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  • Writer's pictureGary Lam

How To Build Your Salesforce Brand to Generate Leads?

Updated: Nov 8, 2021

A lot has been said on the topic of lead generation. After all, isn't it the ultimate subject to discuss for any business owner, consultant, or anyone who’s embraced the entrepreneurial journey?

As a Salesforce partner, you, my friend, are no exception. Not only can you benefit from looking into good lead generation practices, there is actually a bulletproof strategy you can implement today to build your Salesforce brand, and generate leads. In this article, we will discuss:

  • What no one told you about lead generation

  • Where to start

  • The two customers you need to serve

  • What to do once you get introduced to your Salesforce Representatives

What no one told you about lead generation

Welcome to the Salesforce Partner Program! Now that you are a full-fledged partner, time to serve some clients and bring them value .. granted you have clients.

In any typical line of business, people understand that the process of acquiring customers can be quite a tumultuous one. You need to identify your ideal clients, decide on a marketing outreach strategy, create your own customized lead generation engine, and work out the operations and fulfillment logistics. With that being said, you wouldn’t believe how many Salesforce partners expect clients to just, well, fall into their laps.

The mistake they’re making here is that they’re thinking of this whole process as a transactional one, as opposed to a partnership.

Yes, this is a partnership. A situation of the win-win persuasion if you will. As a Salesforce partner, you need to build your very own lead generation engine that brings clients to Salesforce.

If you haven’t figured out what your lead generation with Salesforce looks like just yet, keep reading. I will be going into depth on how to leverage your strategic branding to generate leads.

Where to start?

I have two words for you: Branding and Marketing.

No, they are not the same, and no you don’t need to be an expert at both to succeed. Branding is the process of positioning yourself in your field. It is building your firm’s reputation and visibility in your target market. Your brand may be reflected by what you want to be known for, the problems you solve, and the value you bring to your customers. Marketing is all the efforts you put in to create and solidify your brand.

A good place to start is to identify your ideal customers. Once you have a perfect understanding of their circumstances, needs, and challenges, you can establish your brand in a way that appeals to them. The one advice I always give Salesforce partners is to use a business vertical to stand out from the competition.

Once you have your branding figured out, time for some marketing. Digital marketing to be specific. In this day and age, you cannot afford to neglect the digital aspect of your business. The benefits of digital marketing are endless. To name a few, it is cost-effective, measurable (remember, you can’t manage what you can’t measure), and easy to manage. It allows you to target your ideal clients, and most importantly it helps generate a consistent lead pipeline.

Even Salesforce supports this argument. I personally credit them for creating the Salesforce Digital Marketing Program, a fantastic asset to get partners on the digital marketing bandwagon. If you’re interested in learning more, this FAQ page has an insightful overview of the program and online training.

You have two customers to market to

Now that we’ve covered the topics of branding and digital marketing, the next step of building a stellar lead generation process is building credibility with all parties involved.

You probably know by now that as a Salesforce partner, your sales process is not a typical one. The parties involved are not just you - the service provider - and your clients. Salesforce Representatives are a big part of that equation.

Many partners ask me: “Hey Gary, I’d like to meet Salesforce Representatives. If I hire you, can you introduce me to them?”. The answer is yes, I can introduce you. Would it be beneficial for you and your business? You tell me.

Does your audience have any idea who you are and what you do to solve customers’ problems? Are you top of mind when customers or Salesforce Representatives need your services? Even after asking them these questions, the Partner VP of Sales would still ask me to introduce them to Salesforce Representatives with the expectation that getting a meeting booked is enough.

Undeterred by their persistence I would still try to clarify their strategy before committing to an introduction. I then ask them the ultimate question: Why would a salesforce representative want to do business with you?

The answers I am looking for here are your value propositions, how you can help them in the sales process and shorten the cycle. Make no mistake, unless you have these nailed down, an introduction would be a waste of time for both.

You got an introduction, now what?

Now that we’ve established that you have two customers to market to - the clients that hire you and Salesforce Account Executives that provide you with leads to co-sell with them - let’s discuss what happens after you get an introduction.

There are three foundational building blocks you need to establish in order to become the preferred vendor to salesforce:

  • Recognition

  • Value articulation

  • Endorsement

1. Recognition

Remember early on when we discussed branding? This is where it comes into play. The goal is to have your customers, as well as Salesforce, know who you are. You want to position yourself as an expert in your field. You want to be known for the services you provide and the problems you resolve.

2. Value Articulation

It is not only about your customers seeing value in what you do, it is mainly about articulating what it is that you do to solve your customer’s problems. It needs to be specific, relevant to them, and most importantly measurable.

The same goes for Salesforce Representatives. They need to know when to bring you in, what your specific vertical expertise is, and that you can speak the language of their customers.

3. Endorsement

A happy customer is a repeat customer. You don’t want to just serve them once, you want them to come to you whenever they need your services. You want to be the first person they think about when they’re ready for implementation.

Again, the same goes for Salesforce Representatives. When they’re in a sales opportunity, and they have a specific need, they know that your value proposition can help them to successfully close the deal.

Once you secure these three foundational blocks, you will become the go-to service provider for your salesforce Representatives and they will bring you onboard into deals they’re closing.

Salesforce tools you can leverage

The best part of being part of the Salesforce ecosystem is the number of tools available to support your lead generation process. Early on, I mentioned the Salesforce Digital Marketing Program. In addition to that, The AppExchange is one of the most underutilized Partner Program benefits. It may be that partners do not see leads coming in from the AppExchange. However, we can’t deny how great of an opportunity it is to build your brand.

AppExchange has its own Search Engine Optimization structure, which we all know how important SEO is to your business and digital presence. (This is a whole different topic, so if you’re interested in me discussing the importance of SEO for your business, let me know in the comments).

Think of the AppExchange as a microsite. This is the billboard to the Salesforce ecosystem. Customers and Salesforce Sales Representatives use this site to verify your status and qualifications. The new Navigator program is the latest change that is very important as Salesforce moves towards an industry-specific qualification.

Simply put, the AppExchange is a tool that shows your credibility.

Final thoughts..

Building your own lead generation engine may not be the easiest process, but the advantage you have as a Salesforce partner is that there is a road map for you to follow. Between the tools the Salesforce ecosystem offers and the insights of yours truly, you can today build your lead generation with Salesforce and focus on serving your clients.

Still not sure how to approach it? Book a call with me today and let’s uncover any issues or challenges that might be in the way.


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