Attracting The Right Channel Partners
The decision to acquire new channel partners is a meticulous, slow-burning process. It requires the mechanics of your business to be flowing in a cohesive direction.
From the executives to the interns, each member of your company plays an important role—no matter how significant or minuscule their job title may be.
Sure, your inside sales department may be ones to get the [conversion] glory, but it’s the infrastructure within the anatomy of your business that provides them with the opportunity to gloat. And remember, finding the right channel partner is like falling in love—it doesn’t always happen right away, and when it does, things can get ugly…fast.
Between impulsive decision making, miscommunication—and lack of strategy, effort, synergy and research—finding the right partner candidate is anything but simple.
But let’s say you’ve done your homework on a potential lead: Their value proposition matches or is similar to your own; they have the skills and resources to effectively resell your product; they have the right consumer base, within the right geographic location, in the right industry—and for lack of a better analogy—the stars align.
Now that you got that out of the way, here comes the hard part: signing the dotted line. To help you convert ink onto paper, here are 3 best practice strategies for recruiting the right channel partner:
1.) Develop a Tangible, Explanatory Partner Recruitment Process
Each stage of the conversion process should be outlined beforehand. A detailed Job Aid document should be provided to the personnel pursuing the lead, along with a reference sheet, executive summary, SWOT analysis, departure criteria, sales forecast, in-house managerial appraisal, the blueprint of sale’s funnel, objectives, strategies, tactics, etc.
2.) Entice Their Interest
As I’m sure you’re well aware, the p2p (partner-to-partner) ecosystem is extremely competitive and inherently flexible; in other words, the marketplace is always adjusting and diversifying based on the actions (and success) of competing enterprise-partnerships.
With that said, it’s imperative to prove your value as a partner via:
- Channel incentive programs (e.g., SPIFFs, rebates coop/MDF, Special Pricing Agreements, etc.)
- The assurance that channel conflict will not interfere with leads (deploying a deal registration program)
- Proof of product value (references and/or customer testimonials)
- Comprehensive product training with partners’ in-house sales team
- Distributing demo/display units (i.e., free trials of product)
- Partner Portal platform tutorial
- Tailor-made go to market strategy
- Clear and concise piloted outline, with a timeframe and concrete p2p objectives established before p2p campaign begins.
3.) Match Their Business’s Bottom Line
At the end of the day, if your product doesn’t help them (partners) accelerate productivity and ROI, why would they be interested in developing a partnership? Get a good understanding of your partner’s consumer base, and their pain points and demands. Once you are able to successfully step into the mind of your channel partner, and understand their needs, wants and goals as well as the obstacles that stand in their way, the better chance you have at garnering (and maintain) their interest.
The Key to Establishing to Long-Lasting, Successful p2p partnership
Computer Market Research (CMR) brings 32 years of experience into the indirect channel sales industry.
Through our state-of-the-art automated software, businesses can amplify their B2B marketing efforts via a clear and concise platform that robustly and intuitively assists the managerial process of channel partnerships.
From optimizing trade promotions to customizing unique program guidelines, from building effective distribution channels to establishing transparent and objective B2B communication—CMR helps businesses maximize their marketing efforts with distributing partners that are built around a common goal of success. Our cost-effective SaaS application is the perfect tool for any business looking to strengthen their bond with channel partners through innovative solutions, which converts data into intelligence