A guest blog by Matylda Chmielewska, a Content Specialist at LiveChat Partner Program
If you’re a business owner, you know what counts at the end of the day are your leads and how effectively you’re able to turn them into prospective customers. Fine-tuning the whole awareness-to-sales process takes skill and time though, and even if you get it right, at some point you’ll need to review and tweak it some more.
Going solo can be tricky, so if you’re willing to hop into the fast lane and make this process at least a bit easier for you and your business, it may be time to look into partnering up with another company. From our experience, it’s the quickest way to grow your business more efficiently and gain more prospective customers.
Business partnerships will not only allow you to cut costs and leave you with tools, documents, and practices that you can use in other projects, but they also open up your venture to new opportunities, and as a consequence, generate easy-to-close leads.
So, what are best practices for approaching business partnerships with lead generation in mind?
Here are some tips on how to make them work for you:
#1 - Create a strategy
Proper planning (or lack thereof) may make or break your business partnership, so you need to be 100% sure of what you're doing at all stages of the process. Also, don’t forget to make generating leads the focal point of your partnership strategy. How can you make sure that this is the case?
Ensure that you know the end-goal for your campaign (this will also be useful for measuring success), create a road map for a business partnership and remember about tracking your progress along the way.
#2 - Track your spending
Despite the fact that business partnerships allow you to cut costs you would otherwise put in advertising or content creation (more on that in this post), it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t track where your money goes. If your primary goal is generating leads (and I assume it is), then where it should go is pretty simple: your spending should be focused around empowering your marketing and sales teams. This can be done by giving them the tools and training they need, as well as making sure they’re receiving help (including emotional support) on all levels.
#3 - Nurture your business partnerships
What are the best ways of nurturing your connections once you’ve signed a partnership agreement or registered for a solution partner program? For a closer business relationship, we highly recommend getting in touch with a person responsible for connecting with partners. Companies such as LiveChat have Partner Program pages on their website where anyone can apply to be a partner, and as soon as someone applies, a partner manager is registered to them. They get in touch almost immediately with tips on how you can succeed and help you grow your business along the way.
You also have a second option which is Partnerstack. Just like LinkedIn is for your professional network and Facebook is for your social network. Partnerstack is a partnership network. They give you a platform where you can share content and materials with aspiring brand ambassadors.
Partnerships are the present and future of inbound marketing and they need to be seen as an extension of your marketing and sales team.
#4 - Use your partner’s marketplace and communication channels
Once you're settled into your business partnership, you can start looking for more ways to strengthen your collaboration and generate leads through your partner’s marketing and sales channels. The best partner programs have their own partner marketplaces where their partners can advertise their services and connect with each other (as well as prospective clients). That’s precisely how LiveChat Experts Marketplace works. Once you register, we verify your previous projects where you used our product and display your profile in our marketplace where it is exposed to around 600,000 visitors each month. Our current partners agree that this is one of the best ways of generating leads.
A great way to generate more leads using a business partnership is also to get featured on your partner’s blog and social media channels (especially if you’re collaborating with a company that’s bigger or more recognizable than yours). One thing to remember is to make sure that the content you’d like to share though is of value to both you and your partner’s customers. Otherwise, you may not get the spot.
#5 - Track your results
Yes, strategic planning and advertising are important, but so is making sure you track your results at any point in your business relationship. Use UTMs, a partner program dashboard and even create your own result measuring tools (with LiveChat Partner Program you can do that by employing our 100% open API) to track your growth efforts. We’ve written about a few essential advertising KPIs to keep track of on our blog.
Generating more leads through business partnerships may not sound like the easiest thing to do. We are however, more than sure that once you build partnerships, you’ll find more and more opportunities for targeting new markets, connecting with potential customers, and growing your business. Furthermore, enhance partnerships with inbound sales and you’ll be on the path to real success.
Wrapping up, here’s a list of things you should have in place before and after you start partnering up with other ventures:
- - A compelling strategy that will help you establish the goals of your partnership and will keep you on track along the way.
- - Track your costs to make sure you spend your money in the most effective way.
- - A plan for nurturing partnerships and resources to ensure you succeed and collaborate together.
- - Great content that you can share in your partner’s marketplace and communication channels (including their blog and social media channels).
- - Tools for measuring your efforts and making sure you’re on the right path.
What other techniques have you been using for through-partner lead generation? We’d love to hear more about them in the comments below.
About LiveChat Partner Program
LiveChat Partner Program allows you to share LiveChat, a leading customer service solution with your existing and future customers. We team up with big and small companies from various industries and help them grow along the way. You can read more about the program and create your free account here.