The New Way: Channel Partners Tap Into Social Engagement to Drive Sales

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David Lloyd

As we all look forward to the second half of 2020, hopefully with a degree of positivity, we are also confronted with new realities that will fundamentally change how and where we do business.

A recent article in Bloomberg, U.S. Airlines Face End of Business Travel as They Knew It, points to stark changes. The bottom line is that during the current COVID period, over 95% of business travel has ceased. Importantly, a recent Fortune survey of 500 CEOs found that more than 50% stated that travel would never return to pre-COVID levels and that the further use of technologies such as video conferencing will forever change the landscape.

In-Person Interactions Aren’t Viable Options

The problem of reaching customers is compounded by the lack of in-person interactions. We’ve seen the collapse of the conference and events business over the past four months, another mainstay of the traditional selling and engagement method.

As noted in Forbes, over 83 million people have been impacted by the cancellations of all types of events. Given current rules in place for groups of people, for example, in Las Vegas, there is a limit of 50 people or less, nothing is changing anytime soon. Well-known brands such as Forrester SiriusDecisions Summit saw a $7-9M reduction in revenue due to the cancellation of their premiere event, which is a key vendor-customer meeting point.

Finally, you have many organizations recognizing that the nature of work is radically transforming. In a recent Inc. article, incoming Siemens CEO Roland Busch noted that their new work from home policy is “one that focuses on outcomes rather than on time spent at the office.”

No one’s consistently back at the office to even meet with, and in their new “home” offices they are not picking up the phone or answering that first email. In this environment, reaching and influencing your prospects and customers becomes a far more daunting task.

Replacing The Old Ways of Doing Business

As many companies depended on traditional approaches to establish themselves as thought leaders, collaborators, product innovators, and “go-to” partners, the question now is “how do you replace these previous ways of doing business?” and solve the three challenges of:

  1. Travel as a means of building credibility and relationships.
  2. Organizing events to drive mindshare and connections.
  3. Connecting in highly distributed companies.

Through this turmoil, there has been a noticeable acceleration of contemporary methods to combat these structural shifts. As Jay McBain, Principal Analyst (Channel & Partners) at Forrester recently noted in his recent blog post What I see coming for the channel in 2020,  “With buyers spending 68% of their journey digitally before speaking with a salesperson (direct or partner) and an astounding 71% of them reaching vendor selection after a digital-only journey, brands are wising up to the importance of getting in front of customers early and often. Creating an ‘influencer channel’…”

And this channel is accomplished by leveraging social media, that’s where PostBeyond steps in.

Where PostBeyond Fits In The New World

On PostBeyond’s employee advocacy platform, we’ve seen our current customer’s activity increase by over 25% in the past few months scaling with the need to reach their audience during isolation. PostBeyond activates both employees and partners to be influencers on social media.

One of our customers, ConnectWise, has generated 153 leads since the launch of its program less than a year ago. Their target audience are Managed Service Providers (MSPs) who are a part of a very connected community of IT professionals.

As a company that supports its customers virtually, they released several COVID-19 related initiatives on how they can help their customers. During the pandemic, they experienced a 102 leads boost due to their focus on relevance and helpful content. “People were looking to us for advice on how to manage their business in a time like this and that was the advice we were working to give,” said Callie.

Other impressive results for their advocacy program include:

  • 5,319 pieces of social content shared
  • 4.2M in potential reach
  • 25,766 content click-throughs
  • 10,997 total interactions on social media

Change is Inevitable

The truth is that many of us don’t look forward to changing, yet have change thrust upon us. In these circumstances, we recognize new ways of doing business that shift the competitive landscape and our thinking. PostBeyond can support your organization in this shift by unlocking the potential for influence with everyone, whether you’re a vendor or a partner.

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