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As we continue our journey through the 5 C’s of Successful Channel Marketing Programs, we’ve made stops to discuss Create, Connect and Communicate. They were all worth the visit, but now it’s time for the Disneyland of stops — the one where all the action is: Convert. It’s about putting the other C’s to work to convert a lead into an opportunity and an opportunity into a sale. 

Nothing gets you nowhere

I’m always surprised when a salesperson takes the time to talk to me and give me a quote — but then never follows up. It happens a shocking, and disappointing amount of the time. If they didn’t need the business, why spend the time quoting? I have to assume that these vendors did want my business, but they didn’t have the workflows and technologies to capture the lead, nurture it and convert it into an opportunity or an order.

I found some interesting metrics (and a cool infographic) on salesperson follow-up activities here. Among the lowlights are:

  • 44% of salespeople give up after just one attempt
  • Only 8% of salespeople follow-up more than five times, which is definitely bad for business, as 80% of sales require a minimum of five contacts
  • If you follow up with a lead within five minutes, you’re nine times more likely to convert them

In your face is just as ineffective

On the opposite end of the spectrum is the vendor that begins inundating your inbox with emails, as soon as you give them permission to market to you — most of which provide little to no new value. Instead of taking the time to offer content that gets read and adds value, they subscribe to the idea that more is better. Fed up, most of us hit the unsubscribe button and shop elsewhere. An opportunity lost.

Hitting the sweet spot with strategy and technology

If all or nothing doesn’t work, there must be a sweet spot, right? What does it take to convert a lead into an opportunity or an order? Success boils down to some tried-and-true marketing strategies combined with next-generation technologies that automate and monitor the process. In a related blog series called “Channel Marketing Best Practices”, our team has covered several of the tried-and-true methods including:

To automate and monitor the process, channel marketers are increasingly turning to through-channel marketing automation (TCMA) platforms, like StructuredWeb. With tools like integrated, always-on campaigns, cobrandable templates, multi-format content syndication, and custom dashboards and reports, TCMA platforms help your channel marketing and sales teams energize demand generation, strengthen partner engagement and convert leads into orders.  

As a channel marketer, it’s part of your role to empower your channel partners with marketing strategies, assets and technologies that help convert leads into opportunities and drive channel sales. At the same time, you need to launch, monitor and track your brand’s own marketing activities and opportunities. Through-Channel Marketing Automation platforms, like StructuredWeb, can help on all counts. Stay tuned for the next (and final) installment in the 5 C’s series, Calculate, where we discuss how to best measure the effectiveness of the rest of the four C’s!