05 Oct Partner Reseller Marketing: The Changing of the Guard
For years, companies like IBM, Oracle and Microsoft have provided hundreds (maybe thousands) of outbound cold calling lead generation services to reseller partners looking to move product and software. In fact, it was commonplace for these Tech giants to provide call lists to their partners, while engaging these lead gen companies as a fee-based service in order to make headway into specific markets where they have had difficulty penetrating. It was a strategy that gave these massive companies a huge secondary sales network on the streets, without having to bear the costs of the sales organization. For years, these programs gave hope to the little guy hoping to become a platinum reseller for companies like Microsoft and IBM.
There is no secret that people are becoming more difficult to get in touch with via an office landline. From what we are seeing in the marketplace from our clients and professional network; programs that engage cold calling services are becoming less and less effective. The typical connection rate (# of dials:talk to real person) we are hearing is less than 1%, putting the sales ready lead generation rate at a much lower fraction. Even though people of decision making authority are becoming easier to locate through tools like LinkedIn and Jigsaw, getting them to answer their phone is a monumental task. Not to mention, the person making the call may not be as well suited to answer specific questions from the buyer as would a company rep who deals with their services on a daily basis. The challenges are becoming too large for these cold caller lead generation sources to survive.
Welcome the New Guard: Lead Generation with Content Marketing
Content marketing is making its way into the fold as a clear avenue for lead generation for product resellers. Creating interesting and relevant content that invites and engages a target audience is becoming a more effective tool for landing new deals and filling the top of the funnel. Using these new marketing tactics for increasing lead flow is a clear alternative for Partner Program Managers to offer their resellers. There are so many benefits to these plans. Here are just a few:
- The cost associated on a per lead basis is usually a fraction of the cold calling routine.
- The shelf life of the content created is infinite. There is no shelf life for a cold call.
- There is no transition required in content marketing campaigns. The download landing page does all the work.
- Lead generation from content can be completely automated.
- Content marketing works while you sleep. Cold calling is between 8-5.
- Content marketing gets them coming to you. Cold calling requires that you go to them.
- Using email marketing to engage an audience will effectively reach a much higher amount of people than will cold calling. Reaching thousands of people in an hour of work can be attained, where cold calling could take months to reach this objective.
- Content marketing can display your genius at work. Cold calling does not.
This list includes only a few of the reasons why content marketing is a viable alternative for Partner Reseller Programs. Outsourcing cold calling lead generation has its place and can work well at times, but the economies and ROI of content marketing are too great of an advantage to ignore.
If you would like to review the opportunities available for your reseller partners, give us a shout. It costs you nothing to find additional ways to help your partners be more successful in selling your products.
Kevin O’Brien is a Co-Founder and Partner at echogravity. Kevin’s credentials include being a top recruiter for a international Big 8 consulting firm, top business development rep for a global consulting and staffing firm, and consulting with over 100 companies across North America.