Recruiting the right partners is a critical component to any successful channel program, and it starts with a shift away from thinking of partner recruitment as a launch activity. Good recruitment starts with a well thought out and tested recruitment process. When your program is new, you need to start with some assumptions regarding who an ideal partner is. But as your program matures, data about which channel partners perform best will continue to come in and that data will inform the next round of recruiting.
Using this process, it is important to continue to hone your criteria so you can consistently recruit the partners best able to help you achieve market coverage and revenue goals.
Start with a Partner Profile “First Draft”
Establishing your ideal partner profile is the foundation for a highly effective recruiting process. Not every partner you recruit will meet all your criteria, but having a profile will help insure you’re not sidetracked by partners that don’t fit your program.
With a good Partner Relationship Management (PRM) solution, like Channeltivity, you can easily access real-time data on the performance of your recruits and get progressively better at predicting the results of partner candidates. You can focus on recruiting more of what works and less of what doesn’t.
Suggested Partner Criteria to Include:
- Target market / customer type
- Competing or complimentary technologies they may already represent
- Geography they cover
- Sales and marketing model
- Existing customers (who may be your target accounts)
Be Sure to Consider Geographic Requirements
You want to be able to see where you may have holes in your coverage – or where too much overlap poses a cannibalization risk. Does it make sense to move into southeast Asia? Or should you be more focused on opportunities in the southeast US? PRM helps by enabling you to plot on a map existing customers along with current and prospective partners. This way you can see at a glance where your priorities are for recruiting.
In part two, we’ll cover how to use your partner profile criteria and geographic requirements to engineer your recruitment process.
For previous posts on partner recruitment, see Generate a Few Leads Before Partner Recruitment and Partner Recruitment and Onboarding…Best Practices to Consider.