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The 3 Step Process to Recruit Partners for Your Channel

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The 3 Step Process to Recruit Partners for Your Channel

Attracting partners to your channel is art blended with science. While channel teams can leverage tools and technology to facilitate the process, it ultimately depends on their ability to identify ideal partner segments, discover the best candidates, and create relationships that stand the test of time. Despite the fact that recruiting partners for your channel may take some finessing, there are some tricks to the process.

Recruiting the best partners requires teams to establish partner profiles, leverage their existing networks, and build out effective onboarding programs. Read more to learn more about this simplified three-step process.

1. Build Your Segments

Before you begin, it’s important to do your homework by filling out partner profile worksheets and defining segments up front. This crucial first step can help build out your channel and identify what types of partners will help you accomplish your revenue goal. This is the time to envision what a perfect partner looks like by identifying the types of partnerships you’ll be selling through, and what you can expect them to do for your channel and your brand.Download E-book: 5 Outsourcing Strategies for Inside Sales

To get started, ask yourself the following questions:

  • In what area of business do you want your product to be sold?
  • Is there a specific market you hope to break into?
  • Are you looking for global expansion??
  • Are there products or services you could sell as a package?

Be sure to keep track of this information, because you’ll be using these segments as a cornerstone for your partner programs. Finally, because the sales world is constantly in flux, it’s important to analyze how your partner program can best position your products or services and what type of partner can sell them the best. Continually refine your segments as your products evolve and put in the work to find the ideal partners who make your growth a reality.

2. Leverage Your Networks

After you establish a list of preferred partner traits and qualities, it’s time to start the recruitment process. While it’s tempting to advertise on your website and accept any prospect who signs up through a web form, this hectic process may not necessarily help you find the best partners. Instead,  one way to expand your partner reach is to make the most of your existing network.

Partners who are recommended from direct or indirect business connections are more reliable than strangers. As of June 2017, LinkedIn had more than 500 million members and has solidified itself as the premier business social network. The social media platform has also emerged as a leading research tool for prospecting.

Savvy channel managers are able to utilize the platform to supercharge their channels. The LinkedIn Group Search feature can help you pinpoint partners by selecting groups that are relevant to your industry or product. From there, recruiting partners means handpicking prospects who fit your identified segments. It’s important to value quality over quantity. If you’ve spent the last few years building out your profile, your connections—and your team members’ connections—are a good place to start.

3. Define a Framework

Building out segments and recruiting partners are both essential steps in the recruitment process, but your efforts are wasted if you can’t build long-lasting relationships. Retention is key and it’s up to you to provide partners with a clearly defined channel framework that empowers them to succeed.

Because most of your partners are located in different cities or even countries, it’s important to build connections through training, tools, and technology. When recruiting partner reps, it’s important to provide channel partners with adequate support and effective collaboration capabilities to inform the onboarding process. Clear, concise onboarding solutions enable new hires to get ramped up quickly with your services and products.

To get the most from your partners, you must have the infrastructure to train, manage, maintain, and educate your inside sales team. They need onboarding and consistent training, which demands time, money, and resources. Pair this with the time-intensive process of finding and recruiting partners, and it becomes clear that the average lifecycle of channel partners can be unreliable and expensive.

Outsourcing your channel and recruitment needs to sales as a service experts ensures that your organization is paired with partners who not only fit your organization’s needs and product expertise, but also your brand identity. By training and onboarding the top sales talent and providing coaching, outsourced organizations enable sales teams to consistently hit aggressive sales goals. Outsourced teams enable organizations to extend coverage into new markets, verticals, and channels with fully enabled partners who integrate within your sales culture, in a fraction of the time it takes to achieve this internally.

5 Outsourcing Strategies for Inside Sales

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