How can ISVs stay top of mind?

Here is the infamous question, how do you get the VAR’s attention?

With so many ISVs competing for their attention what do you do to stand out from the crowd?

Unfortunately, there is no 1 idea that fits all or some magical way to get in front of VARs. But I do have some tips to help you.

You may or may not know, I have been working for ISVs for over 20 years doing all things marketing, partner engagement, presentations, event planning, website and blog content, building a channel, and so much more. I have worked for some amazing ISVs in a variety of industries including manufacturing and distribution, cloud hosting and sales tax, as well as procurement, and pricing.

So what have I learned along the way?

  1. Have a dedicated person – As an ISV you need a Channel Manager dedicated to the partners. Reaching out to them and engaging with them. This will keep you top of mind when they have a customer opportunity. 
  2. Regular communications – and I don’t mean always reaching out about what opportunities they have or what your solutions can do. Yes, of course that is part of it but you need to mix it up.
  3. It is all about building a relationship – Learning about them personally and professionally. Getting to know them, reaching out to say Happy Birthday, checking in to see how their family is doing, meeting them in person at conferences and events. Don’t just send emails, pick up the phone, or even visit them at their office too. Take the time and they will take the time. How about:
    1. Thank you emails and calls
    2. Holiday emails
    3. Surveys and polls to get their feedback
  4. Get in a regular cadence – So once you have their attention how do you keep it? Schedule quarterly check-ins. Put dates for webinars and other marketing initiatives on the calendar. If they have a customer conference find out if you can sponsor it. Brainstorm with them ways you collaborate and what initiatives can you help them with.
  5. Have all the tools – Make it as easy as possible for them to work with you. Provide all the marketing materials they would need for their newsletter, emails, webinars, and events. Arm their sales team with customer pain points, battlecard, and questions to ask to find out what their needs are.  Offer promotions to their customers and incentives to the partner. Make it worth their while to work with you.

These are all strategies to help you engage with partners. The key thing to remember is they are very busy too. They have a lot to do and time will always be an issue. That is why it is so important to get on their calendar ahead of time even if it is just 15-minute calls.

Give them a reason to reach out to you. Always make it worth their time because their time is valuable. You want to make sure you stand out and make it easy to work with you.

Another great way to maximize a partner’s time is collaborating with other ISVs. This is the chance for them to learn more about not 1 but 2 or more ISVs so you are saving them time in the long run. That is where The ISV Society comes in. I help you with all of the collaboration. Click here to learn more.

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