Create a channel partner strategy

1. Use an ideal partner profile to select the best partners.

For each candidate, ask yourself: Do they have the resources to invest in the partnership? Will the partnership help them reach their goals? Is there a technical fit? Do their clients match up with ours? Do we have similar values and goals?

2. Talk to your potential and existing partners to unpack and evaluate the partnership and its goals.

Some questions to discuss include: What will our biggest hurdle be? Who are your best customers? What are the major growth drivers of your business? Can we stand out in the market?

3. Write a technical 12-week plan that includes outlining commitments.

Include how you’ll communicate, how often you will touch base, how to track what is being accomplished, and if you will use a collaboration tool like Basecamp, Trello, or Hurdle.

4. Write a one-page Goals document in collaboration with the partner.

Include your set of objectives, strategies and tactics, available resources, roles, and ROI.

5. Create a dedicated Partner Manager to facilitate introductions and help the partners build relationships with internal teams.

The partner manager can help connect the partner to product managers and engineers for front-line feedback.

6. Train your partners to be experts in your product by offering technical, industry, sales, and business training opportunities.

Help the partners maintain an up-to-date product and industry knowledge base by including them in updates, pitches, and business decisions.

7. Evaluate the program by gathering partner, customer, and team feedback via survey, one on one phone or video interviews, and in-person talks.

Discuss any challenges and look at new tools or processes that can enhance the health of the relationship.