The channel partner business has an ever-shifting landscape; vendors change, products change, revenue models change but one thing which is constant is the need to find more business, revenue and hence the growth.
This blog in general discusses some of the ways to find more business opportunities for channel partners and it also focuses on use of past sales transaction data i.e. installed base to increase revenue and the profit margins.
Below are some of the avenues for the channel partners to boost their revenue:
1. Find More Vendors to Sell
Partnering with new vendors is the most common way to get new business for a channel partner. However, the partner should be choosing vendors very diligently because in general only 1 in 10 partners are active for a given vendor; and 80% of the vendor revenue comes from 20% of the top partners.
Signing up with a new vendor requires a lot of investment and commitment on channel partner’s part and it has to be strategized correctly to reap the business benefits. Channel partners should evaluate their own strength areas, existing skill set and define clear objectives to find vendors which are complementary.
2. Embrace the Cloud Selling
One more new business opportunity area for partners is cloud and as per Gartner
prediction, by 2020 cloud selling will be a $500 Billion market.
While the cloud is bringing new opportunities to the channel partners it is also bringing lot of uncertainties. Cloud proliferation is changing the revenue models from one-time bigger payments to smaller monthly but frequent payments. The new cloud era requires partners to embrace new professional services models which does away with installation/integration-based services and brings more of subscription, provisioning and billing management related services. As the cloud market grows, it has become imperative for channel partners to embark on their digital journey as per changing ground realities. Partners must train themselves with new cloud technologies and must be the customers’ advisor in their migration-to-cloud journey.
3. Utilize Past Sales Transaction Data, i.e. Installed Base
One of the most often over-looked way of generating new leads and hence business is to look within the organization. Acquiring a new customer is expensive because of substantial costs of marketing campaigns, sales and promotions whereas existing customers have already been through this initial and expensive funnel and are the most profitable ones for the company due to less sales and marketing expense.
Stats suggest that acquiring a new customer revenue is anywhere 5 to 25 times more expensive than retaining and generating recurring and incremental revenue from an existing one.
Over the years channel partners have been selling products to thousands of customers and this data can turn out to be gold mine for the partners – of course if mined correctly! But how often channel partners utilize this install base data effectively? – the answer is rarely – and this is because though many channel partners have adopted CRM system, they have not fully embraced the digital transformation of their business and sales practices. Understanding your Installed Base at right time and to be able to show value to your existing customers is the key to success.
The latest of the technologies such as Big Data Analytics, Data Mining combined with Machine Learning can sift through the terabytes of install base and can provide very useful insight into existing customers and new leads to sell different products to them.
Channel partners can utilize their historical sales transaction data in following areas:
- Renewals– Traditional product maintenance services, cloud services, SaaS and other product subscription services, all of them require renewals and these are good source of recurring revenue for partners. Typically, these renewal services do not have very high margins however these are easier revenue because of existing relationship with the customers. Many a times channel partner sales reps are busy pursuing net new opportunities and these renewal opportunities slip off to their competition. Vendors send alerts around these renewals to the channel partners.
- Product Refresh– The usual lifespan of a hardware/software product is anywhere between 4 to 6 years. Once you sell a product to your customer, ideally you should go back to that customer when Product End Of Life (EOL) event nears and offer a new version of that product as a refresh. How often do you do that? Stats suggest that 30-35% of the customers refresh their products when the product’s EOL gets announced. So, is your competition eating your lunch?
- Upsell and Cross-sell- With smart data collection, focus on customer behavior analytics and technologies like machine learning; the time is now to focus on cross-selling and upselling which helps channel partners to generate more revenue. Through customer journey-based and data-driven approach, channel partners can find new cross-sell and upsell opportunities which can increase revenue, retain customers and build customer loyalty.
- Finding white spaces– White Spaces are untapped business opportunities; machine learning techniques analyze partner’s existing install-base and find these customer specific untapped opportunities. White Space analysis discovers specific relation between customers, their vertical, their region, their existing products and finds the probability of them buying the newer products. Once armed with the data, channel partners can prioritize their target customer list and win more deals.
Benefits of Installed-Base Data:
- It helps you identify opportunities for up-sell and cross-sell
- Account based selling helps to increase sales efficiency
- It increases recurring and net new sales
- It helps maximize growth, revenue, and profits
- It leads to increase in customer satisfaction and loyalty
Are you ready to utilize your Installed Base data and uncover new sales opportunities with your existing customers?
Identify Install-base-driven new business opportunities and sell more using Yagna iQ Smart Leads product suite. Understand and get to know more with https://www.yagnaiq.com/smartleads/ or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org