- On February 2, 2021
The core of a partner program is just how it sounds, your partners, you can have the best product and phenomenal marketing and still miss out on those key sales in disparate industries and locations because you haven’t got the right people in the right places. So how do we plug those holes and make sure you’re capturing ever possible lead? Often the first port of call making sure your channel partner recruitment works the right way.
If you don’t have a partner marketing your service effectively within the first 3 months of sign up there’s a good chance they never will. So, making sure you utilise the services of new partners in the right way as soon as possible is key to great channel efficacy.
Being a channel marketing agency, we recognise the shift in paradigm from the drive to encourage partners to ‘just sell’ to understanding what it is your partners need to make them a more powerful force in their own marketplace, being the solution to their problems as much as your product is to your customers. The true lynchpin with all of them no matter their position is making them part of a cohesive whole, a strong partner ecosystem, from the very start and really nurturing their growth.
Here are some ideas for enhancing your channel partner recruitment strategy to not only hit your channel partner marketing and channel sales enablement ideals but also to perform like a channel agency with focus and dynamism
Know your ideal channel partner
It all starts with knowing what you want. By producing, or re-evaluating, the persona of your ideal partner you can create a purely data driven profile checklist for each partner you recruit. By positioning each new partner against a predefined yardstick of excellence, possibly even with unobtainable properties you can compare and accurately measure the value of each potential new recruitment. Try and make sure their everything about their operations are considered and you make sure they are in a position to adapt and grow with your solutions in a rapid but precise manner.
Channel Marketing doesn’t start downstream
Everything about recruiting a new partner should be considered in the same way as marketing to new customers. It’s imperative to offer them something they need, that addresses a problem or gap in their abilities. In a best-case scenario, each meeting with potential partners should showcase the types of service and product you can offer for them to sell that is filling the niche they are missing. Selling your business to the partners in the right way can go a long way to helping develop a strong and lasting relationship. Let them know your future plans and provide the sort of marketing collateral that will entice them to fall under your banner rather than going elsewhere
Partner Recruitment doesn’t stop with a signature
The drive within the channel industries has for a while been geared towards simplification and unification. Where once there were many strata and defined stages there should now be one whole system that works in unison. To this end channel partner recruitment no longer stops when the papers are signed. The key is to create a first impact that includes efficient and well-reasoned onboarding on top of selection and procurement. Make sure to provide everything the new partner needs to start selling your services as quickly and comfortably as possible. Providing platforms full of pre-made marketing and sales materials will really promote your program. For some extra incentive why not encourage partners with a clear well defined performance-based tier system wherein they can attain greater status and benefits the better they perform.
Keep the information flowing
Much like a buyer’s journey, the partner’s journey is also made up of three stages: awareness, consideration, and decision; but where customers should have all the information, they need to make a purchase on your sales platform, providing information about what partners can expect should be more intensely scrutinised. Marketing should be directed and welcoming with minimal sales style messaging and more focus on how you can help. Consider using gated content relevant to your program and solutions whitepapers and case studies etc. Highlight types of customers potential partners could attract and how you can help them to generate sales that will benefit you both, and remember to always be addressing either a sector they are missing out on or need help refining their strategy in.
Don’t stop strategizing at Channel Recruitment
Make sure that when creating and implementing your partner recruitment strategy you have also considered the other aspects of your partner program. Earlier we mentioned the importance of unification and here it is at play again. Everything about your program should be coherent and as unified as possible, keep branding and resource management continuous across your entire channel system from day 1. By giving partners a more uninterrupted ideal experience, you open many more avenues to recruiting the best partners in a more organic and less time-consuming manner.
In the end the key to channel partner recruitment can be easily summarised in just 3 simple phrases:
• Strategize and find where your ideal partners are spending their time online.
• Market your solution to them effectively making sure to help them with everything you offer
• implement a water-tight process to keep the new ideal partners engaged, highly motivated and happy.
Partners react best to well-built and lasting relationships that help them mitigate their needs and reach their goals.
If you need help instigating or revamping your partner recruitment strategy why not get in touch with Gorilla and get the pinnacle of channel recruitment, enablement and development all in one place.