Last week we spoke of 'Bad' partner recruitment techniques--that never give you the intended results in the long run. This week we discuss what you should have done in the first place.
Create a profile of your ideal partner
As with any new marketing strategy, you should focus on engaging your ideal partner. Create a profile of the partner you think would do the best job reselling your products.
Here's an example below --
I chose some simple factors that should affect the bare minimum of partners entering into program.
- Champion - While champions may be difficult to rely on long term, they can help drive adoption selling your products.
- Industry - If the industry the reseller services doesn't fit your product, don't focus on these contacts.
- Number of Sales reps - Sales reps are lifeblood of any organization. Try to find out if your partner has the bandwidth to support reselling with a robust/well-organized sales team.
- Dedicated Marketing Rep - Marketing reps will get in touch with you the most to help generate leads for sales teams. Partners with marketing resources will be easier to tap to resell AND are more likely to provide constructive resources for feedback and engagement down the line.
Damage control and Re-evaluate
Re-examine your partnerships and find out where you may have misstepped. Repair any damaged relationships with phone calls or email campaigns designed to restore faith. You can even share that you are focusing on a relaunch of your partner program over the next 3 to 6 months that focuses on supporting your partners.
Here are some examples of steps you can take --
- Let any struggling or unhappy partners who have personally been in touch with you know you are revamping to better support your resellers
- Come prepared to any damage control situation with your ideal sellers ready to talk about a 3-6 month plan for better engagement and support
- Create a core group of partners to enable, based on your ideal profile
For the next few months, your core group will become your focus to improve engagement and model the rest of your partner program after. Once this is done, you should be able to start digging in deeper to better manage your channel program in the future.