The goal of any B2B organization is to develop a level of repeatability that warrants further investment. If I spend $1.00 here, and can consistently get $7.00 in return, then I will do that until the ROI falls below whatever threshold no longer dictates this as the highest return on investment. As a channel leader, if you can show that an investment in X, equals Y with a high degree of repeatability then the resources you have at your disposal will be near limitless.

Your channel partners are your revenue engine for the organization. A channel partner is no less than your organization’s asset, which can raise your business’s bar by delivering exceptional performance.

Developing the level of repeatability necessary for success starts with trying to understand how to recruit the best possible partners for your organization. So, the question becomes, are you building from scratch or trying to grow an existing channel. If you are trying to grow an existing channel, this is easy (if your predecessor set things up correctly). Simply look at which partners have driven the deals that get approved the most, close the fastest, for the highest ACV, and churn the least. Build a persona around those partners, and then go find some more. Rinse and repeat.

Maybe you have no partners, which, depending upon your vertical or product, maybe a good thing (or not). Either way, it is up to you to gain traction and land your first partners to drive your first dollars of channel revenue. For the purposes of this blog, we are going to focus on this scenario as it is considerably harder than expanding upon an already established partner community.

So, what are some of the things you can do today to help you recruit your very first channel partners? Let’s dive into some of those.

1) Give before you take

This is just as much about mindset as it is about action. Before you can even consider approaching a partner organization in the hopes they will dedicate mindshare to your future relationship, as a channel leader, you absolutely must understand what you are bringing to the table. What are you showing up with, that they want, that makes you different from every other vendor trying to tap into their existing customer base? What additional value does your product bring their customers? Can you offer them exclusivity to a region or market segment for a period? Can you double their first-year margins as a thank you for their trust in you? Are you willing to share leads with them, before they ever submit a deal registration?

One of our customers found it super useful to expand their partner base by leveraging the organization’s dedication to lead sharing with partners. Here is what they would do: every time a lead came in from a region of the world, they didn’t have partners (but wanted one), they would approach their top prospective partner and say “hey, we have this lead, do you want it?”

Can you imagine how that worked out for them? They started the relationship by giving revenue, not asking to take it.

2) Use your marketing team

There are PRM products in the marketing team today that offer tools, services, and a combination of the two to help organizations recruit partners. They do this by inviting their customers to participate in what essentially amounts to a crowd-sourced partner ecosystem that everyone builds, and everyone benefits from.

Not using a PRM today, but still want an easy hack? Find the leader in your space, go to their partner locator page and “borrow” the names of every partner on that list. If you are using something like ZoomInfo, or SalesIntel it shouldn’t be too hard to find key contacts at every one of those partners. Give that list to your marketing team and leverage your existing Marketing Automation solution to nurture those prospective partners.

*Pro Tip – Make sure you have lead scoring set up so that you can easily organize which partners to pursue based upon their response and behavior to your marketing messaging. Pick up the phone when their lead score reaches a certain threshold and have a warm conversation about what was prompting their interest in a potential new vendor in their space.

3) Rinse and repeat

You have established and got buy-in from key leadership that you will try your best to give before you take. You have collaborated withing your company to build a funnel of potential partner prospects. You have partner agreements out to partner organizations who not too long ago were selling your competitors’ products. Once you have gotten here, now you look at who is responding well to your messaging. Refine your ideal partner persona around this type of partner and go “borrow” some more partners from an existing partner page.

It does not need to be rocket science, especially if you are investing in a Partner Relationship Management Technology that already has done the hard work for you of capturing, organizing, and updating that potential partner date for you. Maybe your boss isn’t ready to give the thumbs up on an investment in a PRM yet, don’t stress. Leverage low-cost tools like BrightData and other database intelligence providers to scrape content and build contact lists!

There is no perfect solution or formula for this, but there are enough examples of companies who have found success that it does not make sense to try and recreate the wheel. Book a demo today with Vartopia to explore how we can help you recruit the best possible partners.