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October 8, 2020
Sponsored by Quadrotech
At Quadrotech, our partner relationships have always been essential to our success. We work with a strong network of channel partners to make organizations smarter, more secure and more efficient, ensuring their customers get the most out of their IT investment. Over the years, we’ve refined our approach to partnerships, relying on a model that is simple, dynamic, reliable, profitable and well-supported. We did not develop this channel partner model overnight–it was created from years of best practice consolidation and learning how to avoid common mistakes.
Best Practices for Recruiting Channel Partners
Always have your strategy in place before starting the recruitment phase. By strategy, we mean determining what your ideal channel partner looks like for both short and long term pursuals, where they are based and how you intend to recruit them. Channel partners come in all manner of shapes and sizes–some may be a complete match in client base and services, while others may work in entirely different sectors but have highly suitable clients. Figuring out your process and goals enables you to identify which category your prospect belongs in, and, from there, to work out the best fit for you and your organization.
Research your prospects extensively before the initial outreach and qualifying call to form a successful partnership. If you’ve done your initial strategizing and identification sessions correctly, then it’s easy to paint all your prospects with the same brush as their pain points will primarily be the same. However, by researching prospective partners’ websites for their focus and client base beforehand, you will get a feel for the organizations they pursue and the potentially relevant use cases for each. You might even spot some customers you have in common, which always makes for a good conversation. You should note that the same rules apply for the specific individual you’re reaching out to and their LinkedIn profile.
Avoid Common Mistakes
Not having your partner pitch prepared. When you embark on an outreach campaign, it’s easy to jump from one partner candidate to the next. In doing so, you risk making the mistake of finding yourself in a call with great potential, but then not knowing what exactly you’re going to say or even forgetting to mention what insights you’ve gleaned from all your research. Sometimes when we’re hot on a winning streak, it’s easy to become complacent and assume “I got this,” and that is also a big mistake. Make sure you always take the time to prep yourself to facilitate the best possible dialogue. Ensure when reaching out to a prospect, you’ve prepared your value statement and how that specific partner could benefit through your channel relationship. Having a thoughtful and unrushed approach will give you the best chance of securing future conversations with your prospect.
You assume that everyone is on the same page. A common mistake is assuming that your colleagues have the same knowledge, that they’ve read your numerous notes in the CRM, and that they are on the same page. These assumptions can lead to calls where one department or stakeholder has little to no idea of prior discussions, and either struggle or simply can’t convey the relevant value propositions that you had in mind. To avoid this mistake, have a “download” with your support teams before your session to maximize your prospects’ time. Additionally, make sure that your organization and your potential partners agree to all plans and timelines. Make sure you give them any backstory or insights, discuss things you may want them to avoid mentioning, and what your plan is for the pitch and how they can best support you.
Best Practice 101: Prepare and learn from your mistakes. There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to building a channel, and a lot of A/B testing will be necessary until you find a sweet spot that resonates with your partner prospects. If you don’t pause and take stock of your situation, you’ll never truly learn, and you’ll be doing yourself, your company, and your potential partners a disservice.
Freddie MacDonald Freddie manages Quadrotech’s EMEA Channel, nurturing existing clients and identifying new ones.
This guest blog is part of a Channel Futures sponsorship.
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