What’s the big idea
The idea behind GS is based on the idea that outbound marketing requires a very fine-tuned and expensive funnel, inbound marketing requires a big investment and delivers results in the longer-term, but building trusted relationships with channel partners can really scale up your operation.
Yes, everyone knows that channel partnerships can work out really well. But how do you build these partnerships? You can’t just call up potential partners and say “hey I have a great idea, how about you guys sell my services to your clients?” Unless you can offer a ridiculously compelling rev-share, this approach just doesn’t work.
So here’s how GS does it
Let’s say you’re a credit collections platform. You have a new solution that you want to sell to the CIO. But cold calling or emailing won’t work. And developing an inbound strategy will take a while and commitment. Definitely worth pursuing but perhaps you can do better…
- First, the GS team will help you identify the right channel partners. Who has access already to your target audience? For the credit collections platform, it’s IT implementation vendors. When the CIO needs to implement an SAP solution or customize their system, they need such a vendor.
- Next, GS will create a list of these vendors, and reach out to interview them. The objective is to create valuable content through these interviews that explains how each vendor is different and to share their insights.
- Then, they package these interviews into what they call an “Insights Report” that puts a spotlight on each of the vendors they interviewed, while adding value to the CIOs: the Insights Report helps CIOs determine who might be the right vendors to work with based on their points of differentiation and insights.
- Finally, the Insights Report gets promoted via an email campaign to the CIOs and by repurposing the content on partner blogs.
It’s a win for IT vendors because they get free promotion.
It’s a win for CIOs because they get tons of value.
And it’s a win for the credit collections platform, for 2 reasons:
- First, it builds relationships with IT vendors based on goodwill and trust. When these vendors work with a client who needs a credit collections solution, they’re more likely to refer the business.
- And second, it gives license to connect with CIOs as an authority in the space that can add a lot of value. Even though connecting with the CIOs isn’t the primary objective of this campaign, they too are in the credit collection platform’s target audience.
Best of all: it’s free to try!
Now let’s get to the best part of all this. GS actually developed a “Test” offering. Since this still costs them quite a bit of money, they can only offer it to companies they believe it will work for and thus will become clients. So after a quick consultation call, where they can explain exactly what they do step by step, they can offer to run the test for you, if you qualify.
Worst case scenario, you walk away with a plan that you can execute with your team. Best case, they will test it for you. And then, if the results are positive, you’re most likely to become a client.
What does the test involve?
Essentially, it’s a smaller version of the full-scale offering. But instead of reaching out to 40-50 potential partners, they will reach out to secure 5 interviews. Instead of designing an Insights Report, they will promote the content in the form of blog posts. And instead of emailing 500-1,000 people in your audience, they will try 100. So it’s like an MVP of the full service.
If it works and you get at least one client or partner out of it, continuing the service has already more than paid for itself. Besides, if you wanted to replicate it on your own you’d actually have to pay more because they have streamlined their processes, come up with systems, and enjoy scale benefits.
If nothing else, it’s worth a try… especially since you can try before you buy!