Most manufacturers depend on channel partners for anywhere between 20%-100% of their sales volume. Given that volume, channel partner engagement becomes as critical as customer engagement. Manufacturers need to understand when their channel partners are engaging and what return they're receiving. Manufacturers are also challenged to remain top of mind with partners. They must educate and enable their channel partner base. But first, they need to recruit that solid partner base. In short, manufacturers need to create targeted recruitment campaigns to deliver new channel partners.
Below are 7 tactics to enhance your channel partner recruitment efforts.
- Emphasize the "What's in it for you". Basic? Yes, but often forgotten. Because enablement and support are key to a successful partnership, a manufacturer must demonstrate its dedication to enabling partners. Many channel partners resell for multiple manufacturers so manufacturers must demonstrate differentiation. Manufacturers must be easy to do business with. This message needs to be communicated.
- Stress brand and message ownership. There are often discrepancies amongst manufacturers and channel partners about who owns the brand and the relationship with the customer. Manufacturers must communicate the empowerment of the channel partner. Demonstrating a commitment to a shared vision is key.
- Identify the tangible benefits to the partner. These are benefits the channel partner receives when joining the partner program. This can include anything from percentage of revenue earned, to incentives, technology access, brand recognition, additional training, thought leadership, and certifications.
- Don't underestimate the power of a form. Channel partner registration forms should capture contact information as well as partner program interest. If they converted to the form, there's interest. Be selective about what you ask. Ask for information that will further the relationship.
- Consider digital advertising. With advancements in digital advertising you can become very targeted in your messaging to a selected audience. For example, you could target an audience that consists of potential channel partners that reside in the Midwest and have previously navigated to your "Partners" webpage. Activity against the digital ad can then drive a potential channel partner into an automated channel partner recruitment campaign.
- Understand the costs. Develop benchmark data around the cost of acquiring a partner as well as your partner attrition rate. Consider advertising expenses, sales related expenses, expenses per opportunity and the revenue delivered by each partner channel.
- Identify revenue potential or opportunity in each geographic region. Evaluate the territory or region, the number of partners in each, as well as the number of customers and the market potential. Looks at previous revenue generated, and the percentage of increase or decrease in territory revenue over 12 months.
Adding these tactics to your channel partner recruitment strategy can result in a great return on your recruitment efforts, and ultimately revenue generated.