Recruiting new channel partners is not a singular activity only to be done at the launch of a partner program but an ongoing process to ensure that you have the right partners in place to achieve your market coverage and revenue goals. What are the best ways to determine your recruitment strategy and make sure it stays on track?
A written and agreed upon partner profile is essential to make sure you stay on track and don't get distracted by the wrong partners. Within the Partner Relationship Management (PRM) software, you should have the ability to create profiles of your ideal partner and use that profile to score existing and prospective partners. Keep in mind, not all partners will fit your ideal profile but it will guide your decisions as you recruit partners.
Some aspects of the profile should include:
- Target market / customer type
- Competing or complimentary technologies that they may already represent
- Geographic coverage
- Sales and marketing model
- Existing customers (they could be your target accounts)
Once you have an understanding of what makes up an "idea" partner you can better target whom you need to go after for your recruitment efforts.
Within your recruitment strategy, you may target specific geographies such as Europe or Asia or southeast United States. By plotting your existing partners and your existing customers on a map, you can quickly identify where you need to recruit the most. In addition, you can overly target partners so you can begin to see what your priorities are based on existing recruitment activity. Channeltivity's PRM software comes complete with this mapping functionality so you can quickly see where your recruitment opportunities are.
Once you have identified your ideal partner and geographic requirements, now you can start the recruitment process. This process is easily handled within a PRM system so you can track your targeted partners, where they are in the recruitment process and when you think you will close them. To set this up appropriately in your PRM, think through the following items:
- How will you enter in new partner targets?
- Manually? Or a form on your website to capture those partner organizations that come to you?
- Once they have been entered, who will manage the process of engaging with these targets?
- What portions of your partner profile are required vs "nice to have"? And how will you collect this information on the partner targets you speak with?
- How will you report your recruitment efforts to your management team?
- How will you manage the partner agreement process?
As stated earlier, your PRM can make all of these questions easy to answer and implement. The Channeltivity PRM solution allows you to enter in your targets as well as accept information from a public form from those organizations that have asked to become a partner. Once the information is stored within the Channeltivity system, you can assign others in your organization to work with those targets and bring them through the partner recruitment process. The information they uncover about the partner prospect, measured against the profile included in the system will help them quickly identify if the partner is a good target or not...and the information can be recorded easily within that partner's record. At any time, your executive team can view the information in the PRM, run reports and determine how the partner recruitment efforts are being handled. Finally, within Channeltivity, you can provide the partner agreement in electronic form to the partner prospect from which they can sign and submit it back completely within the confines of the PRM system. They will be able to see record of their agreement at anytime by viewing their organization profile.
With PRM software supporting your partner recruitment efforts, you can easily manage and maintain the information on your progress. This gives you the ease of mind knowing that your strategy is on target and if not, pinpoints where you need to fix the process.