How are High-Performing Partners Getting Ahead?

I sat down on the Heads in the Cloud podcast with hosts David Portnowitz and Graham Potter to talk channel shop. The guys on the podcast know what they’re talking about, and we had a great discussion on suppliers helping partners reach higher levels of performance — and, more specifically, what the highest performing partners are doing that sets them above the rest.

What are some partners doing right? How are they successful when other partners struggle to get started? What techniques are they using that other partners can benefit from trying out? Let’s examine that a little more closely.


Commit to Digital Transformation

Successful partners embrace marketing automation from day one on, and aren’t afraid to reach in and configure settings to their benefit. They don’t treat campaigns as just a “one and done” activity. Successful partners are in the supplier’s marketing platform, tweaking and fine-tuning their digital marketing activities over and over. They make mistakes, and they learn from them. The most successful partners have gotten to where they are through learning like this, by stumbling and learning what they tripped over, and not giving up on marketing afterward. They see things through from start to finish, and they keep tinkering with the supplier’s platform to get as much out of it as they possibly can.

As a prominent thought leader, Laz brings unparalleled channel expertise to Zift as Chief Strategy Officer. Before Zift, Laz was Group Director of Channel Sales & Marketing Strategies at SiriusDecisions serving as a strategic advisor to leading B2B channel programs worldwide.

Additionally, successful partners leverage the marketing  platform as much as they can. They’re exploring every inch of what’s offered to them and factoring it as an integral part of their own digital marketing program. I hear truly successful partners refer to supplier platforms as their own marketing department — encourage partners to think of channel programs as an additional marketing resource to kickstart their own efforts. Often, partners don’t have dedicated marketing departments at their disposal, so treating their suppliers’ program as their own personal marketing department opens doors that wouldn’t be available otherwise.


Multitouch Masters

Partners who work at their success, as I mentioned above, take time to tell their story in as many ways as are offered to them. They’re the partners going above and beyond with social sharing, with campaigns and emails and asset usage. Help these partners tell their stories more efficiently by adding in ways to keep track of opportunities and leads.

The customer you know is three times more likely to take you up on an offer than the customer you don’t. Making use of account-based marketing, or targeting known customers instead of non-specific net-new customers, is something those high-performing partners are familiar and comfortable with.


Digging into Data

Here’s a tip for high performance: Successful partners analyze their performance through data options, and use that to inform their future marketing decisions. Data can help partners become more predictive of what will and won’t work in the future — and if that kind of powerful knowledge is available in-platform, partners will be tempted to stick around and explore what’s available to them. Finding out which opportunity is more likely to close, or which activity could yield the highest results can change how they’re interacting with your marketing resources, and help partners become more attuned to what works for them.

Interested in hearing more of my thoughts on this topic, types of marketing, and more ways to success (as well as my favorite type of sandwich)? Head on over to the Heads in the Cloud podcast and give it a listen. Additionally, leave a comment sharing any questions or comments you might have — I’d love to answer them.

Don’t miss more from Laz and other channel thought leaders on You can reach Laz at or follow @lazgonzalez and @zift on Twitter.

laz.jpg A prominent industry analyst and thought leader, Laz brings unparalleled channel expertise to Zift and has served as strategic advisor to leading B2B channel programs worldwide.
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