I heard an ERP partner say this just yesterday. In fact, I hear it all the time… “We’ve got too much work on at the moment…” and “No thanks, we have heaps of leads right now…”
I think a lot of ERP partners think short term when they think about outsourcing their marketing activities. And if I’m honest, I can’t really blame them. Most generalised lead generation companies do the same, so it’s hardly surprising their customer base does too. It’s all about how many meetings they can tee up in the next 4 weeks. But you know as well as I do that the ERP market doesn’t typically churn like that.
It’s only when I explain to them that I’m thinking about opportunities 3-6 months from today that I get to open up a conversation. But even then some companies struggle to see that far ahead. Being at the coalface makes it hard to focus on the long-term.
I recently walked away from an opportunity due to a partner’s short term expectations. I explained that if he was after someone to sell meetings rather than open up conversations and sell solutions, I wasn’t the man for the job. He’d only wind up disappointed. Yes, there’s a chance that approach would uncover a few imminent opportunities, but he’d be going in at the tail end of the evaluation process and competing with other partners and solutions that’ve had time to make their case. You’ll be there to make up the numbers and be used purely as a price comparison. I’m not interested in those types of opportunities.
The partners I work with get great results, but it doesn’t happen overnight; it requires at least a medium-term commitment. In practice, this means working in partnership with your chosen agency, leveraging your social media presence, events, blogging and so on. I work continuously with most of my clients, and the results far exceed those of the short-term boys.
If you’d like to talk further about partner marketing activities, please let me know.