Just like finding new customer leads, finding new channel partners relies on a focussed, data driven approach. A well-matched partnership can exponentially increase your business’s revenue, bringing in new leads, broadening your offering and promoting your brand to audiences you might not ordinarily reach. However, there are hundreds of potential partners out there and they won’t all be beneficial, so how can you select the right channel partner for your business?
At Go Demand we have run many successful channel partner campaigns to identify and introduce potential partners to our clients, and in order to make sure each partner lead is of the highest quality, we use a similar approach to when we are looking for a sales lead:
- Do they have the resources to invest in the partnership?
- Will the partnership benefit them as well?
- Is there a technical fit? A competence fit?
- Is there a culture fit?
Before any sort of campaign takes place to find a partner, we work with our clients to identify what their organisation wants from a partnership, and what their own business goals and values are. Looking at existing partners or finding out who else your customers work with will help to shine a light on this. And what do YOU want from a partnership? Is it to extend your brand reach? Increase your customer base? Upsell services to existing clients?
Once you have defined your requirements you should have a much smaller pool of potential organisations to work with. Now is the time to gear up on understanding exactly what makes each prospect tick. Really get to know their business. Read all you can about their recent developments – on industry news sites, blogs and LinkedIn groups – identify who within the organisation you need to engage with. Look at user review forums to see if you can find any information about a pain point that your product is addressing – this is going to be the selling point for your partnership pitch.
And this is where the hard work and research should pay off. With all that research you should be in a great position to get your conversation with your prospect off to a good start. If you can get an introduction to them, through mutual connections online or offline, you will be flying, but often businesses have to fall back on to a cold call or email to the new prospect.
At Go Demand we know that making a cold call as warm as possible is the key to success whether you are looking for sales leads or partner leads. Being clear and concise about why you are calling – that you want to organise an opportunity for a 15 minute call to discuss how partnering could benefit you both is useful as it allows the recipient to have time to think about your offering and they don’t feel pressured or harassed. Additionally, if a prospect isn’t engaged enough to commit to a further conversation, they are unlikely to be engaged enough to cement a successful partnership with you. Make sure you make it clear what’s in it for them – this is where your earlier research should stand you in good stead to demonstrate how your proposed partnership will address a pain point for them.
As with all good sales leads, it’s important to establish what the next steps are going to be to take the opportunity forwards. An online meeting, face to face or a further phone call – the right medium will depend on a number of factors. And of course not every prospect will become a partner but by closely questioning your own goals for a partnership, and scrutinising potential prospects before you invest time and energy courting them you should enjoy a successful partnership campaign.
If you would like to find out more about how Go Demand can help to design and manage a channel partner campaign for your business, get in touch today.