10 Tips for Successful Channel Partner Selection

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Channel partners are great for business; they grow both the company and brand allowing you to know that working together is driving increased profits and even more customers to the company.

However it’s important to remember that choosing the perfect partners is essential to achieve all of the above – making the wrong choice could potentially be detrimental to the brand but your long term strategy too.

We’ve got 10 tips for you to consider when choosing potential partners also incorporating the long term picture:

1. Knowledge of You

Ask them how they know you, where they’ve seen you before and see if they understand what it is you actually offer.

2. Other Resellers

Find out if they have any long term agreements with other companies, ask about the channel’s track record and what their experiences are, both good and bad. Try to put together the image they are trying to portrait by piecing together their responses.

3. Partnership Mentality

What’s the commitment level to work with this partnership? See what their plans are with dedicated staff, sources of lead generation, lead follow up plans, investment into demo’s and training, is this going to be a long term relationship and are there any plans to commit to minimum targets.

4. Technical

Does the partner have the ability to implement, train and be self-sufficient with the technicals? Are they able to offer presentations and demonstrations to a high standard? Sometimes if the partnership is solely based on a online basis with the product being SaaS etc it would be wise to have everything set up for the partner limiting any potential barriers along the way.

5. Skills and Experience?

When it comes to selling your service/product what sort of skills does the channel have that can be used in conjunction with the offer? What are their specialist skills and what sort of background do their employees have? Are the team capable of effective telesales and field sales processes or is this something that extra training will be needed for?

6. Fit and Purpose

Partnering can be great but sometimes you need to understand if it’s a worthwhile idea. Will territories, revenue or services be in conflict if the partnership was put in place? Will there be new business opportunities that wouldn’t have existed before? Will the channel be able to sell more and increase revenue due to the new market/customer base?

7. Market Focus

Find out the channels specific targets such as geographic focus and business type. See what sort of network they have in place and determine if the size and location suits your business.

8. Target Market

Consider the channels target market and see what sort of successes and failures they’ve had along the way. What is their focus and strategy to get ahead in their market are they aiming to be number 1 or just to grab some market share? What is their knowledge and expertise?

9. Financials

Understand the channels financial position, are they growing? What’s their profit and loss? Cash flow, size, revenue and are they a public or private company.

10. Stability

Does the channel have a stable and secure business model? Consider their market and viability alongside offering and financials to understand what their position currently is.

Finding the right partners is critical right from the start as generally speaking it’s a long term strategy that if not aligned correctly right from first contact you’ll find it difficult to get moving.

The relationship starts after the sale when it comes to channel partners so questions like above are vital for success.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

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