If there was such a thing as a Marketer’s Creed, to be any good at all it would have to include one very important statement: all leads are not created equal.
The trick to helping your partners increase sales – and therefore revenue – isn’t generating a high volume of leads. In fact, dealing with a high volume of poor quality leads can be a huge waste of time. That’s because instead of closing deals with actual customers, you’re wasting all your energy and resources trying to convince the wrong people to hit ‘buy’. That’s certainly not the most efficient way to sell services.
When you generate high quality leads from the start, however, closing deals becomes a much smoother and faster process. There’s no need to waste time separating the wheat from the chaff, because qualified leads are people who want your partners’ services and can afford the fees. All you need to do is convince them that the offerings within your ecosystem are the right fit for them.
Use a professional services marketplace to connect your customers with partner services.
Connecting your customers with partner services is key to combating churn and increasing retention rates. That’s because when your partners help your customers achieve the business results they want, they’re more likely to stick with your tech.
Today, one of the best ways to successfully and efficiently sell partner services online is through a professional services marketplace. In particular, a private marketplace (one that only lists high-quality services from your accredited partners) confers a huge amount of trust from the get-go and encourages leads to move down the funnel faster.
Here’s how to focus on generating qualified leads through your professional services marketplace.
Do the groundwork: Understand the target audience and the problems your partner services solve for them.
Positioning solutions correctly increases your chances of attracting qualified leads. Depending on the services your partners offer, their target audience probably has a few distinct segments within your customer base. Create a buyer persona for each segment of their target audience and try to fill in as much detail about them as you can. Put yourself in the prospective customer’s shoes and ask yourself questions like:
“What problem do I need solved?”
“How do I go about finding a solution?”
“Who and what do I take advice from?”
“How do I choose service partners?”
“Is there an existing pre-bundled solution that fits my requirements or do I need a tailor-made quote?”
“What might hold me back from buying services online from a particular service partner?”
The answers to these questions should inform how your partners position and sell their services on your professional services marketplace, including which services they choose to sell in pre-packaged bundles alongside your tech. (Check out our guide on how to productize services for more info on how to help your partners productize their offerings.)
Leverage your professional services marketplace as a lead qualification tool by being completely transparent about partner service offerings.
Avoid attracting poor quality leads by encouraging your partners to provide as much information about their service offering as possible up front. Include details about deliverables, costs, requirements, timeline considerations, examples of work done, and client testimonials right off the bat.
Some partners might still feel a little uncomfortable with this highly transparent approach, probably out of a fear of ‘scaring off’ potential leads by revealing too many frank and realistic details about cost breakdowns, timelines, and so on. What you’re really doing, however, is empowering your marketplace visitors with knowledge and helping them to discern whether a particular partner service (or something similar) can satisfy their business needs. As they have most of the information upfront, you’ll find that you skip the tedious manual matchmaking process previously associated with connecting customers with partners, and instead get a lot more qualified leads reaching out, ready to start the conversation.
Help partners close deals via your marketplace by making a chatbot available. This makes it easy for leads to get their questions answered instantly. At Morphed, we love VideoAsk and have designed an integration to use this tool with our marketplace.
Use your professional services marketplace to boost your referral strategy.
When it comes to deciding which vendor to partner with, a steady stream of referrals is certain to rank highly on any prospective partner’s list of must-haves. Of course, connecting your customers with the right partners is beneficial for everyone, but from the vendor’s point of view, manual matchmaking can be tedious and time-consuming. With a marketplace in play, however, referrals are easy.
For starters, a marketplace is a great way to invite your customers to easily and intuitively explore your ecosystem. Let your customers self-serve by independently browsing your marketplace, or directly link them to a particular partner’s profile or service listing for instant, tailored matchmaking.
Your marketplace also provides a perfect platform for promoting referral agreements and getting incentives in front of customers. These agreements generate qualified leads for partners by offering incentives (usually a discount) to customers when they sign up with a partner via your marketplace.
Here’s a visual example of a referral agreement incentive in action in the Partnership Leaders’ Ecosystem Catalog (powered by Morphed):
Help your partners generate qualified leads via a private professional services marketplace.
Morphed’s e-commerce customer portal enables prospects to seamlessly engage with partners from first-touch right through to the delivery of the project or retainer. Find out how our white-labeled B2B marketplace infrastructure can help your partners generate qualified leads and sell services by watching our demo video.