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IT channel sales and marketing strategy for the digital era

Sales and marketing may not be a traditional focus for channel companies, but a solid plan can contribute to revenue growth.

Introduction

We've entered into a new era where IT channel firms must have a strong, and digital, sales and marketing strategy in place if they hope to grow, if not survive, in the industry. Customers, increasingly Web-savvy, prefer to conduct their own research to find partners, putting greater importance on the image and message you convey about your company through your website, collateral and social media platforms. For channel executives coming from mostly technical backgrounds, crafting a sales and marketing strategy can seem like a daunting responsibility -- but, if there's one thing we're trying hammer in throughout this guide, you can't afford to avoid it.

With the importance of sales and marketing in mind, we've organized a comprehensive series of articles to modernize your approach. You'll find an overview of the steps you'll need to take to develop a solid sales and marketing strategy for your company, as well as the tools and techniques for generating leads. And importantly, throughout the series, you'll find a multitude of valuable tips to help you execute your plan.

1Channel partner marketing-

Cutting through the noise

Where do you start? How do you pay for it? What different marketing routes could you take? In this section, you'll get the bulk of what you need to know about sales and marketing in the digital era. These pieces provide a high-level perspective of the sales and marketing battleground for partners, as well as detailed reports on how to stand out.

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It starts with a sales and marketing strategy

'Word of mouth' can only get you so far in business. Take the first steps toward building a sales and marketing engine that can drive your channel firm to the next level. Continue Reading

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Digital marketing methods at your disposal

What does customer engagement mean in today's world? These digital marketing techniques are essential for any channel firm, whether you're a newbie or marketing pro. Continue Reading

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The makings of a well-honed marketing plan

Answering these three questions will better define your marketing roadmap. Continue Reading

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How to tap into MDF dollars

If your marketing budget is tight, look no further than your vendors. Market development funds can help pay for a portion of your initiatives. Continue Reading

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Lead generation demystified

Marketing expert Jennifer Anaya highlights seven budget-friendly resources you can use to develop a solid lead-generation strategy. Continue Reading

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The intangible benefits of thought leadership

Channel partners are using their own subject-matter expertise to create content for blogs and journals. Doing so can help generate leads and build industry authority. Continue Reading

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How to revamp your marketing collateral

Good marketing collateral comes down to the details. Learn why each element of your collateral contributes to a customer's perception of your company. Continue Reading

Blog Post

Joseph Jaffe: 'Take care of marketing basics'

Consultant Joseph Jaffe shared tenets of his marketing philosophy at the 2016 Cisco Marketing Velocity event. Continue Reading

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Five indispensable tactics for MSPs

MSPWorld 2016 speaker Scott Lindars outlined five ways MSPs can upgrade their marketing efforts on the Web. Continue Reading

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Time to hire a marketing specialist?

Despite best intentions, MSPs often lack the time and resources needed to execute marketing plans, leading some to engage outside help. Continue Reading

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The art of customer enchantment

According to speakers at 2015's Cisco Marketing Velocity event, the core drivers for enchanting prospects are 'connect, engage and amaze.' Continue Reading

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Be bold with business storytelling

The 2015 Cisco Marketing Velocity urged partners to incorporate business storytelling techniques into their marketing efforts. Continue Reading

Blog Post

Selling cloud into the SMB space

IDC reported cloud computing for SMBs has reached majority-adoption status. Tapping into the market, however, requires a distinct marketing plan. Continue Reading

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Is launching a channel a good idea?

If you're struggling to get your sales and marketing organization off the ground, you may consider launching a partner channel. But industry watchers doubt it's the best strategy. Continue Reading

2Brand strategy-

Know thyself: Tips for establishing your brand

Your company brand, while an important concept that runs through the pieces featured above, warrants closer inspection. In this section, Jennifer Anaya, vice president of North American marketing at Ingram Micro, zeros in on several aspects of branding (and rebranding) your firm. Read through these tips to learn how to create a concise and compelling branding strategy that best reflects your company identity.

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The rebranding process in four steps

As your company evolves, you'll have to repeatedly update your image and message. Here's how to rediscover and deliver your brand promise. Continue Reading

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How specialization can punch up your brand

YouTube stars show us a powerful tactic that can benefit all businesses: Try to be great to someone special, not the entire world. Continue Reading

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Business expansion: Keep a clear-cut message

Companies juggling multiple brands often convey a muddled message to customers. Learn why a branded house approach makes more sense. Continue Reading

3MSP sales management-

Organizing your sales staff

If you're selling managed and/or cloud services, it's your responsibility to ensure your sales talent understands the nuances of recurring revenue deals. Read through these pieces for advice on how to set your sales staff up for success.

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Hiring 'farmers' to sell either managed or cloud services

When transitioning your company to a recurring revenue model, you'll need to employ salespeople that offer a particular skill set. Continue Reading

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MSP sales recruitment: How to find the right talent

Hiring expert Michael Schmidtmann explains what to look out for when screening potential salespeople. Continue Reading

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Retaining sales staff during a business model transition

How do you align legacy sale staff with managed services offerings? Invest in training, adjust compensation models and make some tough decisions. Continue Reading

4Glossary-

Sales and marketing terms

Get au fait with the language and speak like a true sales and marketing strategist.

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