Partner Lead Management Resources

Why a thriving channel needs partner lead management and where to start.

If you’ve landed here, chances are you fall into one of the following three camps:

1.

Why Partner Lead Management is necessary to a thriving partner ecosystem.

You may not think you need a PLM solution, or that the costs of adopting one can’t be justified.  Or you may not even know you need one for your channel.  The basic fact is you rely on your channel to work the leads you generate for them.  You’ve built processes to not only route or deliver the leads you generate, but also to receive program feedback and pursuit status for the leads.  

These processes are often manual which introduces cost and delays lead velocity blunting your demand generation efficiency and value. Sound Familiar?  Well you’re not alone, and we’re here to help you get up to speed.

Let’s start with what a Partner Lead Management platform does and doesn’t do

What a PLM does (and the 4 pillars to successful Partner Lead Management):

  • Automating and using AI to route your leads to the best partner. 
  • Maximizing Lead Velocity ensuring a partner accepts a lead and engages with the prospect.
  • Receiving field level pursuit feedback in real time.
  • Ensuring which ever solution you employ is adopted and used by your partners.

What a PLM doesn’t do:

  • A PLM doesn’t build out partner portals for your partners
  • It doesn’t (ideally) require you to register and go through lengthy information updates
  • It doesn’t train your partners nor is it a content management solution
  • It doesn’t provide prospect pages or sales playbooks.
  • These are functions typically found in Partner Relationship Management technologies.  Not to minimize the typical functions of a PRM platform but you’re here because you know leads aren’t being actioned by your channel so let’s get to it. 

Automation and Intelligent Lead Distribution

A successful partner program, like any sales process, starts with quality leads. Having multiple products and services means leads could come from multiple sources.  Large organizations with large partners networks will generate leads from multiple demand generation programs including using agencies, social media, trade shows, direct from web site amongst others.  Each lead source means varying qualities of the leads. 

BANT leads, the holy grail of leads, are typically pre-qualified prior to being distributed to partners, MQL (Marketing Qualified Leads) may be generated and nurtured internally prior to sending to partners, and many lead sources are direct to partners without nurturing or qualifying.   Your Partner Lead Management platform needs to be able to accommodate, identify and route on each lead type based on the best suited partner. 

Most companies have a defined process and set of rules for distributing their leads.  If those rules are in a spreadsheet that a Partner Business Manager approves its likely you are adding days to a process that should be done in real time.   Given the variety of lead types and volumes using technology to determine the best suited agent sounds like it is a costly endeavour.  The good news, it doesn’t have to be. 

Learn how we do Automated Lead Distribution here.

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2.

Maximizing Lead Velocity.

Not to be the bearer of bad news but speed to lead can be the key difference between winning and losing a deal.  What can it mean?

78% of buyers purchase from the company that responds to them first.

You are 21 X more likely to qualify a lead within the first 30 minutes

However, the average B2B response time is 42 hours, and around half take up to 5 days to respond!

It sounds simple enough; if I get my partners to increase their lead velocity I’ll win.  Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.  How do you ensure that the lead is actioned in a manner that meets your KPI’s you strive for when it comes to a partner engaging with a lead?  

Lead velocity requires it to be in the hands and actioned by your partner.  If you are using email and spreadsheets to get leads to partners you’re already starting from a deficit as we discussed above.  If you’re trying to extend your CRM to your partners, not only are you paying for it you’re probably aware they don’t want another piece of technology to adopt, but we’ll also talk about that later.

Your partners thrive on receiving leads but only to a point.  Leads that are qualified as sales ready should be identified as such and carry a sense of urgency and hence a faster velocity KPI should be implemented.  Leads that are MQL based that still require a reach out will have a more nurturing velocity. 

But here’s the thing – velocity is both action based, and perception based.  What we mean by that is the act of lead acceptance itself should have a sense of urgency as well the action of attempting to contact the prospect.  

Creating a sense of acceptance urgency is key, and from experience we can tell you a spreadsheet with a list of leads does not create acceptance urgency.   Acceptance urgency is created by ensuring an agent commits to a lead you provide to them by accepting it.  If they do not within a given time, the lead needs to be offered to another agent either within the same partner or with another partner entirely.  

See how Lead Assign’s Patented technology creates acceptance urgency here.

Capturing Real Time field level Pursuit data.

This is a marketer’s and channel manager’s dream.  Get real time feedback from the partner agents pursuing the leads that you generate.  It’s one of the key pillars to success and achieved by providing an automated mechanism to obtain pursuit feedback from initial contact, stage of pursuit, to closing and lost lead analysis.  

Direct field agent feedback in real time allows you to hone your marketing programs and understand the value of each dollar your spending based on sell through and quality, increase your competitive advantage with your partners, and provide pipeline visibility now – not 3 months later.  

Too often program success is determined by canvassing partners post program completion and largely manually.  If your partner provides updates electronically, again it’s usually post program.  The right PLM platform will track field level pursuit success by campaign and lead type ensuring you have the entire picture as the program proceeds.  

Automated pursuit capture that is easy and non-intrusive is critical.  With Lead Assign we do this be creating simple action items that are triggers for field input customized to each lead type and sales cycle.  The feedback capture is literally a couple clicks and highly intuitive.  And we can guarantee your partners will provide you the pursuit data.  

How?  Read on about the last pillar – Adoption and partner use.

To see Lead Assigns Pursuit and Conversion capability read more here.

Ensuring your Partner Ecosystem uses your PLM

Every company, including your partners have existing technology and software stacks.  Their own CRM, their own apps, all with logins and different access protocols.   Adding another to their current stack to handle your leads can be a challenge.  That’s why Lead Assign’s lead offer and acceptance platform uses standard tools they already use – a browser, SMS, and email. There is no login required or app to download.  This architecture decision and implementation was critical to ensuring adoption.

There is another adoption “secret sauce” strategy that is specific and exclusive to Lead Assign and how you can ensure not only adoption but granular Partner Performance Tracking.  We call it the Partner Performance Score.  

Knowing the importance of your leads, the value you attach to them, and the trust you put in your PLM decision we built a proprietary algorithm to ensure that all your leads are intelligently routed to the best partner.  The components that make up the Partner Performance Score are:

  • Acceptance 
  • Pursuit data provided
  • Adoption

Using the Partner Performance Score to determine who should receive your leads is 100% configurable setting for your deployment.  It can be used from the start or at any point in the program’s life or not at all.  The built-in dashboard gives a high-level overview of your sales reps’ activities. It shows managers and directors their agent’s current performance score based on leads that were either accepted, declined or ignored, and the status of the conversion tracking feedback.

Learn more about Lead Assigns Partner Performance Score.

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3.

How Lead Assign Stacks Up.

You know your channel performance can be improved.  You understand the importance of lead velocity, partner solution adoption, automation vs. manual processes, and partner pipeline visibility.  Now it’s about ensuring you choose the right PLM provider.  

To help, read one of our case studies selected to highlight business challenges and how Lead Assign helped our client solve them.  Since 2016 we’ve helped brands like these with diverse channels increase sales velocity and make sure every lead is actioned – automatically.

Modern Channel Sales and Lead Management

Take back control of your channel by getting insight into your agency and partner performance.

Lead Assign is used by over 300 companies to ensure their partner sales efforts are world class.  Let’s see how Lead Assign stacks up to some other solutions you may be considering.

Lead AssignSalesforceLean DataBuild Your Own
Scalability
Adoption ?
AI Lead Routing ?
Customization ?
Integration ?
Business Analytics ?
High ROI ?

Demand generation activities by large manufacturers run 6,7, or 8 figures in marketing spend per year and putting that level of investment directly into your partners hands without guaranteeing action seems unfathomable.  There is a significant push to channel partner accountability across most top companies.  This means ensuring you have the right PLM platform in place to ensure you increase your partner experience and increase your partner revenue.

The first step in any decision related to deploying a PLM solution is to understand your current mode of lead management and to identify areas for automation and improvement.  We provide a standardized and phased approach (Link to how we work) to working with you.  

Get in touch with one of our experts today.

Looking to accommodate lead flow, bolster sales effectiveness, improve pipeline visibility or improve in another area?

Lead Assign accommodates solutions across a wide range of business departments.  Let us know where we might fit in.

Speak with a lead management expert.

Frequently Asked Questions

Indicators can vary across industries and business cases. As sales networks become larger and more distributed across various regions and verticals, a need for supporting software to manage additional complexity grows. Check out how we helped our customers address their lead management challenges here.

Increased time commitment from sales and marketing managers to lead management, lowering conversion rates, and increased numbers of leads that go unactioned are all strong indicators.

Full activation of a self-serve Lead Assign account can happen today!

For international lead distribution models, Lead Assign’s added service model offers an opportunity to work with our devoted team of lead management experts to be up and running as soon as possible. For enterprise lead management, get started here.

Full activation of a self-serve Lead Assign account can happen today!

For international lead distribution models, Lead Assign’s added service model offers an opportunity to work with our devoted team of lead management experts to be up and running as soon as possible. For enterprise lead management, get started here.

With no need for sales agents to login into a platform, Lead Assign’s integration is a seamless process.

After configuration, agents will simply be offered or routed leads via their contact details, eliminating the hassle of constant logins or in-app training. Click here to see what we mean.

Lead Assign has integrated with all sorts of sales and marketing platforms providing a variety of different solutions to easily become part of a complete sales management package. 

Integrations are always in ongoing discussions with our team of engineers to expand our capabilities. 

For technical information, click here

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