Recruiting partners

Recruiting partners requires an old-fashioned sales campaign. 

Here are the key points:

  • Create a target partner list and prioritize it: see Identifying Prospective Partners and Prioritizing Prospective Partners.
  • Create a joint value proposition: understand the prospect’s goals/challenges so you can add value—what’s in it for them?  What falls off their plate?
  • Compare customer lists: joint customers can make great use cases and reasons to introduce the idea of partnering.
  • Leverage a contact: use LinkedIn, or leverage a recent press release touting your company or a new partnership with your prospect’s competitor.
  • Email/call high: deliver a tight (short) joint value prop as high in the prospect’s organization as possible. Send an email, then call.  You may need to deliver the message to multiple targets within the prospect.  Follow up.  Be polite and persistent–they may be out of the office.  If you’ve tried several times and received no response, chances are you’ve got the wrong message, they really aren’t interested, or the fishing is really good.
  • Sponsor a gathering: organize an event featuring an interesting speaker and invite a target list of prospects.

See the Partner Types post for information regarding agreements and terms.

Once you’ve signed a partner, congratulations, you’re 10% of the way there—now the real work begins to make the partnership successful (see Enabling a Successful Partnership).  If you’re sure of the potential, you can try accelerating the path to revenue by beginning training while concluding the agreement.

Next: Partner Demand Creation (creating leads for partners to close).

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