Partner recruitment is a critical component of 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 what your ideal partner looks like. As your program matures, look for trends around your most successful partners. Analyze your partner data and leverage it to update your partner profile for the next round of recruiting.
This process will allow you 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 ensure you’re not sidetracked by partners that don’t fit your program.
With 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:
- Industry expertise
- Competing or complementary technologies currently sold
- Regional or geographic coverage
- Sales and marketing model
- Existing customers (who may be your target accounts)
With a detailed partner profile criteria in place, you can now engineer your recruitment process. The partner recruitment process is similar to a sales process: you need to know how partner candidates are progressing at any given time. Channeltivity enables you to track targeted partners and see at a glance where they are in the process.
A Good Recruitment Process is Step One
Here are some points to consider as you set up your recruitment process:
- How will partner candidates be entered? This can be done manually and/or via a form on your website so potential partners that come to you aren’t lost.
- Who will be on point for contacting and engaging partner candidates?
- Which elements of the partner profile are required? Which are just “nice to have”?
- How will you collect information on the partner targets you speak with?
- What will be the process for collecting and presenting to the management team the results of your recruitment efforts?
- What will be your process for establishing the partner agreement and onboarding new partners?
- How will you measure partner milestones and success?
Don’t make a mistake of implementing a PRM system before your processes are in good shape. You don’t want to automate inefficiencies.
A well-thought-out recruitment process, coupled with well-designed PRM software, allows you to easily manage and maintain information on how your recruitment process is performing, resulting in the confidence of knowing your process is working – or if it’s not, where to focus in order to improve it.