The perfect match: 5 tips on searching for your ideal channel partner
For organization’s seeking to expand their reach, strengthen their market presence, and increase their revenue, partnering with a great channel partner can be a game-changer. However, finding ideal channel partners doesn't usually happen by chance.
Having a carefully considered strategy and following a well-defined process gives you the best chance of finding a great partnership. One of the first stages of the process is to define your ideal channel partner, a subject we discussed in last month’s blog.
Next, you need to conduct a thorough search and compile a list of candidate channel partners. Even if you already have a candidate in mind, comparing them to all other options ensures you’re objective and reduces the risk of missing out on a better option.
But where do you begin?
Here are 5 tips to help you get started when looking for new channel partners.
1. Product leads to partners
If you're struggling to know where to look, consider taking a reverse engineering approach. Begin by focusing on your customers and understanding their lab processes and product preferences. Note down the applications your products are used in and the related products used upstream and downstream.
Create a list of these products and their manufacturers, then investigate the channel partners these manufacturers work with. Though time-consuming, this method guarantees that you'll discover channel partners who offer complementary products and already serve your target customers. Moreover, these channel partners will possess the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively sell to your target market.
2. Check out your competitors
It is important not to rule out your competitors’ channel partners from your prospective list. While you may have some initial concerns, there are some benefits. For example, it shows that they are adept at collaboration and capable of selling your product. Additionally, you might discover that you have unique offerings that set you apart from your competitors, making you an excellent match for a specific subset of their customers.
Even if you don’t target your competitors’ channel partners, it is beneficial to look at their directories as it can provide useful insight into the type of partners you should be actively recruiting for your program.
3. Keep track of contacts
You might also receive inquiries from distributors actively seeking new manufacturers to represent. Keep a diligent list of these opportunities, as even if it's not the right time for collaboration at first contact, they could become a great option in the future. Knowing they are interested and open to collaboration makes them valuable prospects to consider later on.
4. Look everywhere!
Initially, quantity is more important than quality. The sheer number of potential partners might surprise you. For example, theBioChannel Partners Partnering Portal, there are 327 results for channel partners working in the life science sector – just in Germany. If you expand this search to Europe, there are nearly 4000!
There’s plenty of places to look for potential channel partners; from exhibitions, trade shows and conferences to databases, social media, keyword searches, and leveraging your own network. Additionally, staying updated on relevant mergers and acquisitions is crucial, as it can lead to two sets of channel partners, one of which could be an excellent fit for your needs.
5. Use an expert
With the abundance of channel partners available, the process of searching, analyzing, and shortlisting can become overwhelming. However, exercising due diligence is crucial to secure a profitable partnership. To streamline this process, enlisting the expertise of external consultants likeBioChannel Partnerscan save time, minimise investment risks, and ensure that you select the most suitable candidate for your business.
Need help managing or recruiting your channel partner network? Our channel management training shows you how to get the most out of your channel partner network so you’ll increase your reach and productivity, reduce your costs and deliver a better service to your end customer.
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