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Latest Trends, Tools for Next-Gen Tech Selling, Demand Generation

Avant at CP Expo

Edward GatelyCHANNEL PARTNERS CONFERENCE & EXPO Successful tactics for boosting sales and demand generation were highlighted during Monday’s Business Success Symposium.

The preconference, on the eve of this week’s Channel Partners Conference & Expo, was sponsored by Verizon. Janet Schijns, Verizon Business’ vice president, Verizon Solutions and Sales Channels, told attendees that everyone in the channel needs to take the time to “step back, learn something and change what you’re doing.”

“None of us are too big to fail,” she said. “The truly special people listen and adapt.”{ad}

Fivesky's Luanne TierneyDuring her session titled “New Tactics for Selling Next-Gen Tech,” Luanne Tierney, Fivesky’s managing member and chief marketing officer, shared eight trends that partners need to be aware of and can capitalize on to increase sales.

The eight trends are:

  • Interactive content. Attention spans are decreasing and people want to actively participate in content. That can include quizzes, polls and surveys.
  • Influencer marketing. With ad blocker usage on the rise, content needs to be aligned with people they can trust. “Think about who are the influencers you can attach to your content,” Tierney said.
  • Mobile-first strategy. Design marketing tools for mobile devices. Mobile messages are different: more mobile-friendly, with headlines, less text, visuals and large fonts.
  • Mobile video. Education videos attract potential customers. Video emails also are being used. Video is the new blogging.
  • Chatbots. Eighty percent of marketing leaders are going to deploy chatbots by 2020. Chatbots can help with sales and service, training, and care and support.
  • Short-lived content. Think about Instagram as a digital magazine for your company. Decision makers are getting younger, so it’s important to engage on their platforms, Tierney said.
  • Social selling. LinkedIn is a “great opportunity to get your brand, your message out there,” she said. Also, brands increasingly are using emojis.
  • The future — artificial intelligence and voice marketing.

“These trends are things you can apply immediately and affordably to your business,” Tierney said. “Regardless of if you’re selling Internet of Things (IoT), cloud solutions, big data, it really doesn’t matter the technology you’re selling. It’s how you …

{vpipagebreak}

…differentiate your brand and then use these fantastic new tools to amplify your brand. It does start with the company defining what their differentiator is and then using these new tools to get their brand out there loud and clear.”

Channel Maven Consulting's Heather MargolisDuring another session titled “Leads, Leads, Leads: How to Fill Your Funnel Without Drowning in Data,” Heather Margolis, founder and CEO of Channel Maven Consulting, shared effective demand-generation tips.

“It’s really important that you don’t pay attention to any one thing; it all needs to work together,” she said. “So the integration of social and email, and phone, and video and different kinds of content, it’s really important that all of those pieces are touching exactly what the prospects’ or customers’ pain points are.”

People’s habits are changing, so it’s “not just about how you can reach them, it’s how they want to receive the information,” Margolis said.

“So if somebody filled out a survey, they might say they want email, but their habits are actually changing for that not to be the case,” she said.{ad}

Margolis’ demand-generation tips include:

  • Identifying/understanding your buyer
  • Building relevant content that is specific to a buyer’s pain points
  • Guiding visitors to and through your website. Let them know that you know what their pain points are, Margolis said.
  • Being present and professional
  • Leveraging LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Twitter works for brand awareness, while LinkedIn is true demand generation. Connect with people, post relevant content, but never push a sales agenda on LinkedIn. Facebook is effective for advertising.
  • Build an integrated email campaign with emails that are targeted, integrated and not “sales-y.”
  • Improve cold calling by first initiating contact on LinkedIn.

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