than before. Giving resellers access to automated demos helps them close business faster and focus on delighting customers by eliminating demo lag time.
Instead of waiting a week or more for an opening on your sales engineer’s or solutions consultant’s calendar to walk through your solution, end users can understand your value proposition and how your solution solves their problems by viewing a demo sent to them by your partners. Automated demos empower resellers to lead with your product and accelerate time to customizing solutions based on buyer priorities they learn through Consensus Demolytics.
Best Practice: Train your partners to send demos before live interactions and to qualify leads based on how customers engage with demos. This will help them prioritize leads based on buying behaviors they see in their prospects.
3. You Sell More
Your partners deal with competing priorities like customer support calls, sales meetings, product training, and dealing with distributors, among other things. Because your partners are likely members of other partner programs outside of yours, ease of doing business becomes a currency that can increase loyalty and overall partner satisfaction.
In fact, Raymond Paquet from Gartner said, “Tech CEOs need to go beyond supplying joint marketing and sales materials, technical training content and being easy to work with. Tech CEOs must understand what is important to the individual sales executives at channel partners: ease of doing business, services upsell opportunity, margin, initial compensation and renewal compensation.” Giving partners access to your automated demos accomplishes this by removing administrative obstacles from your partners and empowers them to confidently sell your solutions to end users. They know that the information they send to clients and prospects contains the right messaging, updated product information, and speaks to technical aspects more clearly because it comes straight from “the mothership.”
You can also optimize your channel sales by focusing on the partners who use your demos most and who are pushing your solutions in their opportunities based on usage metrics you see in your analytics (what we call Demolytics). Your Partner Account Managers (PAMs) will become better reseller coaches and be able to devote more time to accounts that are producing revenue, which will lead to more overall sales.
Best Practice: Focus your efforts on elevating your middle tier partners. While your top reseller partners will benefit from using automated demos and see an uptick in sales, your middle tier accounts present the biggest opportunity for growth and expansion for your brand within their customers bases.
B2B buyers want demos. Your resellers want to give demos. Your team wants to help your resellers give demos, but can’t be everywhere at once. Adding resellers to your demo automation strategy allows you to inject life into your channel sales by helping your partners sell more, sell faster, and sell bigger deals.