How to organize and communicate with channel partners


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Every business has partners, including a large number that are either current or prospective channels of new business. But not every partner is created equal.

Some are extremely important to your business, others aren’t as much but are nonetheless proactive referral sources. And there are multiple shades of grey in between.

Most businesses we work with struggle to organize those partners in the first place, let alone determine and operationalize campaigns to keep those partners active and productive.

To help (or at least to start), consider the partner matrix highlighted below. It allows you to effectively “score” current and prospective partners along two primary factors: Importance and Productivity. I use a four-point scale for each factor, with the following general definitions:

Importance (quality of network/introductions)
1. Elite channel to target prospects
2. Good/average channel to target prospects
3. Occasional match with target prospects
4. Minimal match with target prospects

Productivity (quantity/regularity of network/introductions)
1. Proactive, proven regular communication and introductions
2. Reactive, responds when asked, handful of introductions
3. Minimal production and/or minimally successful lead conversion
4. Dark

The combination of both scores then dictates the depth and frequency with which you might want to communicate with that partner. And these activities can be grouped together with partners that garner the same score.

How you decide to execute and act with each partner type in the matrix is up to you, and likely dependent on your business, industry and how you like to operate. But I bet scoring and organizing your partners in the first place will be a big first step, and likely help drive natural direction on what to do next.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Matt Heinz
Prolific author and nationally recognized, award-winning blogger, Matt Heinz is President and Founder of Heinz Marketing with 20 years of marketing, business development and sales experience from a variety of organizations and industries. He is a dynamic speaker, memorable not only for his keen insight and humor, but his actionable and motivating takeaways.Matt’s career focuses on consistently delivering measurable results with greater sales, revenue growth, product success and customer loyalty.


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