A systematic process of channel recruitment is essential for parent companies who engage in partnership with vendors, resellers and dealers in marketing, promoting and distributing of their products. This is critically important in increasing visibility, boosting sales and maintaining a stable customer base. However, it is not an easy task to accomplish. It involves thorough assessment and evaluation of potential partners.
During assessment and evaluation, parent companies have to look into their potential partners’ objectives, interviews and references. In doing this, they will use different strategies which are specifically designed by consultants in weeding out those who will best represent them and their products.
Whether or not the parent company or a manufacturer chooses to enlist a team of consultants or organize an internal team of specialists, one way remains most effective in optimizing effective recruitment solutions and this is to single out the possible challenges along the way. However, strategies still varies from company to company and here are some ways in assessing potential partners:
First is to analyze the general “fit”. The partner application should have a question that delves into the annual revenue. If the prospective partner came up with $250,000 the other year and the parent company’s product costs the same, then it is highly likely that the partner in question has not tapped into the desired customer base or may not have the adequate resources to provide the support required by joint customers.
Second is to determine if the manufacturer’s product matches with the prospect’s business model. If the vendor sells enterprise storage array, then a prospect whose focus is on projectors, laptops and phone systems would be a poor choice. The vendor would be better served to help this partner out by setting it up with another partner who offers a referral fee. However, if the situation is that the partner sells a competitor product, then it is safe to say that it is very much familiar with the type of product is looking to expand its offerings.
Third is to discern how much that partner is willing to put into the game. A good example is how willing that partner is to exert some effort in training or takes the initiative to ask pertinent questions on how to sell or market a product better. This shows that the will to put much into the relationship is evident and clear. However, if the partner immediately asks about leads even before it knows how to sell the product, then it won’t add a lot of value to the channel. To segregate the bad eggs from the good ones, requirements should be firmly established and referred to constantly.
Fourth is to put inactive partners on probation periods. Perhaps they have been recruited and accomplished a deal or two. But for the past 12 months, they have not contributed anything significant to the channel and nothing is really happening. Putting them on probation periods would “clean up” the house. To do this, the parent company can set up a renewal certification, a business plan requirement and/or a sales certification updated in order to clarify that if such requirements are not completed within the first 3-6 months of partnership, then the relationship will not be renewed.
You may want to take a look at a Channel Recruitment web page for more information and details or you may call us directly at 877 226 2564 (TOLL FREE). (http://www.channeltivity.com