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Three Essential Tools for Recruiting New Partners

The right tool can accelerate a task, and sometimes, make it downright easy. Not having the right tool, can halt, slow down progress, and frustrate to no end.

One of the most important jobs undertaken by channel sales and development teams is bringing on new partners. So, here are three essential tools for ensuring success for your recruitment initiatives.

1. QUALIFICATION & FIT ASSESSMENT TOOL. This tool answers the question: “Who are we recruiting?”

Do your channel sales people have a profile of the ideal partner to help you grow and service your target customers? Do they know what technical competencies or market expertise is required? Are your channel managers compensated for bringing on any partner, or a partner that meets certain criteria?

Much like a customer qualification checklist, this tool profiles and helps your channel sales team qualify your ideal partner. This type of tool emanates from a channel blueprint, a worksheet that rationalizes your various channels in context of each other. When done right, cataloguing desired partner profiles helps you from having too many partners of one type, and keeps your channel sales team from spending time with the wrong partners.

2. PARTNER SUCCESS WORKSHEET. This tool answers the question: “What will partners gain by partnering with us?”

Can your channel sales people articulate what is in it for your new partners from a dollars and cents point of view? Most are adept at identifying the margin opportunity. Few, however, can identify readily the other ways a partner can make money by partnering with you, including service and support revenue.  Fewer still are able to quantify what the partner needs to invest in training and infrastructure as part of the equation.

This type of tool is sometimes called an “ROI calculator,” or “Opportunity Worksheet.” If your partner is not enthused about the value of working with you, your business proposition is unlikely compelling enough to keep them engaged and interested.

3. JOINT BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY TOOL.  This tool answers the question: “How will we be successful together?”

Do you have a roadmap for working together? What resources will be brought to the table once you engage, and who will be responsible for what?  And, how will we measure success? Once you’ve identified the partner, and the partner is sold on the opportunity, it’s time to get your arms around how you will go about achieving success together.

This tool represents your vision for how your combined efforts will bring about success. This step is often missed or not done until after a partner signs-up, only to find out later that there was a mismatch in vision too late. Sometimes this tool takes the form of a draft business plan. It does not have to be overly formal. It does, however, need to identify objectives for each party, over what period of time, and agreement around who will own what to make this a successful partnership.

These three tools are not just for recruiting new partners. They may be used to re-assess and re-energize your existing partners if you find certain partnerships waning.  Either way, when used consistently, these tools will accelerate your recruitment initiatives and ensure that your partners are aligned with your business objectives.

February 27, 2015  ·  

24 comments so far. (Post your own)

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#10 | On December 19, 2016, Karim Nanji said:

Hello, do you have templates we can use for these 3 tools?

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#13 | On February 16, 2017, TradyGO said:

“What will partners gain by partnering with us?” is always a difficult question

#14 | On February 24, 2017, sussan betcher said:

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