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Monthly Archives: June 2017

Lead Generation in the Digital Era

Lead generation in the digital era can be daunting. The good news is, there are resources that can immediately help you fill your sales pipeline. To help you stay on top of your customers’ needs our ongoing best practices blog series will focus on lead generation, social media strategies, nurturing programs and more.

Generating consistent and predictable sales leads is the lifeblood of B2B organizations. Unfortunately, in our digital era, successfully managing a sales funnel is easier said than done. Tried and true methods, like cold calling and shotgun email marketing techniques, now only produce lackluster results. This leaves many of us feeling as though we have exhausted our time, budgets and resources.
The primary reason for this change is the evolution of the buying process. Digital has forever altered how buyers make purchasing decisions. In fact, they often complete their own research online before reaching out to a Partner, which highlights the importance of being top of mind at every stage of the sales process.

Understanding the Modern Buyer’s Journey

There are three stages of the buyer’s journey. Each stage puts your customers firmly in the driver’s seat of the decision-making process, including:

  1. Awareness: The buyer realizes they have a problem
  2. Consideration: The buyer begins to research possible solutions
  3. Decision: The buyer chooses a product or solution

Harnessing the Forgotten Power of Email Programs

As social media and content play an ever-expanding role in sales and marketing, email programs have fallen by the wayside. It is important to note that email marketing continues to deliver tremendous performance, consistently exceeding other methods. According to a survey conducted by the Direct Marketing Association and Demand Metric, “Email had a median ROI of 122% — more than four times higher than other marketing formats examined, including social media, direct mail and paid search.” [1]

Email marketing is unquestionably effective for building awareness and nurturing leads, but there are critical elements to consider:

  • Purchased email lists are rarely effective and may hurt your reputation. Instead, build an opt-in list with content marketing and other inbound marketing techniques in order to build brand recognition and customer loyalty.
  • Segment your lists to narrow your targeting focus (think verticals, previous email activity such as click-throughs and past purchases).
  • Use multi-touch programs to build your message over time.
  • Be consistent with your messaging to strengthen your brand.

To help you get started, VMware Partners can easily access multi-touch programs in the Partner Demand Center. These campaigns are ideal for driving awareness and include everything you need, from custom emails and landing pages to gated content.

Building Relationships with Lead Nurturing

Depending where your buyer is in their journey, they may not be ready to buy right now. However, it does not mean that you should concede and move on to the next lead. Take this opportunity to nurture the relationship, differentiate your business, build trust, educate your customers and finally move them closer to a decision.

According to the 2017 Benchmark survey by Demand Gen Report, marketers agree that the best types of lead nurturing programs are email newsletters, white papers and webinars.[2] But, these are not the only tactics that work. Thought leadership articles, research-based content and blog posts are also highly effective. The key for all Partners is to map the right type of program and content to each stage or the buyer’s journey.

VMware knows it takes time to build lead nurturing programs and content from scratch. We offer resources at your fingertips to give you a fast pass to success. Our programs include everything from webinar and workshop planning guides to outbound calling programs – all tools available through the Partner Demand Center.

Accelerating Sales

When buyers reach the decision phase, they’re strategically narrowing down vendors by evaluating specific features and comparing prices. Seeing products in action helps prospects fully grasp the features and overall value of solutions. This is an ideal opportunity to offer testimonials, labs, evaluation checklists, product trials and demos.

VMware supplies the following fast passes to success to help you demonstrate the value of VMware products and move sales forward:

  • Hands-on Labs

VMware Hand-on Labs (HOLs) demonstrate the value of VMware solutions in real time. This program provides you with the tools you need to encourage prospects to try out VMware solutions.

  • Free Trials and Assessments

Free Trial and Assessment forms can be added to your website through VMware Content Syndication. This allows your prospects to download evaluation versions of products and install them in their own environment.

Refining Your Strategy

Once your programs are in place, it is important to continuously evaluate what’s working and refine your strategy based on data. If you’re not focusing on metrics, statistics show that you may be missing valuable leads. According to Demand Gen Report, “The less companies know about their Key Performance Indicators [or metrics], the less likely they are to meet their revenue goals.” To identify where leads are leaking out, it is recommended to regularly examine each stage of the sales funnel. This best practice will go a long way toward boosting your pipeline and improving your marketing and sales practices.

Next Steps for Partners to Boost Sales

Please note that Terms and conditions apply.

——————————————————————————————————————————————Sources:

[1] Email Continues to Deliver Strong ROI and Value for Marketers, https://www.emarketer.com/Article/Email-Continues-Deliver-Strong-ROI-Value-Marketers

[2] 2016 Lead Nurturing Benchmark Study, https://www.demandgenreport.com/resources/reports/2016-lead-nurturing-benchmark-study

[3] 2016 Content Preferences Study, https://www.demandgenreport.com/resources/research/2016-content-preferences-survey-b2b-buyers-value-content-that-offers-data-and-analysis

 

Advantage+ Enhancements for 2017: What Partners Need to Know

Last August, VMware announced enhancements to Advantage+, our opportunity registration program.  This year, we continue the evolution as part of our ongoing commitment to deliver best in class partner programs.  We are pleased to announce the following Advantage+ enhancements effective June 19:

  • Lead on Professional Services – Premier and Enterprise Solution Providers and Corporate Resellers can request registration to take the lead on selling Professional Services.
  • Cross-Sell Up-Sell Improvements – Modified validation process to allow for solution-oriented selling.
  • Professional Level Solution Providers eligible to participate in Advantage+  with  safeguard registration benefits.

VMware transformational solutions continue to offer immense partner opportunity and these Advantage+ enhancements will streamline the incentive process for our advanced products.

Be sure to review the incentives page on Partner Central for more details.

VMware vRealize Updates Bring Opportunities

VMware’s recent product updates make it easier to accelerate your customers’ digital transformation by modernizing their existing data center environment and simplifying management of heterogeneous, multi-vendor cloud environments. The updated VMware vRealize® Cloud Management Platform brings opportunity by enabling customers to manage and provision at scale – with compute, network, storage and application services across multi cloud environments.

What’s improved with vRealize Cloud Management for customers and partners?

  • Faster time-to-implementation and lower total cost of ownership of cloud
  • Partners are eligible for the front-end discounts up to 30%, plus a 5% back-end rebate

How can I engage my customers?

IDC predicts that by 2018, 98% of Enterprises will be operating both private and public clouds. This would accelerate an increasing need for a multi cloud management solution. Start the conversation around the following three common customer use cases and illustrating key updates:

Intelligent Operations                                    

  • Automated, Proactive Performance Management for workload balancing across clusters and data stores based on business needs
  • 360 Troubleshooting for faster root-cause analysis
  • Enhanced Insights to improve forecasting and accelerate cloud planning
  • Increased Support for VMware vSAN™ Operations, Ease of Use Enhancements, Improved Cross Cloud Networking and Security Management, and much more

Automate IT

  • Increased support for VMware NSX® Day Two Actions for load balancing, networking and security functions
  • Automated, Proactive Workload Placement to improve placement decision making for provisioning new virtual machines

DevOps-Ready IT

  • Container Management Enhancements including support for vSphere Integrated ContainersTM and Docker
  • Configuration Management Framework for integration with tools such as Puppet, Chef, Salt, and Ansible
  • DBaaS Enhancements to easily clone server databases and make them catalog items
  • Enhanced Microsoft Azure support to enable deployment and management of application and middleware services

For more details on what is new and improved with vRealize, listen to the “Learn about the new vRealize releases in Q2” vmLIVE session. You will hear from VMware Cloud Management leaders and subject matter experts on strategy updates, new releases, and to see demos of the new functionality.

Also, be sure to visit the Launch Resource Center  for more information on product updates, partner benefits and incentives on growing your cloud management practice

Know More, Grow More: VMware Mobility Accreditation

The newly released Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Mobility Management 2017 once again names VMware as the leader with the highest rating on both ability to execute and completeness of vision.

The Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) landscape has changed considerably over the past seven years.  Continued innovation in the space by a market leader is a benefit to partners who will be well prepared to lead their customers on their digital transformation journey.

A great way for partners to participate in the upcoming Mobility, Windows 10 and IoT opportunity is to have a highly competent staff.  A good place for Partner Sales Engineers to start is to achieve the VMware Mobility Management Pre-Sales Accreditation.

Penton Media recently sat down with VMware Global Performance Consultant Kevin Groat to hear more about Mobility enablement and how VMware is helping partners position themselves to obtain their share of the Mobility market.  Listen to the interview as Kevin expands on:

  • How partners can become well-versed in Mobility and ways VMware can help
  • Why partners should earn the VTSP Mobility 2017 accreditation
  • Benefits of achieving accreditations for your organization

For 2017, the VMware Mobility Management Pre-Sales Accreditation is now streamlined into three courses as follows:

  • VMware AirWatch Solution Overview
  • VMware AirWatch Fundamentals
  • VMware AirWatch: Validate and Prove (using TestDrive)

Knowing more and growing more is easier than ever. Get started earning your VMware Mobility Accreditation today.